THE Immigration Department has activated its new Quick-Response Team (QRT) as a proactive measure to overcome congestion at the country’s entry points, particularly at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), klia2 and the Johor-Singapore Causeway.
Immigration Department director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the move was implemented following Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s directive on January 30 for his department and the Customs Department to increase the number of officers on duty at the Sultan Iskandar Building and the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex to ease congestion at the causeway.
“Today, we activated the QRT at KLIA, comprising 30 immigration officers who will be on duty at 26 counters at the international arrival hall during peak hours between 2pm and 8pm every day.
“Twelve officers have begun work today to man previously empty counters,” he told a press conference after checking on the implementation of the QRT at KLIA today.
He said the QRT will also be stationed at Sultan Iskandar Building and the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex involving 40 immigration officers from the enforcement and general duties division, who will start working February 6.
Khairul Dzaimee said through the QRT, his department is committed to opening all check-in counters for foreign visitors and reducing passenger queue time during peak hours.
Citing the department’s records, Khairul Dzaimee said 495,210 foreign visitors, or 665 people per hour, entered the country via KLIA last month.
He said with the QRT, the department can handle a higher entry rate of 780 foreign visitors per hour or 13 entries per minute compared with 495 entries per 47 minutes previously.
In another development, Khairul Dzaimee said 1,033 passports have been issued from the KLIA Passport Issuing Office since it started operating on January 19.
“I read comments on social media that applicants at the KLIA Passport Issuing Office were satisfied because they got their passports in less than an hour.
“This was the situation before Covid-19. Passport renewals used to take less than an hour, but during the post-pandemic period, there was a threefold increase, which resulted in a longer application process,” he said. – Bernama, February 1, 2023.