By Hj Minor Absah
Brunei citizens passing through the country's immigration control posts will no longer need to have their passports stamped, with the new procedure of scanning to be implemented from Monday (April 14).
Announcing this yesterday was the Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Awang Mohd Yussof, with the consent of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
The minister explained that this advancement was taken following complaints raised by the public especially Brunei citizens and in particular Temburong District residents who travel overland to Sabah and Sarawak through immigration control posts where their passports have to be stamped as many as half a dozen times - one way.
This has led to the pages in their passports running out in a short time even though their passports have yet to expire.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the media, the minister said this new procedure will be implemented at all immigration control posts including at the Brunei International Airport.
Brunei citizens with the normal Brunei Passports, Diplomatic Passport, Official Passport and the General Certificate Identity will no longer require stamping by immigration personnel at the control post or counter.
They however are still required to bring their passport and report to the immigration officer on duty.
Instead of stamping, these passports will be scanned using a passport scanner and the information stored in the Border Control System database of the Immigration and National Registration.
Among the advantages of the new procedure, the minister highlighted that it will improve the services at the immigration post, making it more efficient especially for Brunei passport holders.
It will also reduce queues as well as speed up processing time of entering and exiting of Brunei citizens.
For those frequent travellers, it saves them the fees when applying for new passports.
The new procedure is made possible with the Immigration and National Registration Department using a more comprehensive and advance application called the Border Control System.
It is also in line with what other countries are now using.
- Borneo Bulletin
(13th April 2008)