KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA has begun taking fingerprints from foreigners entering the country in a bid to prevent illegal immigrants coming in using fake papers, an official said on Thursday.
Up to two million people - mostly from neighbouring Indonesia and Myanmar - work in Malaysia illegally, authorities say. Those arrested for working illegally or overstaying are deported but many try to return.
A pilot system, implemented at several entry points like the Kuala Lumpur International Airport since late last month, requires visitors to give prints of both index fingers, immigration spokesman Abdul Haidir Mohamad Sukor said.
He said the biometric system was expected to be implemented nationwide from June 1. Malaysia has one of Asia's largest populations of foreign workers. Some 1.8 million people, mostly from poorer regional countries, work in such sectors as construction, plantations, manufacturing and hospitality.
The new scheme will help authorities keep better track of foreigners, said Abdul Haidir, with those caught overstaying or committing any other offences now unable to re-enter Malaysia under different identities.
'Starting from June 1, all foreigners must give their data,' Abdul Haidir told AFP. 'We collect all the data to ensure we can detect problems earlier, if they have committed any offence before.' 'Before this in Malaysia, the overstayers are just sent back but they can come back with fake passports. With the biometric system, they cannot lie,' he said. -- AFP
BUKIT MERTAJAM - A WOMAN was allegedly stabbed to death by her fiance in what is said to be a crime of passion. The drama ended with the suspect warded for consuming poison.
Petrol station worker Karimah Jusoh, 25, a divorcee with two children aged five and seven, was found in a pool of blood in the station's changing room by a colleague at 8am (8am Singapore time) on Wednesday.
JAKARTA - INDONESIAN police said on Thursday they had found six unexploded bombs similar to one detonated by a suicide bomber inside a police mosque last month.
National police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said the improvised devices appeared to have been prepared for a wave of suicide attacks in the mainly Muslim archipelago of 240 million people.
JAKARTA - A BLOODY border conflict between Thailand and Cambodia looks set to dominate an Asean summit in Indonesia this weekend, casting doubt on the bloc's rhetoric about regional integration by 2015.
Analysts and diplomats said the fighting, which has left at least 18 people dead since April 22, is expected to be a key topic at the two-day summit of the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) in Jakarta from Saturday.
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