Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Need for solution to long wait at Puchong Immigration office
MEMBERS of the public who visit the Immigration Department’s Puchong office for passport-related matters have to exercise great patience due to the huge crowd and long wait. Chan Kong, 66, said he waited for three-and-a-half hours to get his passport renewed. “By the time I arrived after 7am, the queue number was already in the 50s range,” he said. “I used to go to the Subang office and the waiting time was just over an hour as there were more counters.” Chan, who resides in the PKNS Flats at Batu 13, Puchong, said he preferred visiting the Puchong office due to its proximity to his home. Tai Po Wah, 78, had to endure a similarly long wait for his passport renewal at the Immigration Department’s Puchong office, compared to the one hour wait when he visited the Putrajaya office. “I decided to try the Puchong office because it is nearer to my home,” said the Kampung Baru Batu 14 Puchong resident. “However, I find that the service here is very slow. The office should also consider having a counter for senior citizens to ease their waiting time.”
The Immigration Department shares the same premises with the National Registration Department (JPN) in two adjacent shoplots in Taman Puchong Utama. The Immigration Department’s Puchong office is manned by 12 staff, who serve between 100 and 200 customers a day at the four counters.
People from Puchong and the nearby townships have been frequenting this office to apply for or renew their passports since it started operations in February last year. “Immigration Department Puch-ong Branch head Siti Norashikin Abdul Talib had acknowledged that the overcrowding problem was due to insufficient counters and the growing Puchong population,” said Puchong MCA secretary Liew Yew Fook, who met Siti after the latter’s recent transfer from Kajang. “According to Siti, there is only one machine available to process all passport applications, and it requires about two hours to warm up and link to the Immigration Department’s system.” On a suggestion to renovate the office to open more counters, Liew said the proposal had been turned down by the Home Ministry, who preferred that the upper floor of the shoplot be used for administration tasks to avoid inconveniencing senior citizens and the disabled. “Siti said she had been tasked to look for a more suitable site to relocate the Immigration Depart-ment’s Puchong office,” said Liew. “It has to be a place that is conducive, spacious, easily accessible via public transport and has sufficient parking facility.”
Puchong MCA chairman and Kinrara state liaison officer Datuk Wong Hock Aun suggested that a short-term solution would be to relocate the office, while a long-term solution would be to build a Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) building, like the UTC Kuala Lumpur in Pudu Sentral. “I will write to Deputy Home Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong to highlight the problems and suggest that a UTC be built in Puchong,” said Wong, who proposed that a site in Batu 12, Puchong be used for the UTC building. “Having a one-stop centre for all government and related agencies like JPN, Road Transport Department, Immigration Department and Inland Revenue Board would make it more convenient for Puchong folks to get the necessary services and transactions done.”