It’s been a while singe we checked in on the Malaysia-Singapore border biometrics deployment(s), but it looks like things are going well.
No more disembarkation cards for Singapore to Johor travellers (The Star)
Effective today, those entering the state from Singapore will no longer have to fill up the Immigration disembarkation cards or white cards.
This will ease the hassle faced by thousands of foreigners, especially Singaporeans.
Thousands of Singaporeans and people of other nationalities enter the state daily.
In the early stages of implementation, Malaysia’s border initiatives were not met with universal acclaim. Now, it seems that having the new technology in place has allowed for far more efficient border management that is both more rigorous and less consuming of time and paper than the system that used to be in place.
The increased efficiency should also serve to increase economic activity in the area which will have benefits of its own.
Congratulations to Malaysia and to the Singaporeans that make frequent visits. My condolences to whomever prints the immigration disembarkation cards.
This map and photo gives a flavor of the relevant geography. The red dot on the Singapore map is the approximate location of the Johor–Singapore Causeway pictured at right below.
Mission Nearly Impossible (StrategyPage)
The use of biometrics does its job very well keeping out spies, terrorists and saboteurs. The downside is that it also limits the activities of your own spies. This has led to efforts by espionage agencies to get around this “problem.” The espionage organizations will not comment on what, if any, solutions they have come up with. That is to be expected.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has developed tools that enable combat troops to use biometrics on the battlefield.
Read the whole thing.
See also: U.S. Military Departs Iraq, Takes Huge Biometric Database with It
In its efforts toward more effective border control, Malaysia may depend more on biometrics and less on corporal punishment.
Govt mulls abolishing whipping for illegal foreign workers (Borneo Post)
Mohamed Nazri, who is the minister in charge of parliament and law, said since whipping was introduced for illegal foreign workers, the problem of illegals had not lessened but became worse.
“Therefore, a new penalty such as imposing a big fine could perhaps replace whipping.” He said new technology such as the biometric system could be an effective measure to control the entry of illegal foreign workers into the country. Asked whether Malaysia planned to abolish whipping for other offences, the minister said it was more suitable for serious offences like rape.
In other Malaysia news…
Malaysia to scrap disembarkation card for foreigners (Asia One)
Lately, most any mention of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) in the media will have focused on the crisis in UK border management. To day a small item on the UKBA gives us cause to contemplate not three hour waits to clear customs, but the Caribbean paradise of Antigua & Barbuda.
UKBA to offer one-time mobile biometric clinic in Antigua & Barbuda (WorkPermit.com)
The UK Border Agency will provide visa applicants from Antigua & Barbuda with a local Mobile Biometric Clinic on 18 May 2012. The one-time mobile biometric clinic will be located in St John’s, Antigua.
Recently the UK expanded the biometric system to require all applicants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) applying to stay in the UK for more than 6 months to register their fingerprints and digital facial image.
This is not the most convenient time for Britain to be undergoing a complete rethink about how it manages its border — the best time is always before a crisis — but the UK may no longer have the luxury of choosing the timing of a significant revamp.
UK Border watchdog attacks airport gridlock (Financial TImes – Reg. Req.)
Bad management of diminishing numbers of staff and failure to make the most of electronic scanning gates are behind the immigration gridlock at airports, says a report by the border watchdog.
John Vine, the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, hit at the lack of any “cohesive” management plan at Heathrow, at a time when the Home Office faces mounting pressure to end long queues at the UK’s largest airport as well as Stansted and the Eurostar before this summer’s Olympic Games.
UK Border Scandal Update: Independent Inspector’s Report Published
UK: Airlines Warn Government of Potential Gridlock this Weekend
Does £9m Really Buy 60 Immigration Agents?
UK Struggling with Both Halves of International Traveler ID