JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian immigration officials will no longer have to wait for passengers to touchdown before starting to screen them when the Advance Passenger Screening System (APSS) is introduced.
Unlike the current system, Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said, APSS would give the authorities more time to stop militants from entering the country.
"The authorities would be able to start cross-checking with databases of other security agencies including Interpol before the suspect departs or while flying in from the country of origin," he told The Star.
This more effective detection, he added, would allow Immigration to immediately deny entry to those who could pose a threat to the country.
"If a red flag is raised on one of the travellers, our security agencies would be able to take appropriate action before that person could leave the airport," he said.
The current method of screening upon arrival, Datuk Nur Jazlan said, allowed some suspects to slip through the cracks.
He said the ministry was deciding whether the cost of implementing APSS would be fully borne by the government or passed down to passengers.
"It could mean an increase in airport tax but nothing has been decided yet," he said.
He pointed out that other countries including Australia, United States, and in the Middle East had such a system in their airports and it has proven to be successful in stopping dangerous individuals from entering their countries.
Mr Nur Jazlan, who is also Pulai MP, said this to reporters during his constituency Hari Raya open house at Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat Complex on Sunday (July 17).
He stressed that having such a system would not only help tighten the security in the country, but also that of the region, as Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Senai International Airport have become transit hubs for travellers to neighbouring countries.