Tag Archives: Immigration

Are Robbers Pretending To Be Home Affairs Officers?!

Are Robbers Pretending To Be Home Affairs Officers?!

Is there a gang of robbers pretending to be Home Affairs officers from the government?!

Find out what’s going on, and what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Robbers Are Pretending To Be Home Affairs Officers!

People are sharing messages warning of a gang of robbers pretending to be Home Affairs officers, together with a picture purportedly of one of these robbers.

Here are two versions of the viral warnings being shared on WhatsApp and Facebook :

High Security Alert:

Beware, one group is going from house to house pretending to be a Home Affairs Officer. They have the documents and the letterhead of the department of the home ministry and claim they have to confirm that everyone has a valid identity card for the upcoming census.

They are looting houses. Note that there is no such initiative from the government. Send this to your neighborhood group chat. They are everywhere, and they look presentable. Please alert your family and friends.

A person comes to your home and says I want to take your photo / thumbprint under some schemes. They have a laptop, a biometric machine and a list of all the names. They are showing a list and asking for all this information. It has been pointed out that all this is bogus. Don’t give them any information.

Everyone should be alert and BE AWARE‼️

Security Alert from Police: Be warned, there is a group going to homes and pretending to be officials from home affairs.

They have documents with the letterhead Department of Home Affairs and claim to be confirming that everyone has a valid ID for the upcoming elections.

 

Truth : Robbers Are NOT Pretending To Be Home Affairs Officers!

This is just FAKE NEWS created from real news, and here are the reasons why….

Fact #1 : Warning Originated In South Africa

The original warning about fake Home Affairs officers originated in South Africa, many years ago.

The South African Department of Home Affairs issued this media statement in October 2017 and April 2019 :

MEDIA STATEMENT ON ELECTIONS SCAM

Home Affairs wishes to warn members of the community of a group of individuals visiting homes and pretending to be officials from the Department.

They carry with them documents with letterheads purportedly from Home Affairs and claim to be confirming the validity of IDs for the upcoming elections. These individuals are criminals who rob households once they gain entry. There is no such initiative from the Department.

Home affairs officials are clearly identifiable by name tags. We will announce household visits through official
government channels

This warning was only issued in South Africa. No government agency from other countries issued similar warnings.

Fact #2 : Warning Transformed Into Fake News

The genuine warning by the South African Department of Home Affairs spread globally, and became fake news in other countries.

Many countries do not have a Department of Home Affairs. Neither do they have government officials going around verifying citizens’ identification cards ahead of any elections.

Even worse – some people took the initiative to modify the warning, and even added pictures of genuine government officials to make the warning look genuine.

Government agencies in many countries – United States, United Kingdom, India, Singapore, Malaysia – have labelled this warning as fake news.

Fact #3 : Malaysian Immigration Officer Was Victimised

In July 2021, a Malaysian immigration officer bore the brunt of netizen outrage when he was falsely identified as a fake Home Affairs officer – his picture was shared on social media and WhatsApp together with the warning.

The Malaysia Immigration Department and the Royal Malaysia Police announced on 13 July 2021, that the man in the photo was a genuine Immigration officer.

According to Ampang District Police Chief, ACP Mohamad Farouk Ishak, the Immigration officer was conducting an official investigation into an individual staying at a house in Pandan Indah, Ampang.

The Immigration officer introduced himself and inform the residents of the purpose of his visit. The 60 year-old Malaysian homeowner who hosted the Immigration officer during his inspection also lodged a police report over the matter.

From the picture, you can clearly see that the officer was wearing a t-shirt with the Immigration Department HQ logo, and carried an Immigration Malaysia badge as well.

Fact #4 : Fake Story Circulating Again With New Photo

In September 2022, the same fake warning went viral again on WhatsApp, this time with a new photo of two Malaysian officers who appeared to have served some kind of official paper to a homeowner.

While I cannot yet trace the provenance of this photo, or the context behind it, these officers are definitely not attempting to gain entry to the person’s home by falsely identifying themselves as Home Affairs officers.

Again, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) has repeatedly announced that this story of robbers posing as Home Affairs officers is fake news.

Fact #5 : No Actual Robbery Cases Were Reported

Even though the South African Department of Home Affairs issued the warning twice, it is unknown if there are really robbers pretending to be their officers to gain entry into homes.

Ironically, acting Director-General Thulani Mavuso claimed that the South African Department of Home Affairs never actually received any complaint about such crimes :

Home Affairs has not received any complaint of this nature from members of the public. People who are aware of such an activity, depending on it veracity, are advised to report it to the police.

We reiterate our message that Home Affairs officials do not and will not come to your homes to validate IDs.

It sounds like the South African Department of Home Affairs were proactively warning people about the possibility, not reporting on actual cases.

Fact #6 : Safer For Robbers To Rob Empty Houses

Robbers generally prefer NOT to rob homes while their occupants are still inside. Not only could the occupants fight back, they would become witnesses to the crime and help the police identify them!

It would be much safer to gain entry into a house after its occupants have left.

Fact #7 : There Are Other Ways To Gain Entry

Robbers who prefer to gain entry through this method do not need to pretend to be Home Affairs officers.

They can pretend to be other government officials, like a police officer or an immigration officer. They can also pretend to be utility workers, the mailman or a deliveryman.

There is no particular advantage in pretending to be a Home Affairs officer.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Travellers To Europe Must Apply + Pay For ETIAS From 2023!

It’s official – travellers to Europe must start applying and paying for ETIAS from 2023! Here is what you need to know…

 

Travellers To Europe Must Apply For ETIAS From 2023!

The European Commission has just announced the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) for all travellers to the Schengen States.

Slated to start in May 2023, ETIAS is meant to “identify security, irregular migration or high epidemic risks” amongst visa-exempt travellers.

EU travellers are exempt from ETIAS, and will continue to have freedom of movement throughout the EU, and the freedom to spend as much time as they want in any state in the Schengen zone.

ETIAS will only be obligatory for travellers from countries that currently do not require a visa to travel to the EU – about 60 countries including the US and the UK.

Travellers who currently need a visa to enter the EU will still need to apply for a visa. They will not be allowed to use ETIAS.

 

How Does ETIAS Work For Travellers To Europe?

Travellers will need to apply for ETIAS through a “largely automated IT system”, with approval granted “within minutes” for about 95% of applicants. But that could drag out to a month for “very exceptional cases”. Those who have their application denied will be allowed to appeal.

While applying for ETIAS will be quicker, done online, and requires no biometric information, there is a cost attached.

Every traveller aged 18 to 70 will need to pay an ETIAS fee of €7 (about US$7.40, £6, A$10.60, S$10.20, RM32.50). It is currently unknown if ETIAS will be free or cheaper for other age groups.

Applicants will be required to submit their data in the online application, which is said to take only “10 minutes” :

  • Unspecified personal data
  • Travel document (passport or equivalent document)
  • Member State of first intended stay
  • Background questions relating to previous criminal records, presence in conflict zones, orders to leave the territory of a Member State or third countries, return decisions issued.
  • Identity of the person / company assisting the applicant in the application process (if necessary)

The ETIAS system will automatically check the information provided against several EU databases, and approve or transfer it to ETIAS National Units for manual processing.

Once approved, the ETIAS will be valid for 3 years, or until the expiry date of the passport. So if possible, travellers should definitely renew their passports before applying.

But note that the ETIAS can be revoked at any time, if the conditions for that travel authorisation are no longer met by the applicant.

 

ETIAS : Selected FAQs

Here are selected FAQs on the European Travel Information and Authorisation System for those who want to learn more.

What is the difference between a Schengen visa and an ETIAS travel authorisation?

The ETIAS authorisation is not a visa. Nationals of visa liberalisation countries will continue to travel the EU without a visa but will simply be required to obtain a travel authorisation via ETIAS prior to their travel. ETIAS will be a simple, fast and visitor-friendly system, which will, in more than 95% of cases, result in a positive answer within a few minutes.

An ETIAS travel authorisation does not reintroduce visa-like obligations. There is no need to go to a consulate to make an application, no biometric data is collected and significantly less information is gathered than during a visa application procedure.

Whereas, as a general rule, a Schengen visa procedure can take up to 15 days, and can in some cases be extended up to 30 or 60 days, the online ETIAS application only takes a few minutes to fill in. Only in very exceptional cases, could the ETIAS procedure take up to 30 days. The validity will be for a period of three years, significantly longer than the validity of a Schengen visa. An ETIAS authorisation will be valid for an unlimited number of entries.

The ETIAS travel authorisation will be a necessary and small procedural step for all visa-exempt travellers which will allow them to avoid bureaucracy and delays when presenting themselves at the borders. ETIAS will fully respect this visa-free status; facilitate the crossing of the Schengen external border; and allow visa free visitors to fully enjoy their status.

Read more : EU Digital COVID Certificate : A Comedy Of Errors!

What will visa-exempt travellers have to do before their travel?

Travellers will have to complete an online application via a dedicated website or an application for mobile devices. Filling in the application should not take more than 10 minutes and should not require any documentation beyond a travel document (a passport or other equivalent document). In case of an inability to apply (due to age, literacy level, access to and competence on information technology etc.) applications may be submitted by a third person.

An electronic payment of a €7 fee for each application will be required for all applicants between the ages of 18 and 70. The electronic payment methods will take into account technological advancements in the visa-free countries in order to avoid hindering visa-free third country nationals who may not have access to certain payment means.

The automated assessment process will start after the fee collection is confirmed. The vast majority of applicants (expected to be more than 95% of all cases) will be given automated approval which will be communicated to them within minutes of payment. If there is a hit against any of the searched databases or an undecided outcome of the automated process, manual handling of the application will take place by a Central Unit in the European Border and Coast Guard Agency or by a Member State team. This can prolong the response time to the visa-exempt third country national by up to 96 hours. In very exceptional circumstances further information may be asked of applicants and further procedural steps may be necessary, but in all cases a final decision shall be taken within four weeks of their application.

Of the roughly 5% of applications which produce a hit, it is expected that 3-4% will receive a positive decision after ETIAS Central Unit verifies the data, with the remaining 1-2% being transferred to ETIAS National Units for manual processing. After the decision applicants will be given a response by email with a valid travel authorisation, or a justification for the refusal.

Read more : EU Officially Accepts Malaysia’s Digital COVID Certificate!

What happens if a person has been refused travel authorisation from ETIAS?

If the travel authorisation is refused, the applicant retains the right to appeal. Appeals can be launched in the Member State that has taken the decision on the application and in accordance with the national law of that Member State. The applicant will be informed which national authority is responsible for the processing and decision on his or her travel authorisation, as well as information regarding the procedure to be followed in the event of an appeal. If the traveller considers their treatment to have been unfair, he/she is also given the right to seek redress or request access to the information through the national authority.

What is the validity of an ETIAS travel authorisation?

The validity of the travel authorisation will be three years (or until the expiry date of the travel document).

What are the obligations for the carriers?

Prior to boarding, air and sea carriers, as well as carriers transporting groups overland by coach will have to verify the status of the travel document required for entering the Schengen Area, including the requirement to hold a valid ETIAS travel authorisation. A transitional period is foreseen for carriers transporting groups overland by coach during which it will not be obligatory for them to check the presence of a valid travel authorisation.

What will happen at the border crossing point? 

Upon arrival at a Schengen area border crossing point, the border guard will electronically read the travel document data, thereby triggering a query to different databases, including a query to ETIAS in the case of visa-exempt travellers. If there is no valid ETIAS travel authorisation, the border guards will refuse entry and record the traveller and the refusal of entry in the Entry Exit System.

If there is a valid travel authorisation, the border control process will be conducted and the traveller may be authorised to enter the Schengen area if all entry conditions are fulfilled or refused access as provided by the Schengen Border Code.

Read more : EU Air Travel : Face Mask + Physical Distancing Not Required!

What databases will be checked by ETIAS?

When verifying and assessing the information submitted by visa-exempt travellers, the system will automatically cross-check each application against: 

A. the existing EU information systems:

  • the Schengen Information System (SIS),
  • the Visa Information System (VIS),
  • Europol data,
  • the Eurodac database (once the Eurodac recast is in place),

B. future EU information systems:

  • the Entry/Exit System (EES), 

C. Interpol databases:

  • the Interpol Stolen and Lost Travel Document database (SLTD),
  • the Interpol Travel Documents Associated with Notices database (TDAWN),

D. a dedicated ETIAS watch list and specific risk indicators.

Read more : Air Travel To Malaysia : Latest Covid-19 Requirements + SOP!

How will ETIAS ensure and guarantee the respect for fundamental rights and data protection?

Personal data recorded in ETIAS will not be kept for longer than is necessary for its purpose. Data shall be stored for: 

  • the period of validity of the travel authorisation or, 
  • five years from the last decision to refuse, revoke or annul the travel authorisation. 

The data could be stored for an additional period of no more than three years after the end of the period of validity of the travel authorisation if the applicant freely and explicitly consents to keep his or her data longer. After the expiry of the data retention period, the application file and personal data will be automatically deleted from the ETIAS Central System. 

Member States’ law enforcement authorities and Europol will have access to ETIAS, under strictly-defined conditions, for the prevention, detection or investigation of terrorist offences or other serious criminal offences. The designated authorities and Europol should only request access to ETIAS when they have reasonable grounds to believe that such access will substantially help them in carrying out their duties. 

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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How To Renew Malaysian Passport Online : Latest Guide!

Find out how to renew your Malaysian passport online through the MyOnline Passport service!

 

You Must Renew Your Malaysian Passport Online!

MyOnline Passport is a service by the Immigration Department of Malaysia, which allows you to renew your Malaysian passports online.

Ever since international borders reopened, there has been a massive backlog of people renewing their passports.

On 11 May 2022, the Immigration Department stopped allowing most people to walk-in for their passport renewal. Except for a selected group of people, everyone else must renew their passports online.

Read more : Most People Cannot Walk-In To Renew Malaysia Passport!

 

How To Renew Your Malaysian Passport Online!

The MyOnline Passport service was originally designed by the Immigration Department of Malaysia as a convenient, online way for people to renew their Malaysian international passports.

However, it is now the only way to renew your Malaysian passport for most people, from 11 May 2022 onwards. Here is what you need to know about the process.

Only For International Passport Renewals

The first thing you must be aware is that MyOnline Passport can only be used to renew existing international passports issued by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

You cannot use it to apply for a new passport, or to replace a stolen or damaged passport. You also cannot use it to renew special or restricted passports.

To apply for a new passport, or to replace a stolen / damaged passport, or renew special or restricted passports, you must walk-in.

Children who are less than 13 years old, special needs individuals, and those performing the Haj, must also walk-in to renew their passports.

Who Can Apply For Online Passport Renewal?

The MyOnline Passport service is only open to applicants 13 years and older, with existing Malaysian e-passports (passport with microchip).

Underaged applicants (13-18 years old) must have the consent of their parent(s) / legal guardian(s) to apply online, and the parent(s) / legal guardian(s) must be present during the collection of passport.

Can Overseas Citizens Use MyOnline Passport?

This service is also open to Malaysian citizens living overseas, with collection centres in these countries :

  • Australia : Canberra, Melbourne, Perth
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia : Jakarta
  • Singapore
  • United Kingdom : London
  • United States : New York

It Now Takes 3 Working Days To Renew Passport!

Originally…

If you submit the online application before 3 PM on a working day, you will be able to collect the new passport on the same day.

If you submit the online application after 3 PM on a working day, or anytime during a holiday, you can collect the new passport after 10 AM on the following working day.

Now

However, due to the massive demand, the Immigration Department announced that you will get an email notification within 3 working days if your online renewal has been approved.

If you do not receive the notification after 3 working days, you may walk into the selected collection centre.

Where Do You Collect The Passport?

Applicants can collect their renewed passports from a Passport Recipient and Issuance Office of their choice, from a list in the system.

The collection date and time will be provided, depending on the date and time the application was submitted.

How Much Does It Cost?

The MyOnline Passport service is free. You only need to pay for the standard Malaysian international passport renewal fees :

  • 13 to 59 Years Old : RM200
  • Above 60 Years Old : RM100

Payment must be made via a credit card or debit card / direct debit (FPX) on the website.

Read more : Please DO NOT Walk-In To Renew Your Malaysian Passport!

Please Check Blacklist Before Applying!

Every online passport renewal application will be vetted against the Immigration Department’s blacklist.

So please check if you are on the Immigration Department’s blacklist before you even apply.

  1. Go to the Immigration Control Status Checking page.
  2. Key in your 12-digit MyKad identity card number (without dash).
  3. Click on the Check button.

If you get the green No restriction result, then you may apply to renew your passport online.

What Is Required To Submit An Application?

Here is what you need to have, before applying for online renewal of your Malaysian international passport.

  • an existing Malaysia e-passport (passport with microchip) that is not defaced or water-damaged
  • a digital passport-sized photo with these specifications :
    a) background must be white, and without shadows (coloured backgrounds will not be accepted)
    b) applicants must wear dark clothing that cover the shoulders and chest.
    c) applicants who wear a scarf or hijab must wear dark-coloured scarf / hijab, and it must not cover the face.
    d) uploaded photo must have been taken at a professional photo studio, in the format provided by the photo studio. Polaroid photos will not be accepted.
    e) applications that do not meet these specifications will be put on-hold, resulting in delayed issuance and collection.
    f) you may have your passport photo taken at the Passport Recipient and Issuance Office you selected to collect your passport, if your passport photo does not meet the required specifications
  • a valid credit card / debit card / online bank account to make the required payment

In addition, you must be sure that :

  • you are able to physically collect the new passport in-person (a representative may not collect for you)
  • for underaged applicants : both applicant and parent(s) / legal guardian(s) must be present to collect the new passport

Passport Photo Specifications

Here are the latest specifications for online submission of passport photos :

  • Background must be white and without shadows. Coloured backgrounds will not be accepted.
  • Applicants are required to wear dark clothing that cover the shoulders and chest.
  • Applicants may wear dark-coloured scarfs or hijabs but they must not cover the face.
  • You must take the photo at a professional photo studio, and upload the soft copy in the format provided by the photo studio. Polaroid pictures will not be accepted.

If the photo you upload do not meet the specifications, your application will be put on-hold, and you will be asked to resubmit the photo, or get one taken at a passport office.

What Is Required To Collect Passport?

Finally, when it’s time to collect your renewed passport, please make sure you bring :

  • your MyKad identification card
  • your existing Malaysian international passport
  • the payment receipt issued by the system
  • for underaged applicants : your parent(s) / legal guardian(s) must bring your Birth Certificate

You cannot send a representative to collect your passport. If you fail to bring the necessary documents, or collect your passport in person, the renewed passport will not be released.

Underage applicants must be accompanied by their parent(s) / legal guardian(s), or their renewed passport will not be released.

How Do You Start The Process?

You can start the process on this MyOnline Passport page.

You may make multiple passport renewals, but you must submit one application per person.

Please avoid registering from 10:55 PM to 12:30 AM, because that’s when the system undergoes daily maintenance and no payment can be processed during that time.

If You Get An Error Message…

If you get an error message while making payment, please contact your bank for further instructions.

If your photo was rejected, you can upload a new photo, or have your passport photo taken at the Passport Recipient and Issuance Office you selected to collect your passport.

If you get this error message – “Kindly contact the Immigration Department of Malaysia”, it means your online application was unsuccessful for one of these reasons :

  • The file containing your fingerprint was damaged or deleted. You will be required to go to the passport office to have your fingerprint taken again, to avoid problems at the airport arrival / departure gates.
  • Your application does not meet with the specifications listed on MyOnline Passport.
  • The information provided was inaccurate, and/or contradicts the information in the Immigration Department system.

How To Resubmit Photo / Supporting Documents

If you need to resubmit your photo or supporting documents, please use these links :

How To Check Application Status

Please use this link to check your passport renewal status.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Please DO NOT Walk-In To Renew Your Malaysian Passport!

If you are planning to renew your international passport, please DO NOT just walk into a passport office!

You will most likely be rejected, because most applicants are NO LONGER allowed to walk in!

 

Warning : Most People CANNOT Walk In To Renew Passport!

Ever since Malaysia announced the reopening of the international borders, everyone has been rushing to renew their passports.

Initially, passport renewals required prior appointments, but that was abandoned after appointments stretched to August and beyond.

People were allowed to walk in, but that led to a massive surge of people queuing for hours at Immigration offices. So the government announced two major measures, from 11 May 2022 onwards :

Extended Operating Hours

The Immigration Department announced extended operating hours to cope with the demand :

  • Until 10 PM : Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, and Melaka
  • Until 10 PM : All UTC (Urban Transformation Centre) outlets in peninsular Malaysia
  • Until 6 PM : Penang, Kedah, Perak, Kelantan, Pahang, Terengganu, and Perlis
  • 8 AM to 12:30 PM on Saturday : All passport offices in peninsular Malaysia (from 14 May onwards)

Walk-In Limited To Certain Groups

They also announced that only certain groups will be allowed to walk-in to renew their passports :

  • People applying for a new passport
  • Senior citizens (60 years and older)
  • Special needs individuals (must bring Social Welfare Department registration card)
  • Children who are less than 13 years old
  • People planning to perform the Haj (must bring the Tabung Haji offer letter)
  • Students (less than 21 years old) planning to study overseas
  • People who lost their passports (will require a police report)
  • People with damaged passports

Everyone else will have to renew their passports online!

Read more : How To Renew Your Malaysian Passport Online!

 

Should You Walk In To Renew Your Passport?

Since I first published this article, I spoke to other people who tried to walk in and renew passports, only to be turned away.

Based on my own experience (see below), I can attest that the Immigration officers are dead serious about turning people away.

If you are not in the list of people permitted to renew passports on-the-spot, please don’t waste your time. You will only waste your time queuing up, only to be rejected. Try to renew your passport online instead.

Recently, a video clip went viral, showing a security guard demanding that reporters leave the crowded Pudu UTC passport centre. While such aggression is uncalled for, it shows the amount of pressure and tension surrounding this issue.

Every day, hundreds of people queue up at passport centres for hours, posing a real risk as social distancing is completely impossible. Most will be turned away.

If you are renewing a child’s passport or applying for a new one, the unwritten rule is that they will allow one parent to renew his/her passport as well. But this is not a guarantee. It is at the officer’s discretion, and subject to the number of walk-in slots they have left.

Even if you qualify for on-the-spot passport renewal, you should be aware that every passport office will give out a limited number of slots per day. Once those slots are filled, everyone else will be asked to go home.

So make sure you go early in the morning. Preferably you should arrive 30-60 minutes before the passport office opens. Some told me that they queued up as early as 6:30 AM in the morning!

Preferably you should try to go on weekdays, as parents with school-going children have no choice but to go on weekends.

I would also recommend you go to smaller passport offices, especially in UTCs or those located in covered buildings. Imagine if you have to wait in the hot sun for hours!

 

How I Managed To Walk In To Renew My Passport!

Now, let me share with you my recent experience of walking into the Sentul Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) passport office to renew my passport.

We had earlier planned to renew our passports at the Sentul UTC, where there was no need to queue (pre-pandemic), so I was able to go in and come out with a brand new passport within an hour!

We went to the Sentul UTC early on a Saturday morning – arriving 40 minutes before they opened at 8 AM. By then, there was already a long queue of at least 50 people in front of us!

Some eventually left after reading the notice on the door, which stated that only certain groups would be allowed to walk-in to renew passports.

Expect to spend several hours, so please bring some water and food to eat and drink while you wait. Please note that you are not allowed to eat inside the passport office.

The Immigration office opened at 8 AM sharp, and people started filing in. Within minutes, we could see some people leaving, looking dejected.

As we got closer to the counter, we could see the Immigration officer rejecting some applicants, and giving others their queue numbers. It was a very stressful experience for everyone queuing up because no one knows if they would be rejected or allowed to proceed.

By the time we got to the counter, it was already 8:45 AM. The officer asked us why we were not renewing our passports online. Fortunately, my passport was water damaged, and our son was less than 13 years old.

My wife though did not have a valid reason, but it appears that they will allow one parent accompanying a child to renew his/her passport too, so she was allowed to renew hers as well.

Again, I need to stress – this is at the officer’s discretion, and subject to the number of available slots. So it pays to be polite and early.

The Immigration officer then checked our documents. If you don’t have the required documents, you will also be rejected. So please make sure you have these documents ready :

  • Original passport
  • Original MyKad. A photocopy is required if you are applying for a new passport.
  • Original birth certificate for children who are less than 18 years old
    Please note that they will not accept MyKid
    A photocopy is also required, if your child are applying for a new passport
  • Those performing the Haj must bring the Tabung Haji offer letter.
  • Special needs individuals must bring their Social Welfare Department registration card.
  • Students who are less than 21 years old must bring their overseas university / college offer letter or a similar document

As we waited for our numbers to be called, we watched many people get rejected at the counter. There were easily 300 people queuing up at this small passport office that morning – most were asked to renew their passports online.

At about 9:15 AM – just half an hour after we got our queue numbers – they announced that all of the walk-in slots had been taken up, and asked everyone still queuing up to go home.

For those who were lucky enough to get a queue ticket, the rest of the process was pretty similar to what it was pre-pandemic :

  1. When your number is called, you head to the allocated counter to submit your documents.
  2. The officer will verify your identity using your MyKad and a fingerprint scanner.
  3. The officer will then take your passport photo on the spot.
    This is FREE of charge, which is awesome! Just sure you wear dark clothes.
  4. You will be asked to check your details on the application form, sign it and authenticate it with your fingerprint.
  5. Your application will then be vetted by an officer at the back, against the Immigration Department’s blacklist.
    So please check your Immigration Control Status before you apply for your passport renewal!
  6. Once your passport renewal application has been approved, you will be asked to make payment :
    – Individuals 13-59 years old : RM 200
    – Senior citizen (60 years and above) : RM 100
    – Individuals performing the Haj : RM 100
    – Special needs individuals : Free
    Please note that they will only accept payment by credit card or debit card. Cash is NOT accepted.
  7. After payment, you should receive your passport within one hour.

All in – it took us about 4.5 hours to renew our passports at the Sentul UTC passport office. This is fast, considering the crowd we saw.

An officer I spoke to said that their small passport office was processing about 400 passports a day, while the larger passport offices were doing at least 1,000 passports a day.

About a hundred that day were reserved for walk-ins, while the rest were for online applications – they still have to drop in to submit their old passports and verify their identities before collecting their new passports.

I hope my experience helps give you an idea of the current passport renewal process, if you are allowed to renew on-the-spot at a passport office.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Malaysia : Daily Tests No Longer Required For These Visitors!

The government of Malaysia just announced that selected visitors will NO LONGER need to get tested daily after arriving in Malaysia!

Here is what you need to know!

 

Malaysia : Daily Tests No Longer Required For These Visitors!

On 2 March 2022, the government of Malaysia announced that selected visitors will NO LONGER need to get tested daily after arriving in Malaysia!

From 3 March 2022 onwards, travellers entering Malaysia through these programmes no longer need to undergo daily COVID-19 tests.

Travellers using the VTL, LITB and OSC programmes also do not need to undergo mandatory quarantine on arrival in Malaysia.

OSC travellers also no longer require a chaperone.

However, please note that travellers from the United Kingdom must still undergo mandatory quarantine, even though they no longer need to undergo daily COVID-19 tests.

 

Important Links For Visitors To Malaysia

Here are some important links for foreign visitors, and Malaysian citizens, who intend to travel to Malaysia:

Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) : https://mysafetravel.gov.my

One Stop Centre (OSC) : https://safetravel.mida.gov.my

MyTravelPass (MTP) : https://mtp.imi.gov.my/

MyTravelPass Enquiries : http://eapp.imi.gov.my/spo *
* Note :
This page lacks SSL encryption, so your web browser may warn you about this.

Check MyTravelPass Application Status : https://mtp.imi.gov.my/myTravelPass/semakan

Check Immigration Travel Status : https://sspi.imi.gov.my/SSPI/

MyOnline Passport : https://eservices.imi.gov.my/myimms/myPassport *
* Note :
This Immigration Malaysia website is using an outdated security configuration, so your web browser may warn you about this.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Singapore-Malaysia VTL Land (Causeway) Travel Guide!

There is now a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) for land travel between Singapore and Malaysia at the Johor Causeway!

Here is what you need to know about the Singapore to Malaysia Vaccinated Travel Lane by land!

 

Singapore-Malaysia VTL By Land Kicked Off!

After almost 2 years of border closures, Singapore and Malaysia agreed to launch a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) on 8 November 2021.

At first, this was only by air – between Changi Airport and KLIA, but that was expanded to include the Johor Causeway as well!

From 29 November 2021 onwards, fully-vaccinated individuals will be allowed to travel between Changi Airport and KLIA, and across the Johor Causeway.

Travellers using these Vaccinated Travel Lanes will NOT be required to serve any quarantine or Stay-Home-Notice. They will only be required to take COVID-19 tests!

However, I should point out that this VTL scheme is NOT cheap, as you will need to undergo several COVID-19 tests.

Read more : Latest Singapore-Malaysia VTL Air Travel Guide!

 

VTL Land Travel Guide : Singapore To Malaysia

On 29 November 2021, the Immigration Department of Malaysia released details of the Vaccinated Travel Lane rules for people travelling from Singapore to Malaysia by land.

We have summarised the key details below, but please make sure you check with the Immigration Department in case they make last minute changes. Please also read their FAQ.

Who Qualifies?

  • Malaysia and Singapore citizens
  • Malaysia and Singapore Permanent Residents
  • Malaysia and Singapore Long-Term Pass holders
  • Travellers must remain in either one country for at least 14 consecutive days before departure.
  • Travellers must be fully-vaccinated with the full regimen of COVID-19 vaccine recognised by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (KKM), at least two weeks before arrival in Malaysia.
  • Unvaccinated children below 12 years old MUST be accompanied by vaccinated adults.
  • Travellers must have a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate with QR Code
    – via MySejahtera if vaccinated in Malaysia
    – via Notarise portal, HealthHub, TraceTogether if vaccinated in Singapore

Pre-Departure

  • Travellers must register at www.mysafetravel.gov.my.
  • Travellers must use only VTL-Land designated buses that will operate from 9:30 AM until 7:30 PM.
  • VTL-Land bus tickets can be purchased via :
    Causeway Link
    Transtar
  • Travellers must take a professionally-administered antigen rapid test (ART/RTK) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test 2 days (48 hours) prior to departure date.
  • Travellers must print their COVID-19 vaccination certificate with QR Code
    – via MySejahtera if vaccinated in Malaysia
    – via Notarise portal, HealthHub, TraceTogether if vaccinated in Singapore
  • Travellers must download and register the MySejahtera app

Departure

  • Travellers must check-in for their bus rides at least 1-2 hours ahead of departure time.
  • These are the official boarding and disembarkation points :
    – Queen Street Terminal (Singapore)
    – Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange (Singapore)
    – Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal (Johor)
  • Travellers will need to present these documents at check-in :
    a) Passport
    b) Proof of VTL-Land Registration

    c) Valid vaccination certificate
    d) Negative RTK / ART / RT-PCR test results
    e) Bus Ticket
    f) Singaporeans : submit electronic Health Declaration Card (eHDC), and upload your vaccination certificate QR code if you were vaccinated overseas.
  • Up to 45 people can travel in a VTL-Land designated bus.
  • Passengers must wear a face mask throughout the entire journey, and must maintain physical distance.
  • Every VTL-Land designated bus must be sanitised prior to departure, and after arrival.

On Arrival

  • Take the on-arrival COVID-19 test at the Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal.
  • Present all documentation at the Malaysian immigration for clearance.
  • Check your status on the MySejahtera app.
  • From 7 December 2021 onwards :
    a) RTK-Ag tests (self-administered) on Day 2, 4 and 6 after arrival.
    b) RTK-Ag tests (professionally-administered) on Day 3 and 5 after arrival.

Stay In Malaysia

  • Travellers must adhere to the current public health measures
  • Travellers must activate MySejahtera app at all times.

 

VTL Land Travel Guide : Malaysia To Singapore

The Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) released details of the Vaccinated Travel Lane rules for land travel to Malaysia. This is NOT the same as the rules for air travel.

We have summarised the key details below, but please make sure you check with the ICA in case they make last minute changes.

Who Qualifies?

  • Singapore citizens
  • Singapore Permanent Residents
  • Singapore Long-Term Pass holders
  • Travellers must be fully-vaccinated with a WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) vaccine, at least two weeks before arrival in Malaysia.
  • Unvaccinated travellers who are 12 years and below in the calendar year can travel to Singapore via the VTL if accompanied by a fully-vaccinated VTL traveller.
  • Travellers must have a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate with QR Code
    – via MySejahtera if vaccinated in Malaysia
    – via Notarise portal, HealthHub, TraceTogether if vaccinated in Singapore
  • Travellers must remain in either one country or any other VTL country recognised by Singapore for at least 14 consecutive days before departure.

Pre-Departure

  • Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents do NOT need to apply for a VTP-Land pass.
  • Singapore Long-Term Pass Holders MUST apply for a VTP-Land pass, but accompanying children aged 12 and below do NOT need to apply.
    – the VTP-Land pass is valid for up to 14 calendar days from your chosen date of entry. If you do not plan to travel during this period, you can apply for a VTP later.
  • Travellers must use only VTL-Land designated buses that will operate from 7:30 AM until 6:45 PM.
  • VTL-Land bus tickets can be purchased via :
    Causeway Link
    Transtar
  • Travellers must take a professionally-administered antigen rapid test (ART/RTK) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test 2 days (48 hours) prior to departure date.
  • Travellers must prepare their COVID-19 vaccination certificate with QR Code
    – via MySejahtera if vaccinated in Malaysia
    – via Notarise portal, HealthHub, TraceTogether if vaccinated in Singapore
  • Travellers must ensure that they have sufficient insurance coverage for COVID-19 medical treatment and hospitalisation costs (minimum coverage of SGD30,000)
  • Travellers must download and register the Trace Together app.
  • Travellers should complete the SG Arrival Card up to 72 hours before arrival to avoid delays.

Departure

  • Travellers must check-in for their bus rides at least 1-2 hours ahead of departure time.
  • These are the official boarding and disembarkation points :
    – Queen Street Terminal (Singapore)
    – Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange (Singapore)
    – Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal (Johor)
  • Travellers will need to present these documents at check-in :
    a) Passport
    b) Valid vaccination certificate
    c) Negative RTK / ART / RT-PCR test results
    d) Bus Ticket
    e) Travel / Medical Insurance (recommended)
    f) Long-Term Pass Holders only : Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP)
    f) Malaysians : submit SG Arrival Card (SGAC) under Foreign Visitors.
  • Up to 45 people can travel in a VTL-Land designated bus.
  • Passengers must wear a face mask throughout the entire journey, and must maintain physical distance.
  • Every VTL-Land designated bus must be sanitised prior to departure, and after arrival.

On Arrival

  • Take the on-arrival COVID-19 test (according to ICA – see Section 3)
  • Present all documentation at the Singapore immigration for clearance.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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MyTravelPass : Who Needs To Apply + Who Don’t?

The Malaysian government just clarified who needs to apply for MyTravelPass, and who can travel without applying for it!

Here is what you need to know!

Updated @ 2021-10-12 : Added details of abolishment and new travel requirements.

Originally posted @ 2021-09-16

 

MyTravelPass : What Is It?

Launched in October 2020, MyTravelPass is an online system that lets Malaysians and foreigners apply for entry or exit permits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is meant to replace email applications, and reduce the application time to a maximum of five days.

Even so, travellers must apply for MyTravelPass at least 14 days before the expected date of travel.

Read more : Latest Foreign Travel Rules For Malaysian Citizens!

MyTravelPass (MTP) : https://mtp.imi.gov.my/

MyTravelPass Enquiries : http://eapp.imi.gov.my/spo *
* Note :
This page lacks SSL encryption, so your web browser may warn you about this.

Check MyTravelPass Application Status : https://mtp.imi.gov.my/myTravelPass/semakan

Check Immigration Travel Status : https://sspi.imi.gov.my/SSPI/

MyOnline Passport : https://eservices.imi.gov.my/myimms/myPassport *
* Note :
This Immigration Malaysia website is using an outdated security configuration, so your web browser may warn you about this.

 

MyTravelPass : Over 127K Applications Rejected!

On 23 June 2021, the Malaysian government posted a summary of the latest travel rules, including who needs to apply for MyTravelPass and who don’t.

However, from 7 October until 10 September 2021, the Immigration Department had to reject 127,465 (35.8%) out of 356,510 applications received, mainly due to four reasons :

  • Name is in the Immigration Department’s blacklist
  • Incomplete documentation
  • Uploaded documents are unreadable
  • Forged documents

 

MyTravelPass Abolished From 11 October Onwards!

MyTravelPass has been abolished. From 11 October 2021 onwards, there is no need to register for MyTravelPass in order to travel overseas from Malaysia.

However, only FULLY-VACCINATED individuals (and children who are 17 years or younger) can travel overseas for work, business, education or even holidays.

In addition, travellers returning to Malaysia must also :

  • undergo a swab test three (3) days before returning to Malaysia,
  • undergo a swab test on returning to Malaysia, and
  • undergo a MANDATORY QUARANTINE of 14 days.

Read more : New Interstate + International Travel Requirements In Malaysia!

 

MyTravelPass : Who Needs To Apply + Who Don’t?

Note : In light of international travel liberalisation, these requirements are no longer valid.

The Malaysian government noted that some airlines have insisted that all passengers must show their MyTravelPass, even though certain categories are exempted from such a requirement.

The Minister of Transportation, Wee Ka Siong, will remind those airlines to follow the Immigration Department’s guidelines on who needs to apply for MyTravelPass, and who don’t.

Must Apply For MyTravelPass

  1. Malaysian citizens who just received a job offer, or offer to study overseas.
  2. Students who wish to sit for examinations overseas.
  3. Those who wish to attend meetings / seminars / conduct business overseas.
  4. Those who wish to participate in exhibitions / sporting competitions / training oversees with supporting letter from the Agency in charge.
  5. Matters of emergency involving immediate family members, like death, accident or sickness.
  6. Holders of spouse / fiancé (marriage that is not officially registered) visa
  7. Those joining humanitarian assistance or religious missions with approval letter from the JPM Joint Committee, together with other supporting documents

Do NOT Need To Apply For MyTravelPass

  1. Diplomats and Malaysian embassy officers who are going on duty overseas, or returning from duty, with their dependents.
  2. Students and dependents who are continuing their education, with the condition that they already have a valid student visa or dependent’s visa.
  3. Holders of Long Term Passes (Permanent Resident / Resident’s Pass / Work Pass and so on).
  4. Those working with petroleum companies, or shipping companies who need to sign-onto ships overseas.
  5. Those escorting students travelling overseas for their studies, limited to two (2) escorts only. These escorts must travel out of Malaysia with the student at the same time.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Malaysian Vaccination Certificate Rejected By Hong Kong?

Is the vaccination certificate of Malaysian travellers being rejected by Hong Kong authorities?

Take a look at the new viral warning, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Malaysian Vaccination Certificate Rejected By Hong Kong?

On 22 July 2021, this warning about the Malaysian vaccination certificate being rejected by Hong Kong authorities went viral.

Wah, our digital Vac certificate is not recognised by HK!! I thought there should be global reciprocity!

[22/7, 7:30 pm] HS: News travels fast.
Hong Kong health ministry has declared the following this morning:

1) Malaysia is now classified as one of the highest risk countries for COVID-19 infection

2) All returning Hong Kong residents from Malaysia will need to undergo a 21 days compulsory quarantine at a designated hotel and to undergo 4 specific COVID-19 test, upon arrival, on the 5th day, 10th day and 18th day

3) Vaccination certificates issued by the Malaysian authorities will not be recognised or accepted and a new COVID-19 vaccination has to be administered locally

What a shame to Malaysian!!
[22/7, 7:30 pm] HS: Our digital certificate not laku!!!

 

Fact : Malaysian Vaccination Certificate NOT Rejected By Hong Kong

This is yet another piece of FAKE NEWS being created every day and shared on WhatsApp. Here are the FACTS…

Fact #1 : Hong Kong Does Not Have A Health Ministry

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region in the People’s Republic of China.

It does not have a Health Ministry, only a Department of Health, which reports to the Hong Kong Food and Health Bureau.

Fact #2 : Hong Kong Did Not Declare Malaysia As Highest Risk Country

The Hong Kong government did not classify Malaysia as “one of the highest risk countries for COVID-19”.

The HK Department of Health issued two press releases on 22 July 2021, both not related to Malaysia. Neither were there any press statements about Malaysia in the last month or so.

The HK Immigration Department has not issued any press releases since 19 July 2021, certainly nothing about Malaysia in the last month or so.

Fact #3 : Malaysia Still Classified As Group B Country

As of 22 July 2021, Malaysia is still classified as a Group B country by the Hong Kong government, which is the third rung of their risk ladder :

  • Group A1 (Extremely High Risk) : Brazil, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, The Philippines, South Africa and The United Kingdom.
  • Group A2 (Very High Risk) : Ireland, Russia
  • Group B (High Risk) : Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Romania, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, and Vietnam
  • Group C (Medium Risk) : All other countries, except China and those not in Groups A1, A2, B and D.
  • Group D (Low Risk) : Australia and New Zealand

Fact #4 : Non Residents Are Barred From Entering Hong Kong

As of 22 July 2021, the Hong Kong government bars non-residents from entering Hong Kong if they have stayed in these countries in the last 14 days :

  • Taiwan
  • Any country in Groups A1, A2, B and C

That practically means that non-Hong Kong residents must first stay in a Group D country – either Australia or New Zealand – for at least 14 days before they are allowed to enter Hong Kong!.

Fact #5 : Hong Kong Recognises Many COVID-19 Vaccines

As of 29 June 2021, the Hong Kong government recognises thirteen COVID-19 vaccines, including the three vaccines being used in Malaysia – Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sinovac.

Fact #6 : Everyone Entering Hong Kong Must Quarantine

Whether you are vaccinated or not, all travellers – whether Hong Kong residents or foreigners – must quarantine after entering Hong Kong.

As mentioned above, only non-Hong Kong residents travelling from Group D countries (currently Australia and New Zealand) are allowed to enter Hong Kong.

  • If fully vaccinated with recognised vaccines :
    – 7-day compulsory quarantine in a designated quarantine hotel
    – 2 tests during quarantine
    – 3rd test on 12th day
  • If not fully vaccinated / vaccinated with unrecognised vaccines :
    – 14-day compulsory quarantine in a designated quarantine hotel
    – 3 tests during quarantine
    – additional tests on 16th and 19th days

Fact #7 : Everyone Entering Hong Kong Must Undergo A COVID-19 Test

Irrespective of whether you have been tested before flying to Hong Kong, all travellers to Hong Kong are required (as of 22 July 2021) to undergo a COVID-19 test on arrival.

Testing is conducted at the HK Department of Health’s Temporary Specimen Collection Centre, and travellers have to wait for their test results.

Only after a negative test result are they permitted to travel to their quarantine hotel.

Those who test positive will be transferred to a hospital for isolation and treatment.

 

Please Support My Work!

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Thank you in advanced! ❤️

 

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Must Foreigners In Malaysia Carry Passport At All Times?

Must foreigners in Malaysia carry their passport at all times, because there is a massive operation to weed out illegal foreigners?

Find out what’s the latest viral message, and what the facts really are!

 

Must Foreigners In Malaysia Carry Passport At All Times?

A viral message has gone out, purporting to be a warning from Malaysia Immigration Director-General Dato’ Indera Khairul Dzaimee Bin Daud, with his picture attached :

All FOREIGNERS residing in Malaysia from now on should carry their PASSPORT with them at all times.

We are on [a] massive OPERATION to weed out all illegal foreigners and to enable us [to] roll out vaccination for our citizens.

FOREIGN Embassies should take note.

 

Foreigners In Malaysia Must Carry Passport At All Times

Fact #1 : The Viral Message Is Fake, But…

First of all, we should point out that the Malaysia Immigration Department has officially denounced the viral message as FAKE.

That said, we believe that they are referring to the claim of a “massive OPERATION to weed out all illegal immigrants” or that it was “to enable us [to] roll out vaccination for our citizens.

Before we get to the law, let’s take a look at their statement, with our English translation :

PENAFIAN : BERITA PALSU

Orang ramai dinasihatkan supaya tidak terperdaya dengan BERITA PALSU menggunakan gambar Ketua Pengarah Imigresen.

Segera laporkan kepada Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia jika terdapat sebarang berita yang meragukan supaya tindakan sewajarnya dapat diambil.

DENIAL : FAKE NEWS

The public is advised not to be fooled by the FAKE NEWS using the picture of the Director General of Immigration.

Immediately report to the Malaysian Immigration Department if there is any suspicious news so that appropriate action can be taken.

Fact #2 : Foreigners Must Have Passport / Travel Document At All Times

Even though the message above is FALSE, foreigners should carry their passport or travel document with them at all times during their stay in Malaysia.

According to Section 6(3) of the Immigration Act 1959/63, all foreigners must be able to produce a genuine passport / travel document / entry permit with a valid endorsement / pass upon request.

Failure to produce a valid passport or travel document, with a valid pass, could result in these penalties

  • a compound of RM3,000, or
  • a fine of up to RM10,000 and/or up to 5 years imprisonment

In their advisory to foreigners, the Malaysian Immigration Department states :

As such foreign visitors are reminded :-

  1. To take precaution on the safety of their passport / travel document and must carry with them during their stay in Malaysia.
  2. Must ascertain that they produced their passport / travel document to an Immigration officer at the point of entry and has been issued with the relevant pass.
  3. To report immediately to the Immigration Department for the lost of their passport / travel document.

So it really doesn’t matter if there is a massive operation to weed out illegal immigrants or not. All foreigners should carry their passport / travel document with them at all times.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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