Does Immigration work in mysterious ways?
This is to reiterate the letter on PR (permanent resident) status for foreign spouses of Malaysian citizens. I am a professional engineer and also a university lecturer, while my Hong Kong born wife is with me in Malaysia since 1994. She is a well-educated university graduate, and we have two daughters, aged 7 and 11 respectively, both born in Malaysia and holding Malaysian passports.My wife is currently on employment visa and is working as a lecturer at a local private college. Hence, we are not really in the same category as those who swarm in over the Malaysian shores in droves as illegal migrants or what not.
We were told by Immigration to only submit application for PR status for my wife only after five years of continuing stay in Malaysia on one-year renewable social visit pass for foreign wives. This we did in 2001, and we went through the whole process, including the security checks and police interviews at the Shah Alam police headquarters.
But to date our application is still pending at the Immigration – in fact we were told to update on our information twice with regards to our married status, children information, and we have to go to the commissioner of oaths each time to swear that our information provided are true. And we still waited for the immigration people up there to decide whether to confer the PR or to defer for another year, and another round of updating and visitations to the commissioner of oaths again.
Only in Malaysia, professionals are treated to a round of circus like this by Immigration. This sort of things would be unheard of in most developed countries, which we are aspiring to be.
Mind you, we did not offer under the table ‘ang pows’ nor did we seek the ‘help’ or so-called ‘connections’ from some Datuks to facilitate or speed up the process. This we did not do, as we feel why should we, when what we have submitted are all above board and there is nothing to hide or to cover up. Let the due process work.
The first thing that people ask us would be, how come your application takes ages, while other people get theirs very quick. I have no idea, as the immigration people may be working in very mysterious ways. Maybe, our file is stuck on someone’s desk for ages, and nobody is looking into it because of other more important ‘tasks’.
I also wonder how those so many graduates they have hired for government civil service could not help out to solve this ‘bottleneck’ in visa applications. And now they said there are thousands and thousands of unemployed university graduates out there still ‘wandering’. Wasteful of human resources!
So, in a nutshell, that’s how Malaysian husbands with foreign wives have to go through in dealing with PR application. How can the process be improved? No idea – let’s hear it from the Immigration office, who promised to provide quick service with a smile – how ironic!
The writer is lecturer at the School of Engineering, Monash University Malaysia.
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