Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also Home Minister, said that enhanced security features, which include an embedded chip in the biodata page, will prevent Malaysian passports from being forged. (pix by MUHD ZAABA ZAKERIA)
PETALING JAYA: The government is confident that the new version of Malaysian passports, which are equipped with enhanced safety features, will signal an end to the problem of forged travel documents.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also Home Minister, said that enhanced security features, which include an embedded chip in the biodata page, will prevent Malaysian passports from being forged.
"There will be no more issues of passport fraud as we have enhanced the security features including having the biodata page made of polycarbonate together. It also comes with a bar code which cannot be forged even with the latest technology.
“Our target is to completely put an end to passport fraud issues, 100 per cent,” he said.
Zahid was speaking to reporters during his visit to Datasonic Group Bhd’s latest factory, where the next generation of Malaysia’s electronic international passport are produced.
He noted that the design of the new passports include the country’s Rukunegara principles through various images.
The images are that of the Putra Mosque (to represent the principle of belief in God), Istana Negara (loyalty to the King and country), Parliament building (the supremacy of the Constitution), Palace of Justice (the rule of law) and the National Museum (courtesy and morality).
“The most important thing is that the new version of the country’s passport complies with the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Document 9303.”
Zahid said Datasonic’s huge investment in the latest technology to manufacture the next generation of the country’s passports have contributed to the improvement of services provided by the Immigration Department.
“Passport renewals (via online) only take about 15 minutes, once payment is made.
“New passport applications, meanwhile, will only take about an hour after payment is made.
“This is the best achievement yet recorded by the Immigration Department,” he said.
He said the Datasonic factory has the capacity to produce five million passports a year.
Datasonic Group chairman General Tan Sri Dr Mohamed Hashim said that they have manufactured nearly 650,000 pieces of the next generation of Malaysia’s passport since it was officially rolled out on Nov 15.
Apart from an embedded chip in the polycarbonate biodata page, other examples of the new security features are three coloured security threads stitched with a back-sewn lock, as well as the use of ultraviolet light to verify the authenticity of the passport.