Hassle-free crossing to Brunei
By Roy Goh
KOTA KINABALU: A quick passport scan at the checkpoint is all it will take for a frequent road traveller between Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei soon.
The Malaysian and Brunei Immigration authorities are finalising details for the Frequent Travellers Facility (FTF), which will likely be introduced for a six-month trial run from August.
Immigration Department director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad revealed this after chairing the 10th meeting on the FTF between the department and their counterparts from Brunei here yesterday.
"The facility will come in the form of a stamp on travellers' passports."
He said the pilot project would start on Aug 1 and Malaysians who travel regularly between Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei could apply for the facility.
Alias said at the moment, travellers from here to Miri would need to have their passports stamped 16 times for a return trip as they would have to go through four checkpoints.
The four checkpoints are at Trusan (Sarawak) - Labu (Brunei), Puni (Brunei) - Pandaruan (Sarawak), Tedungan (Sarawak) - Kuala Lurah (Brunei) and Kuala Belait (Brunei) - Miri (Sarawak).
He said the project would start at the Tedungan-Kuala Lurah and Kuala Belait-Miri checkpoints first before covering the other two.
The idea to have the facility was mooted four years ago between the two governments and this was followed by technical meetings to iron out operational and administrative issues.
"This facility will take about a month to approve but we will try to find ways to speed up its issuance," Alias said and explained the approval time had to be extended because it involved two countries.
The estimated annual traffic between Miri and Brunei was about a million entries involving mostly people who work, with family ties or those with business on either side of the border.