Friday, January 25, 2008

No More White Card from Spore to Malaysia

According to reports, the familiar white card, which once was as essential as your passport to getting you in and out of malaysia (for Simgaporeans), is now no more, as overland travellers found out to their surprise and confusion over the last weekend.

Last saturday, without much fanfare or effort to publicise it, the Malysian Immigration Department began a trial towards a more convenient "paperless system" at both the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints.

For travellers, it means the need to fill up the four-page immigration white card everytime they enter Malaysia from Singapore is No More. Visitors now only need to produce their passport to be inspected and stamped at the immigration checkpoints.

While the move was aimed at smoothing the way, however, travellers who were caught unawares reacted with a mix of confusion and wariness - as there were no official notification about it.

On the Malaysian side of the causeway, A4-Sized notices in English and Malay were placed at the immigration checkpoints an dthe usual booths for foreign travellers to fill up their immigration cards were closed.

But some travellers were perharps more caustious, following recent scares about unstamped passports. There were recent cases of those who had gotten into trouble at the immigration, such as a Singapore Armed Forces Lieutenant that was sentenced to three months in jail, as his passport and immigration card were found to be unstamped.

According to latest confusio, some visitors who had presented their filled-up immigration cards for last few days - were not told these were obsolete. In fact, many said immigration officials stamped and collected their cards as per last time normal.

So my advice to all - Although it is much more convenient this way. We should be more careful, be it card or no card - it is always better to check that your passport has been stamped each time you enter or leave Malaysia.

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