Reports by RAHIMY RAHIM, HEMANANTHANI SIVANANDAM and MARTIN CARVALHO
HOME Ministry agencies involved in handling citizenship applications will be linked with each other through an online information-sharing system to speed up the process.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman said a committee had been set up to see how the system could be created.
“Once the system is up, the police will enter data such as a person’s criminal record which is required by other agencies such as the National Registration Department,” he said when answering a question raised by Datuk Wong Tien Fatt (PH-Sandakan).
Azis, who is chairing the committee, said presently such information was shared manually resulting in a delay in the application process.
“There is no specific (information-sharing) system under the ministry for other agencies to check if the applicants have any criminal record,” he said and did not mention when the system would be in service.
To a supplementary question by Datuk Seri Ismail Abdul Muttalib (BN-Maran), Mohd Azis said between 2008 and last September, a total of 57,191 foreigners who hold permanent resident status, were given citizenship.
He said some flexibilities were given to permanent residents who were above 60.
“It includes the exemption from taking the oral and written component of Bahasa Malaysia Knowledge Test.
“They would still be given the consideration even if they had scored the lowest marks in the test,” he said.
Mohd Azis added that those who failed the police screening would still be given consideration if it involved petty crimes which were committed more than 20 years ago.
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