Wednesday, 9 August 2017

(The Star) Immigration Dept to start online payment

PUTRAJAYA: The Immigration Department will introduce online payment soon as measures are being taken to limit the opportunity for corruption and abuse.

With e-payment, those who want to make payments for passports or work permits for their employees for instance, can do so at their convenience without having to carry cash to the department.

The plan is to have this service available in November as the department continues to seek ways to provide better service to the people, said Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali.

“We are in discussions with the Home Ministry and the Finance Ministry as there are costs involved to set up the system.

“It will be good if we can provide this service because if we want to prevent human intervention, we will have to upgrade our services via automation,” he told reporters after leading Immigration personnel in taking the corruption-free pledge.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commis­sion deputy chief commissioner Datuk Azam Baki and officials from the Home Ministry witnessed the event.

Mustafar said once it is implemented, officers will no longer have to deal with safekeeping a substantial amount of cash.

“Some of our offices collect around RM400,000 daily from payments made for passports and work permits. If we can get the people to pay online, we will at least have one less headache,” he added.

While assuring that cash would still be accepted, he said the plan would be to encourage the public to make online payment, adding that the department is also exploring the possibility of using credit or debit cards as payment method.

The issue of the Immigration De­­partment providing more of its services online was also raised by Dr Ahmad Zahid at the event, who proposed this as a measure to check corruption and abuse of power.

“Online services will limit impro­per ‘dealings’ between staff and stakeholders. There will be less opportunity for misappropriation and misconduct.

“At the same time, the public will benefit from this as it can be done at their own convenience and comfort. It will also reduce waiting time because they only have to come to the department to collect their passports or permits,” he said.