Why extending passport validity to 10 years is a good idea - Lam Thye

LETTERS: It is positive that the government is exploring the possibility of extending the validity of passports from the current five to ten years.

It is hoped that a decision on this matter will be made soon and will be positive. Many countries, notably the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Singapore, have long been issuing passports with 10-year validity.

The advantages of a 10-year validity far outweigh the possible downsides.

Lengthening passport validity reduces the frequency of renewals, making it more convenient for people. This can also help reduce the workload at passport offices and streamline the application process.

Extending passport validity can potentially save citizens money and effort in the long run, as they won't have to renew their passports as frequently. This is especially beneficial for frequent travellers and the elderly.

A ten-year validity can be seen as a sign of stability and confidence in a nation's government, positively impacting diplomatic relations and international perception.

The Home Minister mentioned that online passport applications have reduced congestion at immigration centres. This congestion can be further reduced by extending the validity period, leading to cost savings and more efficient resource allocation. Many Malaysians work and live abroad.

Extending passport validity can be particularly beneficial for them, as they won't need to return home as often solely for passport renewal. There are good environmental reasons as well. Longer passport validity means fewer passports printed over time, contributing to reduced paper consumption and environmental benefits. Longer passport validity aligns with technological advancements in security features, making it easier for Malaysia to stay up-to-date with the latest security measures.

Admittedly, there are some downsides too. For instance, the longer a passport is valid, the more time there is for counterfeiters or identity thieves to exploit it. Security features must continually evolve to counteract this risk.

Implementing this proposal sooner can lead to quicker responses, faster benefits, cutting down workload, and enhancing public trust. It can demonstrate the government's further commitment to improving its services for the rakyat.


Chairman, Alliance for a Safe Community

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories