Malaysia: UN Commision recommends biometrics for Burmese refugees

Introduce Biometric ICs To Regulate Refugee Situation In Malaysia, Suggests UNHCR (Malaysian Digest)

In the face of the recent influx of ethnic Rohingyas fleeing from persecution in Myanmar, Malaysia finds itself caught between encountering a humanitarian crisis and having to deal with the security and social problems that are bound to arise when asylum-seekers are allowed to swarm into the nation.

UNHCR is the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

There’s a lot of information on this tragic situation at the link.

Malaysia and biometric ID for foreigners

Biometric identity cards for foreigners studying in Malaysia? (The Star)

“Several countries, namely Saudi Arab, Yemen and several Middle East countries have indicated interest in adopting such a card for their students students here,” he added.

Based on ministry’s records, there were some 80,000 international students in the country last year. The aim is to attract 200,000 foreign students by 2020.

In a related issue, Ahmad Zahid said that a pilot project is currently underway to implement the biometric identity card for the 2.116mil foreign workers in the country by the end of next year.

Citi unveils bank branch-in-a-box

Citi launches new ATM in Asia (Banking Business Review)

Citi has rolled out a new ATM in Asia, Citibank Express, which enables customers to perform nearly all banking jobs including opening accounts and applying for loans, cards and cashier’s checks, without visiting a branch.

New machines are already being installed in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, while installation at in-branch and out-of-branch locations across Asia and globally will follow later this year.

For customer identity authentication, the new machine is outfitted with an online banking connection, video-conferencing and biometric capability.

Malaysia & Singapore are already at the forefront of biometric deployments so it’s no surprise Citi is rolling out the machines there first.

Biometrics Making Life Easier for Malaysia & Singaporeans

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.

Malaysia Map & Singapore Map Source: CIA The World Factbook.
Johor–Singapore Causeway Source: Wikipedia
(Click Image to Enlarge)

Biometrics: More Effective than Whipping?

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)

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