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Information Security

Malaysia revamps biometric ID for expats

The Malaysia government today implemented a new identification system for expatriates called I-Pass that will be better integrated with the Immigration Department’s computer systems than the previous I-Kad.


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“The I-Kad uses the Malaysian Immigration System (SIM) which is not necessarily linked with other Immigration systems,” explained Tan Sri Mahmood Adam, Secretary-General of the Home Ministry. “The I-Pass uses the My Immigration (MYIMM) System and is integrated with other immigration systems.”

The I-Pass will possess a microchip with biometric data embedded, and the expatriate’s photograph and thumbprint. According to Adam, the card also has a Quick Response code that “can be scanned by anybody with a smartphone”.

“The details of the I-Pass owner could be accessed upon scanning,” said Adam.

I-Pass will serve as an identification document in lieu of the passport within Peninsular Malaysia, within Sabah or within Sarawak.

The ministry is hoping to have all 90,000 expatriates in the country change to the new cards within two months. Doing so will require a visit to the Immigration Office where thumbprints and a photograph will be taken, said Adam.

Similar to the I-Kad system, the new cards will be colour-coded according to the sector the expatriate works in.

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