KUALA LUMPUR – August 15, 2016: The government will not allow Malaysian passports to be made in China.
Such is the firm position of Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed following claims that the vendor of Immigration Department, Datasonic Group, intends to produce Malaysian passports there.
“We are investigating this,” Nur Jazlan told The Mole after being queried about the matter. “There are specific conditions in the contract that they (Datasonic) have to fulfill.”
When asked whether the government will stop Datasonic from making Malaysian passports in China if the company indeed plans to do so, Nur Jazlan wrote this via Whatsapp: “For sure”.
“The passports were assembled here previously. There are security issues involved,” he added .
The claims were first circulated by anonymous blogger, Annie via her latest post in her ‘Life of Annie’ blog.
“I was told by very reliable sources that Datasonic is going to produce all the passport booklets and their microchips in China,” Annie wrote.
“Yes, our passports are going to wholly made in China. I repeat – Made in China.
“Malaysian passports are now and previously made locally and under the close supervision of the government. This is important mostly because of security reasons,” said the blogger.
Malaysia was the first country to issue bio-metric passports in 1998.
Because of the current passport supply shortage, Datasonic was recently told by the government to double-up its production and deliver 400,000 pieces of data pages each month for the next three months, instead of the usual 225,000 per month.
The company became the second company to supply Malaysia’s biometric passport in February 2013 after it clinched a five-year contract to supply 10 million new passport polycarbonate data pages.
The issuance of Malaysian passports was recently mired in controversy after applicants were forced to wait in long queues for several hours at Immigration offices.
The problem forced many applicants to begin queuing in the early hours of the morning.
Nur Jazlan and Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had warned Datasonic to solve the matter as soon as possible.