As mentioned in my previous post, through trains are the in thing today. Now, it’s gone international as well. According to the Malaysia Immigration, there is no necessity for travellers going through the Woodlands or Tuas check point to fill in the familiar white immigration card – effectively increasing the speed of processing the passport. However, this is a trial and it’s been kicked in quietly, to the extent that many Singaporeans are taken aback when they learnt of it.

This is understandable because Singaporeans have had their fair share of fright of not having their passports stamped and being charged and jailed in Malaysia for these immigration offences. While this is no joking matter, I found it a little funny at the follow part of the report that went:

Ms Hung, who left for Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, said: ‘Sunday was the first time I was told that the Customs do not need the white immigration cards anymore. I came prepared with it but the Customs officer just said ‘no need’ and pointed to a Malay notice which I could not understand.’

Hmm… I am not sure about this, but why would the sign be in Malay? How about people from other countries who enter Malaysia through Singapore? Hmm… anyway, to give them the benefit of the doubt, I presume that there are signs on other languages elsewhere =P

For me, I’d still fill up my immigration cards =)

SINGAPOREANS no longer have to fill in the immigration card when entering Malaysia from Johor – but regular travellers are keeping the white arrival card handy, just in case.

They will have their passports stamped by Malaysian immigration authorities at the Causeway checkpoint and the Second Link bridge at Tanjong Kupang.

That is good enough as proof of entry, said an immigration spokesman at the Malaysian High Commission on Tuesday.

The new move stems from trials of a new visitor screening system which kicked in quietly last Saturday.

The new procedure does away with tens of thousands of the cards Malaysian immigration officials process daily.

Each card measures 8cms by 13cms when folded.

During the trial, passports of foreigners will be scanned electronically to retrieve information such as the passport holder’s name, identity, and passport validity.

‘Our system will key in their particulars based on the information in their passports,’ the spokesman said.

He added that the trial may be extended to other points of entry, for example, Kuala Lumpur International Airport later.

The surpise move at Johor caught some travellers off guard over the weekend. The no-notice trial saw some travellers confused over what they should do with their immigration cards.

Ms Hung Meiling, 23, a marketing communications executive, was one of them.

Ms Hung, who left for Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, said: ‘Sunday was the first time I was told that the Customs do not need the white immigration cards anymore. I came prepared with it but the Customs officer just said ‘no need’ and pointed to a Malay notice which I could not understand.’

‘I think this will make things more convenient. It does away with the hassle of filling in the cards beforehand and panicking when I realise that I don’t have the card. It’s also a pain to have to keep extra cards just in case.’

Some 250,000 people enter Malaysia via the Causeway daily, while some 30,000 people use the Second Link.

About half of these are non-Malaysians who have to fill in the two-sided immigration cards until the latest change.

These capture information such as the person’s passport details, address in Malaysia plus a currency and health quarantine declatration.

Another frequent visitor, Mr Sebastian Lim, 35, who was in Johor last weekend, welcomed the move as he no longer have to keep a stash of immigration cards.

Mr Lim visits his in-laws in Johor weekly and to shop for groceries.

He keeps four such cards in his car and has another 20 stashed at home.

While Mr Lim knows the cards are not needed, he is holding on to his for the time being.

He said:’I’m keeping the cards to play it safe. I don’t want to be caught in a tricky situation if these cards are needed again.’

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 22nd January 2008



Reader's Comments

  1. Vandalin | January 23rd, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    JB for food and petrol anyone?

  2. Simply Jean | January 28th, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    @Vandalin: when? =P

  3. Simply Jean » Blog Archive » Immigration forms: Malaysia can’t make up its mind | July 23rd, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    […] time back, I wrote about Malaysia adopting the through-train process in immigration; which apparently is a trial that just ended. Malaysia, after realising that many people are going […]

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