PETALING JAYA: The identification card for international students, aimed at improving the management of foreign students in Malaysia with emphasis on security, was launched by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today.
The I-Card would be issued by the Immigration Department from July 1, the Deputy Prime Minister said at the event here.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said the card could also be used as a valid travel document for international students in Peninsular Malaysia.
“This portrays the government’s responsiveness to the needs and welfare of the students,” he noted.
Besides a photograph, the card will contain each student’s particulars including passport number and information on the educational institution they enrolled at.
Present were Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
At a news conference later, Muhyiddin said the validity period of the card, which bore the signatures of the IGP and Immigration director-general, would depend on the duration of the students’ study programme, but could be extended if the students decided to pursue studies at a higher level.
He said the usage of the card would be extended to East Malaysia soon for nationwide uniformity in recording of information on foreign students.
“The card cannot be used in Sabah and Sarawak yet as the immigration rules of both states differ from the peninsula’s,” he said, adding that with the I-Card, foreign students no longer needed to bring along their passports wherever they went.
He hoped the issuing of the card, to be managed by the educational institutions, could be done within a day like the applications for international passports currently.
In his speech, Muhyiddin mentioned the need to ensure that foreigners who came to study in Malaysia were genuine and of high calibre.
He said private higher education institutions should continue to assess the viability of their business model to accommodate future needs.