If you frequently lose your passport, you may soon be slapped with a RM1,000 fine.
The Immigration Department recently proposed a fine of RM1,000 for those who lose their passport for the third time.
Malaysian passport is ranked fifth by the Passport Index Organisation, alongside Canadian and Irish passports.
As Malaysian passports were among the most valuable passports in the world, the government is now mulling a heavier fine on those who frequently lose their passports in their effort to thwart passport forgers, said director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali.
The proposal include a RM200 fine for those who lose their passport for the first time, RM500 for the second time, and RM1,000 for the third and subsequent times.
“This is not to punish but to teach people to be more responsible with their passports,” he told Bernama.
The most common reason given by Malaysians who are applying for new passports is misplacing their old passport, he added.
About 78% of those who lost their passports between January and June 2 this year, claimed they could not remember where they had kept the documents, while 2,858 holders said the passports might have been lost when moving house.
The lackadaisical attitude of the people was among factors contributing to the high number of losses, said Mustafar.
“Losing the passports seems to be common, be they in the country or abroad. Losing due to theft is still acceptable but if that occurs frequently, then it is not good,” he added.
Johor has the highest number of losses at 5,734 loss passports, followed by Kuala Lumpur (4,399) and Selangor (3,409).
Australia recorded the highest number of lost passports overseas with 43 cases, followed by Singapore (41), Hong Kong (11) and France (10).
Most of these cases were due to robbery, theft, passports dropping out of pockets and others, he said.
In one case, an individual claimed to have lost the passport four times, he added.
He urged passport holders to be more responsible with their documents.