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Malaysia fingerprinting visitors to combat illegal immigration

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia has begun taking fingerprints from foreigners entering the country in a bid to prevent illegal immigrants coming in using fake papers, an official said Thursday.

Up to two million people — mostly from neighboring Indonesia and Myanmar — work in Malaysia illegally, authorities say. Those arrested for working illegally or overstaying are deported but many try to return.

A pilot system, implemented at several entry points like the Kuala Lumpur International Airport since late last month, requires visitors to give prints of both index fingers, immigration spokesman Abdul Haidir Mohamad Sukor said.

He said the biometric system was expected to be implemented nationwide from June 1.

Malaysia has one of Asia's largest populations of foreign workers. Some 1.8 million people, mostly from poorer regional countries, work in such sectors as construction, plantations, manufacturing and hospitality.

The new scheme will help authorities keep better track of foreigners, said Abdul Haidir, with those caught overstaying or committing any other offences now unable to re-enter Malaysia under different identities.

“Starting from June 1, all foreigners must give their data,” Abdul Haidir told AFP. “We collect all the data to ensure we can detect problems earlier, if they have committed any offence before.”

“Before this in Malaysia, the overstayers are just sent back but they can come back with fake passports. With the biometric system, they cannot lie,” he said.

May 16, 2011    irmu2000@
Time to scratch Malaysia off the list of places to visit! Don't feel like being treated as a criminal in a place where I will spend tourist dollars. Not surprisingly, this is a trend that is happening globally. Funny, isn't it...?
June 6, 2011    lavna@
Goodbye, Malaysia. I guess you don't need my tourism money has I refuse to be treated like a criminal when going to visit a country.
July 6, 2011    slayer_21194@
be open minded la. other countries are also doing it and yet u still go to those countries. hhhhmmmm
July 6, 2011    johnny.brian@
Tight security check is safe for everyone, but the process is needed.
July 6, 2011    brodwong123@
irmu2000@ wrote:
Time to scratch Malaysia off the list of places to visit! Don't feel like being treated as a criminal in a place where I will spend tourist dollars. Not surprisingly, this is a trend that is happening globally. Funny, isn't it...?
Well, the USA is also doing this. You mean to say you won't go to the US either? Or are you an American perhaps?
July 22, 2011    evefelixia@
This is good. Need to put a stop to all those illegal foreign workers. Prostitution & GROs getting too rampant everywhere. Those who get caught come back with different identities. Time something is done to curb the social problems created by foreigners. We have enough problems on our own.
January 6, 2012    justinemelyssa@
I know a person overstayed in Malaysia but she went to immigration personally for biometrics to get back to the country. Can she return to Malaysia as a tourist? She was never caught but she overstayed.
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