Malaysiakini Letter

Immigration should 'upgrade' its PR policies

Robert AW
Published:  |  Modified:

The director of Immigration has just announced that IT (information technology) is now being implemented to keep track of applications for visas and PR. Apparently, this move is in response to numerous complaints against the manner which immigration departments have handled applications for PR (permanent residency) by foreign spouses of Malaysians.

The Immigration's IT push to improve efficiency is welcome. But it seems to me that the Immigration people are also attempting another push at the same time, that is, to push all blame of their previous mishandling of PR applications to the lack of technology to keep track of applications.

The technology is only as good as the people using it. Other pushes are needed to remedy the situation.

Firstly, a clearly defined set of policies for PR applications has to be spelt out. The many "horror" stories I heard seemed to suggest that the policies and requirements for PR applications were arbitrarily decided by officers at the different immigration departments.

Secondly, there has to be a greater level of professionalism among immigration officers. Why do we need to engage the help of a 'datuk' to push our applications through? Every application has to be handled respectfully in a highly professional and unbiased way, irrespective of the race and religion of the applicant, irrespective of whether he or she has the backing of a powerful and influential politician.

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