September 25, 2017

CYBERJAYA: The government will introduce a new National Immigration Control System (SKIN) by 2021 in a bid to improve the current controversial Malaysian Immigration System (myIMMs).

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, in claiming that the present system would be synchronised, merged and integrated into SKIN when it is implemented, said it (SKIN) would enhance the nation’s border system, especially in combating trafficking in persons.

“In an increasingly challenging global environment, a border security and immigration system that is effective and efficient is much needed to curb issues like militancy, terrorism and human trafficking.

“SKIN’s implementation is critical to ensure the system used by our Immigration Department is safe and relevant, and I’m confident this system will iron out all these issues,” he said during the signing of the concession agreement, here, today.

Also present were Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali.

The agreement was signed by Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim and Prestariang SKIN Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of local technology firm Prestariang Berhad, represented by its chief executive officer Dr Abu Hasan Ismail.

Prestariang Berhad will design, develop, implement and manage SKIN, which will be rolled out through extended collaboration with various government agencies.

The project is expected to be fully commissioned by 2021 and will be fully installed in all immigration offices, including the country’s entry points as well as attaché offices abroad.

Among other SKIN’s benefits and functions include:

>> modernising the applications and infrastructure of the national immigration and border control system;

>> improving immigration processes to elevate efficiency and effectiveness in its policies, people, processes, operations and data accuracy;

>> providing efficient services to businesses and communities; and

>> securing the nation with new risk assessment capabilities to ensure safety and support in combating illegal cross-border activities.

“SKIN is designed to perfect the current immigration system with added values besides meeting the current and future needs especially in enhancing the country’s border control,” Ahmad Zahid said.

Later in a press conference, Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said SKIN would not incur any additional cost to the government compared to the current system.

He added the ministry would ensure that there would be no sabotages to SKIN as was the case with myIMMs, with test runs to be conducted prior to the full implementation.

myIMMs came under huge pressure last year after it was reported that some 100 people, including Immigration officers and syndicate members, were involved in sabotaging the implementation of the system to make money for themselves.

In November, the Auditor-General’s 2015 report noted that myIMMs was also not up to mark, with Ahmad Zahid later warning that the government would not hesitate to cancel myIMMs vendor contracts if the services provided failed to meet the standards set.

On why it took the government so long to come up with an improved immigration system, Ahmad Zahid said: “We are very detailed and aiming for zero-defect.”

He added that while SKIN would not be fully commissioned until 2021, the government is continuously working to improve and enhance the current system.

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