GEORGE TOWN: The Immigration authorities have been told to stop holding Malaysians to 'ransom' for passport renewals.
Gerakan vice-president Datuk Baljit Singh asked how much longer would immigration authorities wished to inconvenience Malaysians who wanted to get their passports renewed.
"It appears to be nothing but a showcase of bad work ethics by the authorities in getting something seemingly simple done.
"Enough complaints are being expressed by those who have attempted to get their passports renewed online, as they still need to contend with long waits and poor work ethics by staff resulting in delays of passport collections.
"The plight of the elderly, disabled and those who are eligible for walk-ins is no better. So much frustration and anxiety has been suffered by these individuals who end up spending hours on end waiting at immigration offices," he said today.
Baljit further questioned why the extension of operating hours at certain states for immigration services did not ease matters.
"Could it be because civil servants are intent on taking their breaks 'punctually' with total disregard for long queues in front of them?
"Enough is enough and it looks as though the 'work from home' policy adopted by many in recent times has done nothing for a workforce whose priority should be service-oriented to its clients.
"We are now left having to deal with counter-staff who take no pride in their work, are entitled and very uncaring.
"Will the Immigration Department kindly buck up and have its employees do the work they are paid for and not doing it at a snail's pace anymore to accord better services to the public," he added.
As Malaysia continues its transition to Covid-19 endemicity and more citizens look forward to travel, Baljit said such disgraceful quality of work, delays and shoddy protocols should by now, be a thing of the past.
"Please get back to working as efficiently as before and stop holding Malaysians to ransom."