If you’re planning to apply for an international passport or get your existing one renewed, well, you may have to wait.
There have been problems with the Immigration Department’s counters’ computer system and it’s causing a delay in issuing passports. As such, it may take a week for Malaysians to get a passport and the situation is expected to get worse over the school holidays.
An unnamed source told MMO that there are “teething problems” with the international Malaysian passports fitted with the polycarbonate chips. On top of that, there’s also the issue of an over-burdened operating system used on the department’s computers.
Apparently, the system used by the department to process passport and visa applications were installed in 1997 and was prone to breakdowns.
“It is old, outdated and incapable of meeting current requirements. In the past, we did not have to handle biometric data at entry points but now we do. The additional data is over-burdening the operating system,” a source said.
The breakdowns affected several immigration counters at the one-stop government service centres known as Urban Transformation Centres (UTC) in the span a week e.g. Johor Bahru, Sentul, Ipoh, Kajang, Seberang Jaya, Alor Star, Sungai Petani, Pahang, and Malacca.
The problems are only expected to be resolved by mid-June at the earliest.
The Immigration Department has been under a lot of pressure as of late after sabotage was suspected in the Malaysian Immigration System (myIMMs) which led to breakdowns at entry and exit points in the country. At that time, Immigration Department director-general Datuk Sakib Kusmi assured, “We have identified the individuals involved but the investigation is still ongoing. The outcome will be announced when the time comes.”
About 100 people, including officials from the Immigration Department and syndicate members, are being investigated by the authorities on suspicion of being involved in sabotaging the implementation of the myIMMs.