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Malaysia develops identity verification app

Education Malaysia Global Services, the body tasked with marketing Malaysian education and managing student services, is developing a mobile application for law enforcement officers enabling them to verify the identity of international students, it announced this month.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“The i-Kad is equipped with stringent security features to ensure it is protected against forgery"

The app, which works in conjunction with the i-Kad – the international student ID card introduced last year – will speed up the process of verifying students, according to EMGS.

“This initiative goes a long way in enhancing international students’ security and welfare”

“This initiative goes a long way in enhancing international students’ security and welfare,” EMGS chief executive officer Mohd Yazid Abdul Hamid said in a statement, adding that it will reduce the number of students detained over “suspicious identities”.

At the moment, the only way to definitively verify that an international student is genuine is to submit a letter from the Immigration Department to the police.

“This can take time, particularly if it’s a weekend or during public holidays,” Mohd Yazid added. “This expedites the entire vetting process.”

The app, developed in conjunction with print and digital services company Percetakan Nasional Malaysia Berhad, will allow police to verify the data on a student’s i-Kad, which includes their passport number and details of their educational institution, by scanning an SQR code on the back of the card.

“The i-Kad is equipped with stringent security features to ensure it is protected against forgery,” a PNMB spokesperson said. “Its unique design, biometric elements, security chip, SQR code and 2D barcode are some of the security features built into the identity card.”

“The mobile apps will be made available to officers, authorised by the respective agencies.”

This is the latest measure to tighten controls on international students as part of a wider move to crack down on illegal immigration in Malaysia.

The introduction of the i-Kad in July last year demonstrates the “responsiveness to the needs and welfare of the students”, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

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