27 February 2023
The Autogate system facilities at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) which previously was limited to Malaysians, will now be open to foreigners from the low-risk and G7 countries, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the move was to address congestion precipitated by the long waiting queue for travellers at the immigration clearance point.
He said his ministry acknowledged the long wait for immigration clearance, which was deemed a long-standing issue although it had been raised by many.
“The Immigration Department is extremely concerned over the long queues at our entry points, especially at KLIA.
“This, as our entry points is the first impression of our country to the foreigners. Therefore, we are trying to address this.
“First, this evening I’ll announce the opening of autogate system facilities at KLIA for foreigners, especially from low-risk countries such as Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand and G7 countries.
“Before this, the autogate facilities were only for Malaysians to exit and enter the country.
“Therefore, we hope to be able to ease the congestion, especially during the peak arrival period.
“We are still scrutinising other measures, which we will be announced soon,” he said.
Saifuddin was replying to a supplementary question by Datuk Mumtaz Md Nawi (PN-Tumpat) who asked about the ministry’s efforts to address the long queues at KLIA.
The minister explained that the peak arrival period at KLIA is between 3 pm and 11 pm.
In November last year, the autogate facility was extended to Long Term Pass Holders, who were given the option to use the facility to exit and enter the country.
Meanwhile, to the original question from Datuk Seri Sh Mohmed Puzi Sh Ali (BN-Pekan) who wanted to know what solutions would be taken to overcome the serious case of congestion involving passport matters at the Immigration Department and also the move to reinstate ‘walk-in’ passport application process, Saifuddin said the department has taken several measures.
These include increasing the number of working days (on Saturdays and Sundays), especially at passport issuing offices which are experiencing significant congestion.
He said 20 passport offices are facing high congestion namely nine in the Federal Territory and Selangor, Johor (five), Perak (three) and one each in Melaka, Penang and Kedah.
The minister said RM10 million has also been allocated for overtime payment.
“Until today, we had issued nearly 2.5 million passports and from this number, 45 per cent represent online applications.
“However, online passport applications will take a few days to complete, while ‘walk-in’ applications will be completed within a day,” he said.
He said after the threat of Covid-19 infection eased, passport applications soared so much that caused congestion at passport issuing offices, especially in the Klang Valley.
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