The visa approval period for foreign students in the country has been shortened from 30 days to 14 days.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also Home Minister, said the matter was decided at a high level meeting on intake of foreign students chaired by him on Thursday.
He said 10 additional officers would be assigned to the Immigration Department to ensure that the visas would be issued promptly.
“While waiting for approval of the visa, the government will issue a temporary visa for every application from foreign students after their names have been screened in the Interpol suspects list.
“For the screening, we use the Advance Passenger Screening System (APSS),” he told reporters after the presentation of school aid and excellence prizes to UPSR pupils in Bagan Datuk, Perak.
On another matter, he said the change in the United States administration, now helmed by President Donald Trump, is unlikely to affect the policies or cooperation on security matters between Malaysia and the United States.
He said all the memoranda of understanding on combating cross-border crime would remain in force.
“In the long term, despite a change in the president, all policies and cooperation established earlier, such as crime prevention, will remain in force,” he said.
Trump was sworn in at about 1am today (just after noon EST Jan 20 in the United States) as the 45th president of the United States, taking over from Barack Obama who was president for two four-year terms.
Ahmad Zahid said the cooperation in security matters between Washington and Kuala Lumpur also included the Federal Bureau of Investigation and intelligence agencies.
“We also have an MoU on the transfer of prisoners as well as a deradicalisation programme for terrorists,” he said. –Bernama