PUTRAJAYA, Jan 11 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today officially launched the Malaysian passport with sophisticated security features and said no additional fee would be imposed for the new travel document.

“Even though the quality of the passport has improved, there is no increase in the fee for applying for or renewing the Malaysian passport. There is no additional tax or service charge,” he said when launching the passport at the monthly assembly of the Home Ministry here.

The new version of the passport was introduced on Nov 15 last year. The current fee for applying for or renewing the passport is RM200.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, said the sophisticated security features would prevent forgery and misuse by irresponsible people.

The new security features include a polycarbonate biodata page with a chip and a passport authenticity verification feature that can only be detected through ultraviolet (UV) light.

Addressing the assembly, Ahmad Zahid said that as of last year, 65,108 parent organisations and 63,591 branches of organisations, as well as 57 political parties, had registered with the Registrar of Societies.

At a press conference later, he said the relevant ministers should resolve the issue relating to taxis and the Uber and GrabCar ride services.

He asked Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, who is in charge of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), to meet with the taxi drivers’ associations.

Ahmad Zahid said it was unnecessary for taxi drivers to issue threats over the issue, by reportedly saying that they would support the opposition in the next general election.

He also said that the Cabinet had yet to decide on the opening of Malaysia’s embassy in eastern Jerusalem.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey had reportedly stated that his government desired to open an embassy in eastern Jerusalem. — Bernama