Malaysia Issues New Identity Card For Foreigners

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia- The Immigration Department will introduce a new identity card with 17 security features for foreigners next year.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said Friday the new identity card, to be issued free, would replace the existing cards for foreign workers, maids, students, trade officers, Malaysia My Second Home owners and workers of outsourcing companies.

"The Immigration Department’s new identity card will have high physical security features apart from storing the holder’s biometrics, photo and information in its chip," he told reporters after launching the biometric control system and immigration identity card here.

He said the security features included a ghost image, micro text, hidden immigration logo, Malaysia’s map and laser printed texts.

He said the card would be issued to 40,000 foreign students first, followed by the 1.8 million foreign workers.

Radzi said the card was the foreign workers’ identity card and employers could not keep them for their staff. However, they could keep their passports if they were worried that their new hired hands would abscond.

He said the Immigration Department had used the illegal foreign workers (Pati) biometric system and the foreign workers monitoring system (Forms) to curb the influx of the illegal labour force into Malaysia.

He said the Pati system was up-and-running at all Immigration depots, where the biometrics of illegal workers who were detained would be taken and their activities recorded until they were sent home.

Under the Forms, foreign workers’ biometrics would be taken when they entered the country through the immigration checkpoints.

This system has been designed as a working computer process, starting from a foreign worker’s on-line application via the Internet, scheduling of interviews, calling for interviews, levy payments to the outcome of the interviews, he said.

He said the system had been successfully implemented for the recruitment of workers from Bangladesh and its applications would be extended to workers from other countries.

Malaysian Immigration Department: