Sunday, October 30, 2011

Singaporeans Only

Johor moots quicker immigration checks for Singaporeans
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal October 29, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — The Johor Immigration Department is now providing mobile counters to allow Singaporeans to register for a biometric system which will get them through immigration checkpoints quicker, the Singapore Straits Times said yesterday.
Introduced in 2009 to attract investors to the Johor Iskandar region, the Malaysia Automated Clearance System (Macs) was extended to all Singaporeans and permanent residents earlier this year.

A statue of the Merlion, a symbol of Singapore, is seen illuminated in front of the city-state’s financial district at dusk in Singapore. The Immigration Department is making it easier for Singaporeans to enter Malaysia. — Reuters pic
For RM30 (S$12), applicants for the biometric system will get a special sticker with a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip attached to their passport, valid for a year, which allows them to use dedicated lanes at immigration checkpoints and bypass filling out immigration forms. Registration would take only five minutes, state director Nasri Ishak was quoted as saying in the report.
The mobile counters, open between 10am and 10pm, are located in the City Square Johor Baru shopping complex, Giant Hypermarket in Tampoi, Jaya Jusco in Tebrau and Holiday Plaza and will be open till November 15.
Last year, tourists from Singapore made up more than half the 24.6 million visitors to Malaysia. Visitors from Singapore made some 13 million trips, an increase of 2.4 per cent from 2009.
The Johor Immigration Department made headlines on June 14 when two Singaporean women, who had intended to drive to Johor Baru for supper, were questioned by immigration officials, handcuffed, thrown behind bars and made to do squats while naked.
The two women claimed they drove through uninspected because the immigration lane was unmanned, and that no one answered the intercom.
Following their punishment, they were allowed to return to Singapore after 48 hours with a warning.
Both women have reportedly vowed never to return to Malaysia after the incident, which drew criticism from Malaysian opposition MPs who called the act “humiliating and ridiculous.”
The Singapore government has that it has not ended the probe into allegations that the two women were forced to perform nude squats by Malaysian immigration officers.
Singapore said it was told on September 9 by the Malaysian High Commission “that a thorough investigation of the case had been completed.

Source: The Malaysian Insider