Still a long wait for early birds at Penang Immigration office

Now we can travel: Adzha and his son Aiman Haiqal, two, with their renewed passports at the Penang Immigration Department in Seberang Jaya. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

BUTTERWORTH: It was a tedious process for engineering technician Adzha Hassan, who waited at the Immigration office in Seberang Jaya here since the early morning with two toddlers in tow.

The 42-year-old said there was already a line when they arrived at 6.30am to renew their passports.

“When we arrived, we were number 30 on the list. I expected it to be quick, but the entire process ended at 11am and we only managed to collect our passports at noon.

“I took the day off from work and we woke up at 5am to make sure we would get here early, but it still took half a day.

“I am glad we came early as I am sure we would not have been able to renew our passports otherwise with the crowd coming in.

“We heard they had extended the hours, but one hour is not much,” he said when met at the office.

Adzha said he went to the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) in Komtar on Tuesday, but was turned away as it had given out its maximum quota of numbers per day.

“We are heading to Indonesia for a family holiday, so we had no choice but to renew our passports,” he added.

The Immigration office here extended its time to 6pm while the UTC in Komtar closed at 5pm.

On the island, businessman Wong Jin Haw, 28, registered for his passport online but realised there was a problem with uploading his photo and drove over to Komtar to fix it.

“I came at around 10am as my photo could not be used. They let me take a photo here and I had to wait for two hours to collect my passport.

“I filled up the forms online, so it was easier and saved time. I would have waited a while longer to renew my passport, but I have a trip planned and need to renew it to buy my flight tickets,” Wong said.

Leena Baharuddin, 42, who was at the UTC with her father to renew his passport, said it was a long wait but they did not have a choice as her parents were heading to Mecca this month to perform umrah.

“We came at 8am. There were already people in line but we managed to secure one of the slots.

“We are now waiting to collect his passport but have been told to come back at 12.45pm,” she said when interviewed.

Leena, a chef, said she took the day off from work yesterday to help her father as this was the second time they came to renew his passport.

“My sister brought my father here on Tuesday, but they were turned away as they had run out of slots for the day.

“Apparently, there are around 200 slots a day and they close at 5pm. We live in Teluk Bahang, so it is tedious to drive over,” she added.

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