Immigration DG: BM fluency not a condition for passport renewals

PUTRAJAYA: Immigration Department officers are not allowed to reject any passport renewal or first-time applications solely because the applicant has failed to master the national language, says its director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh.

“I would like to clarify that in fulfilling their responsibilities, immigration officers will conduct random checks on various aspects to verify applications.

“However, these checks must be conducted professionally and with courtesy,” he said in a statement yesterday, Bernama reported.

On Monday, a man expressed his disappointment on Facebook after failing to renew his mother’s passport at the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) in Komtar, Penang, because she could not speak Malay.

Ruslin said the woman managed to renew her passport, which she retrieved from the Penang UTC office on the same day.

“The Immigration Department is committed to providing good customer service, and always reminds officers to assist customers according to the prescribed standard operating procedure,” he added.

The man claimed they went to the UTC on Sunday to renew his parents’ passports.

He said the renewal process for his father’s passport went smoothly, but they faced an issue with renewing his mother’s passport after he was told by the staff that she could not speak Malay despite being a citizen.

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