PETALING JAYA • The familiar red Malaysian passport has a new design and a host of enhanced security features.
The new pages show batik designs in blue, red and orange. The inside cover has songket motifs resembling a golden weave, while two hibiscus flowers bloom on the inside back cover.
The inside pages also feature iconic national landmarks such as the Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur Tower, Istana Negara and Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in Malaysia.
Immigration Department director-general Mustafar Ali said the design, rolled out on Nov 15, is based on Malaysian principles.
"The Rukunegara principles (national principles) are evident in the images chosen: a mosque (belief in God); Istana Negara (loyalty to king and country); Parliament (the supremacy of the Constitution); the Federal Court (the rule of law); and the National Museum showing our heritage and culture (courtesy and morality)," he told The Star.
Datuk Seri Mustafar said the travel document has been hailed as being among the most beautiful international passports in the world.
The upgraded security features include an embedded chip in the polycarbonate personal particulars page. Formerly, the chip was in the back cover.
"Every page of the passport also has an added security feature. Verification of the passport's authenticity cannot be done with the naked eye and is only done with ultraviolet light," he said.
The chip's new position also makes the passport harder to forge and allows data to be read more easily.
Mr Mustafar said almost 20,000 passports with the new design and features were issued between Nov 15 and last Wednesday.
The department started issuing the new passports at its office in Putrajaya and will extend it nationwide in stages.
Mr Mustafar stressed that the older passport is still valid for use.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK