TUMPAT, Sept 19 — The shortage of border passes in states bordering Thailand, namely Kelantan, Perlis, Kedah and parts of Perak, has been resolved since last week, Immigration director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh said.
“The border pass supplies have been restocked in these states and there are no more issues,” he told reporters after inspecting the Malaysia-Thailand border at Pengkalan Kubor today.
When asked whether the Immigration Department only allows border passes to be issued at one location for each state, Ruslin said the matter is still under consideration.
“We are conducting a study and will gather the relevant data before making operational changes. We want to identify whether the same individual applies for a border pass and how many times a year and so on,” he said.
Prior to this, Kelantan Immigration director Azhar Abd Hamid said that residents of the state could only apply for border passes at the immigration office at the Urban Transformation Centre in Kota Bharu following the supply shortage in other areas such as Jeli and Rantau Panjang.
In another development, Ruslin said that illegal immigrants from Pakistan and India who attempted to enter the country via Sungai Golok recently did so to avoid going through the required visa application process, which includes an interview with immigration officials.
“Even though they used valid travel documents to enter Thailand, they needed a visa to enter Malaysia. So, they chose the easy way of entering the country via an illegal base in Sungai Golok.
“For the record, visa applications from Pakistani and Indian nationals have been the most frequently denied because they failed to provide strong reasons,” he said.
Media previously reported that the Immigration Department had foiled a human trafficking syndicate bringing undocumented immigrants from Pakistan into the country with the arrest of eight Pakistani men in Ops Gelombang IV in Kelantan recently.