PUTRAJAYA, April 24 — Immigration officers are not allowed to reject any passport renewal or first-time application solely because the applicant fails to master the national language, said Immigration director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh.

“I would like to clarify that in fulfilling their responsibilities, immigration officers will conduct random checks in various aspects to verify applications.

“However, these checks must be conducted professionally and with courtesy,” he said in a statement today.

On Monday, a man expressed his disappointment in failing to renew his mother’s passport at the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) in Komtar, Penang, because she could not speak the Malay language in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.


Ruslin said the woman managed to renew her passport, which she retrieved from the Penang UTC office on the same day.

“The Immigration Department is committed to providing good customer services and always reminds the officers to assist customers according to the prescribed standard operating procedure,” he added.

The man claimed they went to the UTC on Sunday to renew his parents’ passports.


He said the renewal process for his father’s passport went smoothly, but they faced an issue with renewing his mother’s passport after he was told by the staff that she could not speak Malay despite being a citizen. — Bernama