18 December 2014
In anticipation of assuming the Asean chairmanship next year, the Immigration Department has launched a special lane called the "Asean lane".
The lane will save visitors from Asean countries, both tourists and business people alike, the hassle of long queues at immigration counters.
Immigration Department director-general Datuk Mustafa Ibrahim told reporters at the soft launch of the lane today that this was one of the many initiatives taken to welcome citizens from Asean countries to Malaysia.
"We want to give them a warm welcome from the very start. Some 20% of people entering the country this year are from Asean countries and we expect a lot more next year," he said.
As of now, there are five express Asean lanes in KLIA, two at the International Departure Terminal and three at the International Arrival Terminal whereas klia2 has four such lanes, two at each terminal.
"We will be introducing Asean lanes at all main airports and entry points throughout the country by next February," he said.
Such an initiative has already been undertaken by countries such as Singapore, Thailand and Brunei Darussalam.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had called for a "people-centred Asean" vision that would see more direct involvement of all sectors of society in Asean's activities.
In addition, from Dec 29, foreigners with long-term passes will be able to utilise the "Foreigner eGate" system when entering and leaving the country.
"This system will allow foreigners with long-term passes such as expatriates and students to pass through Immigration more efficiently instead of relying on manual check-ins at the counters," Mustafa said.
He added that the new system does not compromise on the safety of the country.
"Passport scanning and biometrics checks will still be made. Only registered users will be able to use this system," he said, adding that this system would help manage the crowds at the counters specially during peak hours.
Original Source: www.thesundaily.my