Ministry issues ultimatum to passport vendor over defects

Nur-Jazlan-MohamedPETALING JAYA: The company appointed to supply passports may face government action if it does not clean up its act, Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed has warned.

In a report in The Star Online, Nur Jazlan said that the long queues at passport counters around the country was not the Immigration Department’s fault but that of the vendor who has failed to meet demand.

“We are reviewing the new vendor’s performance. In the meantime, we apologise and ask for the public’s patience,” he was quoted as saying.

Datasonic Group Bhd is the principal supplier of the passports and many of the chips used on the data page allegedly had defects.

Datasonic imports the biodata polycarbonate data page which contains the microchip and holds information pertaining to the passport bearer.

This follows Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s order to increase the production to 20,000 passports daily, to meet the shortfall.

Until then, the vendor was reportedly only providing between 5,000 and 10,000 passports daily.

According to the news portal, checks around the country showed that the problem was largely in the Klang Valley. Passports were being issued as usual in Johor and Penang.