PUTRAJAYA: The Immigration Department has assured that the supply of passports will not be affected by the technical problems caused by the transition to a new passport version.
Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said the department was taking the matter seriously as it had caused its offices to be swamped with applicants.
“Although the Malaysian international passport is undergoing a transition process to a new version and is faced with some problems in delivery, the Immigration Department has always ensured that the supply of passports will not be affected.
“Application for passports will be processed in the same day,” said Mustafar in a press statement Tuesday.
The newly-appointed director-general, however, advised the public not to wait until the last minute to apply for a passport renewal due to overcrowding at its offices.
“In the current situation, members of the public are urged to plan their travels wisely to avoid problems.
“We would like to advise the public not to panic due to this issue and give space and support to the Government to efficiently tackle the matter,” he said.
Mustafar also said the department’s record in the issuing of passports was still among the best in the world due to its short process time.
“The one-hour passport delivery after payment in this country is the first to be introduced in the world. Some developed countries take two weeks and up to three months to issue a passport,” he said.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed had said the long queues at passport counters was not the fault of the Immigration Department, but that of the vendor who failed to meet demand.
Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi ordered an increase up to 20,000 passports daily, to meet the shortfall. Until then, the vendor was reportedly providing between 5,000 and 10,000 passports daily.
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