Some 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 in without getting their passports stamped, decided to get the cards back into the menu. For some countries, some of the important information may include address, health status and amount of money brought in. However, for the man-on-the-street like me, what’s important is that I have proof that I did pass through the proper customs since there’s usually (not always) a customs stamp on the card itself.

I just hope when the new rules kick in, the custom officers will be sufficiently notified and not just throw my white immigration form into the dustbin. You know lah… it’s just one of those things that can happen. =)

Embarkation cards for foreigners from Aug 15 a security measure

KOTA TINGGI – ALL foreigners, including Singaporeans, will have to fill in immigration embarkation cards when they enter Malaysia from Aug 15.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said the move, which will apply at all entry points nationwide, is to enhance security in the country.

‘The police felt that there was a gap in their information and record keeping and that it was good to have the form,’ he told reporters here on Sunday.

Since Jan 20, all foreigners have been exempted from the need to fill up such cards.

Mr Syed Hamid said the exemption was merely a test period to see whether the country could do without it.

‘People come in and while we punch the data in, quite a number of people just walk through without any records of them coming into or leaving the country,’ he said.

Johor Immigration Department deputy director Johari Yusof said Singaporeans would also be required to fill in embarkation cards when they cross the the Causeway and the Second Link.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Tourist Guide Council president Jimmy Leong said the new ruling showed inconsistency of policies.

‘The Government should carry out research before implementing anything,’ he said, pointing out that the new ruling would definitely slow down the traffic at the Causeway as well as the Second Link. — The Star/ANN

Source: Straits Times Interactive,

Article extracted on 21st July 2008

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