Passport Renewal Nightmare: Hundreds of Msians Wait Up To 4 Hours In 400-Metre Queue In JB

As borders have officially opened, Malaysians wishing to renew their passport have been queueing early in the morning only to be met with a four-hour wait alongside others who had planned to do so as well.

Cover image via Onn Hafiz (Facebook)

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Passport applicants in Johor faced long queues and an even longer waiting time early yesterday morning, 23 May, at the Ministry of Home Affairs complex in Setia Tropika, Johor Bahru

As international borders have reopened and the June holidays are coming up, many wish to renew their passports.

To avoid the crowds and long wait, they arrived early to get it done. However, many had the same mindset, causing a long queue to be formed outside the entrance of the complex.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi shared photos of the long queue and people waiting at 7.10am in a Facebook post.

The photos showed people queuing at the curb and some who were sitting down outside the complex.

Nur Hazwan Sharifulazman, a 37-year-old working in Singapore, who waited in line mentioned that when he arrived at 7.50am, the queue was 400m long from the complex entrance

He was at the immigration office to inquire about his passport, which had already been renewed online, reported Bernama.

Hazwan said that people had to get a number at the entrance before they were allowed to enter the complex.

They then had to take another queue number at the relevant counter.

"Around 8am, an immigration officer began handing out queue numbers and I was lucky enough to get the number," he related.

However, Hazwan had to wait four hours, from 8am to 12pm, to enter the building and get another queue number before entering the immigration office.

He said that the relevant parties involved should improve the queue management as those waiting in line involved senior citizens and parents with small children.

31-year-old Nasiruddin Md Nazim, who is also working in Singapore, was another in line to renew his passport.

He skipped breakfast to get there early, but thankfully, a ood Samaritan offered him bread and a drink.

"Although the process to renew the passport was done online, we have to collect the passport at the counter," he said. 

He was in the queue to seek information on whether his passport was ready as there was no confirmation from the immigration office, reported Bernama.

Image via Bernama

Onn Hafiz mentioned that the issue has existed since 1 May following the reopening of international borders on 1 April

Onn Hafiz added that before reopening the borders, an average of 700 international passports were issued per day. The number increased to 1,000 and 1,800 in April and May, respectively.

Nine other passport offices in the state, including the Mersing office which only had two to three counters, were affected, he said.

Meanwhile, State Immigration Department director Baharuddin Tahir said those waiting in line were comprised of people who wished to renew their passport while others had matters to tend to in another department housed in the same complex.

Image via Oriental Daily

This issue was brought to the Menteri Besar, prompting his team to improve the passport renewal process.

"The Menteri Besar agreed to help by setting up tents and providing chairs and fans for people waiting," said Baharuddin.

Image via Oriental Daily

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