ARAU, Sept 5 — The premium visa programme (PVIP) has been a huge success, with the Home Ministry (KDN) receiving 20,000 applications from agents in the first day of its launch on Thursday (September 1), Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said.

“I would like to inform that for the first phase, we have set a limit of no more than 25,000 applications,” he told reporters after the Menyemai Kasih Rakyat (MEKAR) programme with the Siamese community at the Prisons Training Centre (Pulapen), Perlis Correctional Centre today.

Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz, National Registry Department director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh, Perlis state secretary Datuk Seri Hasnol Zam Zam Ahmad and Dewan Negara member cum Siamese Association of Malaysia chairman, Senator Ak Nan a/l Eh Took were also present.

Hamzah said that the Cabinet had previously agreed that applicants need to pay a one-time fee of RM200,000 and a one-time fee of RM100,000 per dependent.

“If the response is good, we might raise the fees in the next phase,” he added.

Meanwhile, Hamzah said the MEKAR programme made it easier for the Siamese community in the state to change the descent information in the identity card from Thai to Siamese.

He said the Siamese community in Kedah, Kelantan, Perak and several other states were asked to apply for new identity card at the office of the National Registration Department near their respective homes. The MEKAR programme is one of the department’s initiatives since 2017 to provide Malaysians with easy access to services, including the registration of births, deaths and identification cards, along with advice, specially catered to residents in the interior and rural areas. — Bernama