Malaysia to introduce biometric screening ‘at every border’

Senior Malaysian officials have said a new biometric security system using facial and iris recognition will be implemented at every border checkpoint.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi said enhanced biometric security and an Advanced Passenger Screening System (APSS) would be implemented at all “entry and exit points” to tackle the issue of terrorism and illegal migration.

“We are working very closely with the International Civil Aviation Organisation and Interpol to beef up our security measures in the country,” he said.

He added that a need for strong anti-terror legislation has grown urgent because Malaysians are getting involved in Islamic State militant activities in the Middle East.

In August, officials said the government was looking at the APSS because it will allow Immigration Department to quickly check if passengers have a criminal background.

“It is a multi-purpose system to identify individuals intending to or entering Malaysia,” said Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tunku Jaafar.

A month earlier, Immigration Department deputy director-general Datuk Sakib Kusmi said that facial recognition system and iris scanners would be installed.

Malaysia implemented thumbprint scanning at immigration arrival counters in 2011. But Sakib said the addition of iris scanners would prevent officers from not using the thumbprint system.

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