Contrary to what I have experienced previously and what I had expected, my experience today applying for a new Malaysian passport and a new ID card was most pleasant.
The staff were pleasant in both the departments of registration and immigration. When they realised that I’m speaking in very bad broken Malay, they spoke English to me. All up it took 2 hours to get both things done, including travelling and waiting time.
The new passports have embedded biometric chips in them and cannot be done by the embassy in Canberra anymore. Therefore I needed to get it done while I’m here.
I completed a form, had my photo taken, and then waited for around 2 minutes before my number was called. Show them my current passport, do a thumbprint scan, pay the money (RM$300) and that was it. It’d be ready tomorrow for pickup.
These also have embedded chips in them and the last time I did my ID Card was 10 years ago. Similar procedure to above: fill in a form, had my photo taken, and waited for my number to be called. This took a bit longer at about half an hour?
Paid the fee of RM$10, do thumbprint scan again and that was it. It will be ready in 2-3 months time and my auntie here in Penang will collect it for me.
I know this might sound trite, but the perceived difficulty in renewing my official Malaysian documents (having to go back to Malaysia to do it, have to endure waiting etc.) had been a factor in my contemplating recently to give up my Malaysian citizenship and become an Australian.
Now my decision is up in the air again. Right now, I still identify strongly with being a Malaysian but I’m also proud to tell ppl that I live and work in Australia. I also try to correct any misperceptions of Australia whenver I come across them.
I’m neither here or there, and yet I’m both. I’m sure most first generation migrants would experience the conflicting emotions that I’m experiencing now.