KUALA LUMPUR: Extending the validity of passports from the current five to 10 years will benefit the people tremendously, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
The Alliance for a Safe Community chairman said it was a good move for the government to study the proposal and hoped that a decision on the matter will be made soon.
“Many countries – notably the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Singapore – have long been issuing passports of 10-year validity.
“The advantages of a 10-year validity far outweigh the possible downsides. Lengthening passport validity reduces the frequency of renewals, making it more convenient for the people.
“This can also help reduce the workload at passport offices and streamline the application process,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Extending passport validity can potentially save citizens’ money and effort in the long run as they won’t have to renew their passports frequently, he added.
“This is especially beneficial for those who travel frequently and the elderly.
“A 10-year validity can be seen as a sign of stability and confidence in a nation’s government. It can positively impact diplomatic relations and international perception.
“The Home Minister said that the availability of online passport applications has reduced congestion at Immigration centres.
“It can be further reduced by extending the validity period and lead to cost savings and more efficient resource allocation,” he said.“Longer passport validity aligns with technological advancements in security features, making it easier for Malaysia to stay up-to-date with the latest security measures,” he said.
He also said there are some downsides too.
“For instance, the longer a passport is valid, the more time there is for counterfeiters or identity thieves to exploit it.
“Security features must continually evolve to counteract this risk,” Lee said.
“Implementing this proposal sooner can lead to quicker responses, faster benefits, crisis prevention and enhanced public trust,” he said.
It was reported that the government will study a recent proposal to have Malaysian passports with 10-year validity period.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the proposal will be studied by the government based on the merits of such practice in other countries.
Saifuddin Nasution said for now, Malaysia will continue to maintain the five-year validity period for its passports.
“It will be status quo. We are not rejecting the proposal, but will study it further,” he said.