IS ICA PROFITING S$140 MILLION EASY MONEY BY CHARGING S$70 EACH FOR PASSPORT RENEWAL?

First they cut down the number of pages by half to increase the chance we need a new Passport when all the pages are full. Then they also cut down the Passport validity from 10 years to 5. Renewal is fine but why insist on issuing a new Passport if the holder Passport pages are not even half filled? In the past, for such a case, they just extend the validity date on the old Passport. Moreover, with the new expensive Biometric feature, as our Bio data is unique, there isn’t a need to change Passport in order to prevent fraudster mastering the old Passport design, isn’t there ?

ICA is collecting about $140 million dollars every five years for issuing passports.

This is based on the following assumptions and estimates:

1. Population = 2 million
2. Cost per passport = $70
3. Renewal compulsory every five years
4. Total revenue collected every five years = 70 x 2 million = $140 million.

This sounds like an awfully large amount of money just for performing the simple task of issuing passports.

In the past, passports are valid for 10 years, and passports for visit to Malaysia only cost $10.

The elimination of the budget option for Malaysia only passport, plus the sharp reduction of passport validity to only five years, meant a large increase in revenue for ICA for passport issuance.

Would the government kindly explain the following;

1. Why the budget option passport was stopped?

2. Why are passports valid for 5 years only?

3. Is the current price of passports based on cost recovery principle?

In addition, for parents with new children born in the family, everyone would have passports of varying expiry date. It is cumbersome to incur extra trips to bring young children for each renewal.

At the expense of lowering the revenue slightly, would the government be people-centric and consider the following;

To allow one time free family renewal for every member of the household so as to synchronize the passport expiry date.

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