Friday December 3, 2004

Govt Abolishes Restricted Passport
For Travel To Singapore

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 2 (Bernama) -- The government will no longer issue the restricted passport for travel to Singapore after Dec 31, Home Affairs Minister Datuk Azmi Khalid announced Thursday.
Current holders of the passport can use the document for two more years only, he told a press conference here.
The abolition was necessitated by cases of forgery and the government acted in the interest of national security, he said.
Azmi said Malaysian citizens who work in Singapore or want to visit the republic had to apply for the Malaysian international passport.
He said the government found that the security features in the restricted passport were no longer applicable in view of the rapid progress of information technology.
"The cases of falsifying the passport by foreign nationals by switching the photograph have also increased," he said, adding that in the last three years there had been 124 cases of photograph-switching involving 123 Indian nationals and one Chinese national.
Azmi said that since the introduction of the restricted passport to facilitate travel between Malaysia and Singapore, 9.9 million documents had been issued. This year, up to October, 118,460 passports were issued.
Earlier, when launching the Immigration Day event, Azmi advised staff of the Immigration Department to put up a spirited work performance to ensure satisfactory service to the people.
He said the staff were encouraged to discharge service in excess of the obligatory requirement to ensure satisfaction.

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