PETALING JAYA: Singapore-based Malaysians have expressed dissatisfaction with the long lines of Malaysia’s high commission in the country, an ongoing issue since the pandemic began.
The Straits Times (ST) reported that hundreds of people were queuing to renew their passports from early yesterday morning, with seniors and wheelchair users having to wait hours in the sun.
They said school holidays from March 13 to 21 seemed to have worsened the situation, and some said only a limited number of applications could be processed each day due to “technical issues”.
A permanent resident, known as Mrs. Lim, told ST that her first attempt on March 16 saw her queuing from 6:45 a.m., but only arrived at the gates five hours later.
However, the 50-year-old was withdrawn as the consulate had reached the daily limit of 30 participants.
He finally managed to process his application when he returned the next day at 5.30am and queued for a few more hours.
According to Tommy Yap, 47, who is also a permanent resident, long queues have been a persistent problem since last year.
His wife had gone to renew her son’s passport in January at 7 a.m., an hour before the opening, but saw a queue of more than 200 people. They decided to try it again during the March school holidays.
“A lot of people told us that people would start queuing at midnight,” Yap said according to the Singapore newspaper.
He added that they were not able to apply online as applications for children and the elderly could only be made in person.
Yap admitted, however, that the long wait was probably due to the high commission being scarce or facing an overwhelming number of applications, as Malaysians could not renew their passports in Johor as they have been. doing all these years.
Malaysia’s high commission stopped all passport renewal applications on March 30 last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They only allowed it back in December, but in the meantime, online applications were still being processed with an appointment date to pick up the new passports.
According to his Facebook page, he would only process urgent cases involving passports or long-term steps that had to expire in three months or less, as a result of social distancing measures.