Malaysia to track visitors with new biometric system

Malaysia’s Immigration Department is intent on introducing a new biometric system to track foreigners.

The country wants to implement the system to reduce the number of visitors, especially Indian migrant workers, who overstay their visas in order to illegally find employment.

The new system would be an extension of Malasia’s Advanced Passenger Processing System (APPS), which was devised to stop transnational crime such as human trafficking and drug smuggling.

The system undertakes a background check on visitors who enter the country, determining whether they have a criminal record. The enhanced biometric system will work to track the movements of visitors beyond border entry points.

The new system will use the Immigration Department’s processing system data to verify a visitor’s identity before they attempt to check into a hotel or open a bank account. If the visitor has overstayed their tourist visa, the system will be alerted. Presently, the only way that the Malaysian government can detect foreigners who have overstayed their visa is when they exit the country at a border checkpoint or during a law enforcement raid.

The system is expected to help manage the nearly 700,000 visitors from India who visit Malaysia each year on tourist visas.

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