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New national ID card gains popularity in Malaysia

12 April 2012

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MyKad, the new version of the national ID card in Malaysia has become a hit with citizens putting in popular demand for the card's enhanced and multipurpose features.

New national ID card gains popularity in Malaysia
Image credits: FutureGov/ New national ID card gains popularity in Malaysia

Citizens of Malaysia now need to wait up to three months if they want to apply for a new national identity (ID) card or “MyKad” as the applications have exceeded the authorities’ production capacity due to its popularity.

The National Registration Department (NRD) revealed the popularity of MyKad, an enhanced version of ID card, after it had received an average of 21,000 applications daily since the introduction of the new MyKad in January.

Home Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Mahmood Adam said that the department had received up to 1,516,126 applications as of March 31 for the new card, while the department’s capacity to issue was only about 8,000 cards a day.

It previously took only one day for the applicants to receive the card. Now, nearly half a million people have to wait up to three months to get it.

The NRD was acquiring extra printers and appointing more staff to produce the cards.

“We hope to settle the backlog of 419,078 cards by July,” he said.

Mahmood said it was not compulsory to change to the new MyKad as the exisiting ones were still valid and could be used to deal with government and private agencies.

“There is no deadline to get the cards,” he said.

The enhanced MyKad is an upgrade of the existing one in terms of design and security features as it uses the latest technology to ensure a better adhesion between the printed layer and the overlay of the card.

It is made from durable polycarbonates and uses incision laser technology on the surface of the card with a new Sirim-approved chip that had been tested in semiconductor labs. It also has a “ghost” image of the cardholder to curb forgery.

It is free of charge for those who have lodged reports that they have lost their MyKad for the first time or that theirs was faulty. Those who insist on the new enhanced MyKad will have to pay RM10.

Malaysia became the first country in the world to use an identification card that incorporates both photo identification and fingerprint biometric data on an in-built computer chip embedded in a piece of plastic.

Apart from its main purpose of a proof of citizenship, MyKad also serves as a valid driver’s license, an ATM card, an electronic purse, and a public key among other applications, as part of the Malaysian Government Multipurpose Card (GMPC) initiative.

Source : FutureGov

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