PETALING JAYA: Frustrations boiled over at the Kelana Jaya Immigration office after technical problems with the payment system caused hours-long delays.
Customers, some of whom had been lining up outside the office in Plaza Glomac since 4am, were seen slumped on the floor or waiting outside the building due to the lack of space inside the premises.
The payment system came back online at about 11.30am, said customers, but by then it was too late for some who had to leave for work.
Human Resource analyst Shalini Julia John said Immigration officers announced that the payment system was down for about two hours, causing long lines.
“It’s quite inconvenient, especially since doors open at 7am – you just started, so why would there be a problem with the system.
“It kind of left a lot of people stranded. We were just sitting around waiting,” said Shalini, who started queuing up at 4.30am.
A mother, who gave her name as Chan, said her children had to skip school so that they could go through the long wait to renew their passports for a holiday.
“They asked us to maybe come back another day but we cannot do that. This is the only day we are free.
“Last time we came back on a Friday afternoon and they said they had to close. I don’t know what they can do,” said Chan, who added that the Immigration officers here were apologetic for the delays and patiently dealt with the crowd.
One other customer, who declined to be named, was told she had to renew her MyKad – which had some plastic peeling off the sides, before officers could process her passport application.
She left and returned to find that there was a long way to go before her waiting number.
Student Tony Gomez was making his second attempt at renewing his passport this week after being turned away at the Immigration office in Pudu Sentral on Monday.
“There was a lot of queueing up there too. After they finished the first batch, they said the system was down and they closed after that around 2pm,” he said.
“They should open more counters or think about an online renewal for passports,” Gomez said.
The Home Ministry had said long queues at passport counters around the country were not the fault of the Immigration Department but that of the vendor who has failed to meet demand for passports.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed warned the passport vendor to step up performance or face action.
Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi ordered an increase to 20,000 passports daily, to meet the shortfall. Until then, the vendor was reportedly only providing between 5,000 and 10,000 passports.
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