Sultan of Brunei yes to Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah seamless travel

MIRI: Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has made travelling through Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah smoother by putting up the request to the Sultan of Brunei.

The present system whereby passports are stamped 14 times at the CIQs of Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah respectively will be a thing of the past when Malaysia and Brunei introduce digital scanning at their respective Immigration checkpoints.

On Nov 1, the chief minister at the earth-breaking and launching of second Limbang Bridge project at Pabahanan in the Ranggau Valley Development area said he would like to see travellers to and from Brunei enter both countries without too much hassle.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak brought the matter up during the government-to-government meeting with the Sultan of Brunei in Brunei recently.

Deputy Chief Minister and Bukit Sari assemblyman Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said he and the Chief Minister had earlier briefed the Prime Minister on the matter.

“The prime minster and chief minister later flew to Brunei for this meeting while I stayed back to officiate at the closing ceremony of World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), and we are glad that the sultan has consented to the proposed seamless travel with digital technology system as in the European Union countries.”

He said the chief minister informed him of the decision upon his return from Brunei and announced that it might kick off next year.

The decision was relayed to the delegates and observers of the four PBB branches in northern Sarawak at their delegates meeting in Lawas last Saturday by the chief minister himself.

The decision has put an end to the eight-year long issue.

Limbang MP Hasbi Habibolah had first made the call for seamless travel without frequent passport stamping between Limbang and Brunei, and proposed the state and federal governments take it up with the government of Brunei.

A traveller from Miri to Sabah would require Immigration clearance at Sungai Tujuh, Tedungan/Kuala Lurah, Pandaruan and Mengkalap and Merapok CIQs on the Malaysian side.

Regular travellers use the restricted blue Malaysian passports instead of the red Malaysia international passport due to the multiple stampings on each return trip.