Biometric registration of foreigners from June 1

THE government will implement the National Foreigners Enforcement and Registration System (NERS) at all 96 entry points to monitor the arrival and departure of foreign visitors effective June 1.Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the system, which involved biometric registration, would be able to handle issues such as document forgery, overstay and misuse of visas, passes and work permits.

"This is the focus of strengthening the management of foreign citizens," he said at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

Muhyiddin said NERS and the existing Malaysian Immigration System (MyIMMs) would be reinforced with the development of the Advanced Passenger Screening System (APSS) to enable fast and efficient screening of foreign visitors.

"These initiatives are part of a holistic and more effective approach to record all visitors, whether they are foreign workers, students, trade officers or tourists.

"This system has already been proven effective in Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong and we are currently carrying out a pilot project to test the system.

"Once a foreign worker arrives at an Immigration centre, his fingerprints will be taken and he will be registered in 20 seconds. If he overstays, we will know immediately."

Asked if this would infringe on visitors' privacy, he said this was not an issue as a similar system had been implemented in many countries.

On the new levy mechanism proposed by the Human Resource Ministry, Muhyiddin said the proposal would be tabled before the cabinet in May, and if approved, it would be implemented in stages beginning from June 1.

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