KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — The Immigration Department expects counter operations until 10pm, which began today, to be implemented for three months.

Its director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said this was due to the high demand for international passport applications and renewals following the opening of the country’s borders on April 1.

“We expect congestions at the immigration offices and may extend the counter operation period for up to three months,” he said.

He told reporters this when met after inspecting and meeting customers renewing their international passports at the office of the Kuala Lumpur Immigration Department at the Home Ministry Complex here tonight.

The operating hours at six passport issuing offices and Immigration counters were extended to 10pm while six others were extended until 6pm, starting today.

The six premises whose operating hours were extended until 10pm are Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Negri Sembilan and Melaka while those in Penang, Kedah, Perak, Kelantan, Terengganu and Perlis were extended until 6pm.

Meanwhile, Khairul Dzaimee said the department had adequate passport supply to face the increase in international passport applications and renewals.

“We have a supply of 1.2 million passports and this is estimated to be sufficient until June.

“On Friday (May 6), we issued 165,449 passports and today, as at 7pm, we recorded 208,607 passports which saw an increase of over 40,000 passports issued in five days,” he said.

He also advised the public to make applications online to speed up the passport application process and reduce congestion at counters. — Bernama