A report by NST yesterday, 7 November, revealed that 707,304 Malaysians are barred from leaving the country. That is 250,000 people more than last year's barred persons list.
In a report by New Straits Times, Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said that the the names of the people that are barred from leaving the country are placed on a Suspected List (SL) which is based on applications by government agencies.
Agencies like the Malaysia Insolvency Department, the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) and the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) have reached out to the immigration department and asked for these individuals to be barred from leaving Malaysia.
It was also revealed that nearly half of people, that are barred this year are Malaysians with outstanding PTPTN loans.
The exact number is 261,833 and Mustafar said that it is a four-fold increase from last year.
The rest are of list is made up of 212,927 and 128,187 people that have outstanding payments to the Malaysia Insolvency Department and IRB, respectively.
"Our eGate system will go through the database and those whose names are in the SL will be denied boarding. The eGate system will not provide details on why they cannot leave the country," said Mustafar, as quoted by NST.
"The eGate system will not provide details on why they cannot leave the country. Instead, they will be directed to the manned counters and given the contact numbers of related agencies to resolve their problem," explained Mustafar.
The Immigration Department head also said that the blacklisted individuals will have to miss their flights if they cannot resolve the outstanding payment in time.
As a solution, the Immigration Department has suggested that agencies like PTPTN and IRN set up helpdesks at the airport to provide faster assistance for travellers that are barred.
Mustafar also mentioned that his department is considering the idea of installing "screening" devices that could help people check their status before going through the eGates to expedite the check-in process.
Wondering how to check your status? Here's how you can do it: