Why the Malaysian passport is a true work of art

Malaysian Passport

Proof that it is probably one of the best passports in the world. Source: Shutterstock.

THE MALAYSIAN Immigration Department has scored the 2018 Regional ID Document of the Year Award for the Malaysian ePassport.

Immigration director-general Dato’ Seri Mustafar Ali and Datasonic executive director Steven Ng received the award in Hanoi, where the highly acclaimed High-Security Printing Asia Global Conference was held.

The Southeast Asian country was the first in the world to develop and introduce the ePassport back in 1998.

The new version, which launched in November 2017, was jointly developed by the Immigration Department and Malaysia-based security-based ICT solutions provider Datasonic Group Berhad’s subsidiary, Datasonic Technologies Sdn Bhd.

Malaysian Passport

Source: Shutterstock.

The upgrade included enhanced security innovations such as an embedded chip in the polycarbonate personal particulars page, which makes the passport harder to forge and allows data to be read easily.

“It is in recognition of the outstanding technical sophistication of a document and for promoting the best in system infrastructure and implementation of a government passport or identity card scheme,” Datasonic Group Berhad said in a statement.

But what makes the Malaysian ePassport a true work of art?

In November 2017, the Malaysian ePassport received a major upgrade, encompassing enhanced security features and aesthetics.

Source: Lainey Loh.

Aside from the embedded chip in the polycarbonate personal particulars page, the Malaysian ePassport also features a three-colored security stitching thread stitched with a back-sewn lock.

The highly flexible and patented passport data page hinge with the integrated UV printing element guarantees a secure and robust sewing of the datapage into the passport booklet.

Inside, groundbreaking true-color ultraviolet (UV) security elements offer high-resolution UV images with high brilliance and color reproduction which will complement the use of UV light to verify the authenticity of the ePassport.

Source: Lainey Loh.

This verification cannot be seen with the naked eye.

The datapage, hinge, and security elements designed in Switzerland by Datasonic’s technology partner Gemalto have a lifespan of 10 years.

To add on, Datasonic refreshed the Malaysian ePassport’s design concept to showcase the Malaysian culture, such as the hibiscus, Orchidaceae, red ginger, Silver-eared mesia bird, and Rukunegara (the Malaysian declaration of national philosophy) principles.

For the uninitiated, the Rukunegara reads:

Belief in God.

Loyalty to the king and country.

The supremacy of the constitution.

The rule of law.

Courtesy and morality.

The inside pages have images that represent the five principles of the Rukunegara as well as the 12 Malaysian landmarks.

Source: Lainey Loh.

They are the Putra Mosque, National Palace, Parliament Building, Palace of Justice and the National Museum, Mount Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur Train Station, Kuala Lumpur Twin Tower, and Kuala Lumpur. Tower.

Malaysians traveling to/through Singapore’s Changi International Airport (Terminal 4) and Hong Kong’s Hong Kong International Airport, for example, can breeze through immigration at the airports’ electronic channels rather than having to deal with immigration staff.

Meanwhile, Passport Index’s Global Passport Power Rank 2018 ratings have ranked the Malaysian ePassport the 7th most powerful passport in the world.

Malaysian passport holders can now travel to 161 countries without obtaining a prior visa – 121 countries visa-free and another 40 using visas on arrival.

Malaysia shares the spot with Slovenia, Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Latvia.