Pleasant Morning at the Immigrations
I was due to be in Jakarta in a couple of weeks to attend a conference, and I realised that my passport would be expiring soon. I consciously picked the middle of the week to visit the immigration department hoping that the place would be empty. And I certainly got more than what I bargained for.
I intentionally went to the branch at Wangsa Maju since it was near Anita's parents. There was also a mean restaurant there selling nice nasi dagang for breakfast. The plan was to have breakfast there while waiting for the formalities. And then drop Anita and the breakfast at her parents.
I left the apartment just after 7 am, reaching Wangsa Maju just after 7.30. I was the ninth customer, picking up my number at 7.36. I was called to the first counter at 7.52, where my details were taken as well as a mugshot for the passport. That took a couple of minutes. Documents were signed, and I was asked to wait to be called for the next counter shortly after.
That call came at 8.08. Made my payment and left to sort out breakfast. Breakfast was excellent, and since we were still early, we did not have to queue for too long. We returned to the immigration office by 8.36 to learn that my number had been called. I informed the lady at the counter that I was back. I was called right after the current customer was attended to, and I was walking out of the office by 8.42.
I just needed to bring my old passport and my MyKAD, pay the RM 200 for the 5-year book and I have got myself a new passport. It was as easy as that. Just make sure that you wear a dark top. Otherwise, they would give you an oversize coat to cover your shirt. Photos were done at the counter, and literally, you do not have to do anything else. And all this was done in an hour ...
The public services in Malaysia had been given a bad rep. In the last few years, my experience had been pleasant, considering the kind of services the departments offered. I did my father's death certificate, renewed my driving licence and MyKAD. All that in a much friendlier atmosphere compared to 20 years ago. But the experience today topped all that. Syabas Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia ...