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Date:14/06/11

Malaysia to implement biometric system at all entry points

Malaysia is expected to implement biometric system at all 93 immigration entry points by the end of this month to prevent cross-border crime involving foreign nationals. The National Foreigners Enforcement and Registration System (NERS) was introduced Wednesday without any major hiccups allowing immigration officers to collect biometric data of foreigners entering the country. Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusof said the process went on smoothly and the immigrations department has not received any complaints so far.
“However, the system is new and there are bound to be minor glitches,” he said adding that the thumbprinting process would be improved to avoid inconveniencing visitors.
“Our officers have to take the thumbprints but ensure privacy and that there is no discrimination during the process,” he said. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pictured) explained that foreigners will have their thumbprints taken and processed within 20 seconds upon arrival at the immigration check-point.
“The system will monitor them and a warning slip will be issued should they overstay, so necessary action can be taken,” said Yassin. “It is capable of tackling various immigration issues, including falsification of documents, overstaying, and misuse of visas, passes and permits.”
The NERS will be linked to the police’s existing Biometric Fingerprint Identification System to grant law enforcers access to the movements of foreigners with criminal records.
Immigration Director-General Datuk Alias Ahmad said the fingerprint database was far more efficient in crime prevention as it would alert the checkpoint staff if a foreigner had entered the country before using a different document or identity.
The Deputy Prime Minister also pointed out that such biometric systems have proven effective in countries like Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong.



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