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NRD, Immigration sign deal to link data
[December 11, 2006]

NRD, Immigration sign deal to link data

(New Straits Times Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) PUTRAJAYA: In the future, government agencies will be able to share biometric information through a common software, making things like passport applications and tracing criminals easier.

The National Registration Department and the Immigration Department became the first to set up this link yesterday, with the signing of agreements between their parent ministry, Home Affairs, and Multimedia Glory Sdn Bhd, the developer of the biometric security system.

Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said the government intended to consolidate data-sharing between relevant agencies using a single online platform which can handle biometric information, like fingerprints.

He said issuance of passports would be easier as Immigration officers could extract the applicant's data and thumbprint from the NRD database.

"NRD and Immigration are spearheading this change in the government. We can know in real-time about a tourist's arrival up to the second he checked in at Immigration. We can even access the information on the handphone." The system will also store information on deported illegal immigrants, including fingerprints and photos.

Radzi was speaking after the signing ceremony and launch of the Karsof Biometric Technology for Border Security system, which Immigration has used on a limited basis for the past year.

It has been used to record thumbprints of Bangladeshi workers upon their applications in Dhaka, and transferred to Immigration here for cross-checking upon their arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

"Illegals may try to enter using forged passports and other documents, but with biometric information, we can identify them," Radzi said.

The system will gradually be installed in all the other foreign worker source countries.

The Karsof system is locally developed by Multimedia Glory, which has successfully patented some of its other biometric security, management and tracking systems.

Radzi also launched new immigration identity cards for foreigners, which come in different colours to denote sectors like agriculture and plantation workers, expatriates, students and participants of the My Second Home programme. The cards will be introduced next year.

Copyright 2006 The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad. Source: Financial Times Information Limited - Asia Intelligence Wire.

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