Allow for five-year and 10-year passport renewals, says Lam Thye

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia should propose the introduction of a flexible approach for passport validity options, allowing applicants to choose between a five-year and a 10-year passport, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

"For those who want five years, let them have five. Those who want 10, let it be a choice of the applicants.

“I think that is something which I would like to suggest here,” said the social activist.

According to Lee, the proposal aims to cater to individuals with varying travel frequencies.

He mentioned that those who travel extensively for business or other responsibilities may find a 10-year passport more convenient, as it eliminates the need for frequent renewals and reduces the workload on immigration offices.

Lee highlighted the added benefits for those living overseas, stating that the introduction of a 10-year passport would streamline processing work, save costs, and alleviate the strain on immigration resources.

However, acknowledging diverse preferences and cost considerations, he also pointed out that some individuals might still prefer a five-year passport due to its potentially lower cost.

He said that the proposed flexible approach seeks to strike a balance, offering individuals the choice that best suits their needs while addressing the administrative, cost saving and logistical challenges associated with passport renewals.

The government is currently conducting a study on whether to extend passport validity to 10 years.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail pointed out that many other countries already practise this.

The Star reported that Malaysians living abroad support extending passport validity to 10 years, as it will significantly reduce unnecessary bureaucracy.

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