Malaysian consulate service a letdown

by Disappointed Malaysian

I am writing from Melbourne, Australia as I am frustrated with the services and support provided by the Malaysian Consulate in Canberra, Australia. My family have had the unfortunate incident of having our house burglarised and all (the entire family’s) our documents ie, Malaysian passports, birth certificates, Malaysian driving licences, our MyKads, marriage certificates have all been stolen.

We immediately reported the incident to the Malaysian Consulate in Canberra and was passed on to the person in-charge, a Mr Haa Doan. He must be the most unpleasant person we have come across and encountered during our stay in Australia so far. We told him our circumstances and asked him for the procedure to apply for a replacement travel document and he advised that he will immediately send us the necessary application forms.

We supplied him with our correspondence address and contact details. He then reprimanded us for the way we kept our documents at home which was uncalled for. He kept insisting that we have to fly back to Malaysia to reapply for all our documents but how could we when we have just lost our passports?

The documents came only four weeks later and we sent off our completed forms and the necessary certified documents. On Sept 13, we decided to check with the Malaysian Consulate on the status of our application. My husband who called was told that Haa was on leave. My husband was not happy and called again, and this time was told that Haa was not on leave and the call was passed to him.

He was very annoyed with my husband and irritated when asked about the status of our applications. He said it is still with him in his office which meant that the applications have been sitting at the consulate for more than a month. He said he was sick and that he just returned from back to work. The question is does the consulate stop functioning because Haa is on sick leave? Is there no one to take over his responsibility when he is away from the office?

When my husband asked why wasn’t it sent off to the Immigration Department in Kuala Lumpur, he said that they do not do daily postings to Malaysia and that it was done only once a month! Asked how long will the whole process take, Haa said that he was not sure, maybe it would be six months or more and that it was entirely up to the Kuala Lumpur Immigration Office.

These kind of answers are definitely not reassuring for a whole family who is at their wits end at having lost all their critical documents. The passports are required to fly back to Malaysia to reapply for the other documents and looks like we are at a loss as to when we will get our passports approved or when they finally make their way back to the Kuala Lumpur Immigration Office. Is Australia so distant that there is only one mail service a month?

The next critical question is has the consulate reported the loss of our passports to the Malaysian Immigration so that there is a record that our passports have been reported stolen and in the event of unlawful use, they will be able to put a stop to it.

We in Australia feel very sad with the support given by the Malaysian Consulate. Aren’t they there to give us the very support we need in a foreign country in times of need. Can someone from Putrajaya please help us out on this critical issue? We are getting nowhere with Haa at the Malaysian Consulate in Canberra.

The one in Perth wrote :

A friend of our family have the misfortune of losing his passport and various other important documents while in Perth, Western Australia. His case, however, was handled most efficiently and professionally by Malaysian High Commission and he got his temporary traveling document issued to fly back to Malaysia and then got everything else done while back here.

We hope that the Embassy staff in Canberra will look into the matter.

  1. #1 by House Victim on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 6:30 am

    I wonder how the Government select representative to a foreign country? Or, do they know giving service to their own people, especially in the case of emergency, such as the said situation, is the basic to make an Embassy to be in existence!

    Most probably the “urge” for a good and efficient delivery system from PM had left out the Embassy in Australia!

    Hope the Immigration Department will help to speed up the matter. May be “Disappointed Malaysian” should try contact the Immigration Department direct, at least by e-mail!!

  2. #2 by UFOne on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 6:58 am

    Whether it is a consulate or an embassy, these people are ordered by the government to establish a relationship with that country concerned. With that kind of robotic thinking, you cannot expect that they know how to deal with their own people or with people not of that country. These people working in the embassy or consulate think so proud and mighty of themselves and sometimes they even promote that country instead of their own country. It must be so great to be working in the embassy or consulate because one gets to travel on expensive holidays using government’s money or should I say the public’s money. And obvious social discrimination does exist in Australia. So too in Malaysia. sigh… There goes our nice song cemerlang, gemilang, terbilang.

  3. #3 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 8:02 am

    Malaysians must realize that the Embassies and Consulates in all these countries especially where many Malaysians could be found, are facing very serious problems with ‘lost’ passports which later surfaced in other countries used by persons who purchased them for a fee.

    Ethnic Indians who are Indian nationals or Sri Lankan nationals or Bangladeshi nationals have been caught using passports which belonged to Malaysian citizens – with the photos substituted, of course. Chinese nationals have been caught trying to enter Japan using stolen Malaysian passports. They are not necessarily stolen by them but sold to them in some cases for thousands of USDLS by international syndicates – so much so Malaysian passports are closely scrutinised by immigration officials at airports all over the world.

    Who can blame the Malaysian embassy officials for reacting the way they do and being very strict about ‘lost’ passports which are after all the property of the Malaysian government. So called ‘lost’ passports in many cases were sold by holders for a fee which find their way to syndicates. In these cases they are not stolen at all.

    Once you lose your passport or report your passport as lost, a new one could only be issued by Kuala Lumpur which means you will be issued a one way travel document back to Malaysia from where you can then make an application for a new one. Another way is for you to file a police report from wherever you are and fill up a stack of forms numbering all in all close to an estimated 10 plus pages (I have not bothered to count). I was warned by a senior Embassy official that applications for replacement passports are taking four years or more because of the investigations.

    So the best advice is to place documents like passports in a secure place like a safe deposit box in a bank.

    Malaysian passports are popular among international syndicates for obvious reasons. There are ready buyers who could use them. The passports are not forgeries but are real – names are real but photos have been substituted.

  4. #4 by malaysiaMYcountry2020 on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 8:25 am

    I totally understand how you feel. Its really disheartening because when young right up to college years in Malaysia, I felt really proud to be Malaysian in every sense of the word. I talk non-stop about our beloved country, promoting it, supported national plans, cheered Malaysian athletes and government endeavours, and always defended Malaysia when there is even the slightest criticism or misconception towards us.

    However, when going into adulthood, i.e. entering into real-life situations, i was appalled and shocked. So many times have I required assistance in government departments – Customs, National Registration offices, and especially Immigration. Almost always the staff and so-called heads were really rude and have tidak-apa attitude. When we want help, especially in a foreign land, the consulates and embassies are set up to provide us citizens help. These ignorant people really think they are arrogant and ‘mighty’ to refuse, delay or procrastinate their duties because its troublesome to them. They just want jobs which all they need to do is put the work in a machine, press the start button, and out comes the finished item at the bottom of it.

    Any G ministers or civil servants reading this? If you are, why dont you do a simple thing like call any embassy or government department and ask for some help. I.e. 1. Immigration – you have a pregnant wife at a foreign country, so what procedure must you do to get the citizenship and what documents are needed beforehand if you MUST personally go to Malaysia to apply.

    2. Customs – you are doing business, you want to do it the correct and legitimate way. You have some samples which you need to bring back to Malaysia for an exhibition in KL and have no commercial value and not for sale. Call or go personally and ask what documents you require, or if it’s not necessary.

    I’ll tell you what will happen. They will say, wrong number/department/person…call this number…either the number is out-of-service/ the supposed person in-charge not there/ call back later/ you get put on hold forever/ hangs-up/ ask you to come personally!

    Why act so proud and discriminate in race, nationality (i.e. stereotype PRC, Indians, and appearance when your job is to help Malaysians? I am frustrated with the I-have-a-stable-job-in-civil-service; I-won’t-get-fired,just-transfered; I-love-the-air-conditioning, If-I-put-in-effort-in-my-work,I-might sweat attitude?

    Sometimes it is an honest legitimate inconvenience to come personally just to ask a few questions (that logically can be solved there and then). Think of the senior citizens, those who are far away, have to take a day off work, etc.

    You want to support the economy and do business in Malaysia, helping citizens, creating jobs, but with all the red-RED-tape, corruption, etc. Its really crazy!

    The delivery system is appalling and disappointing. And you hear about corruption and mismanged funds by the A-G. Who in the first place would approve the money? Is there no counter-check before giving the green-light? Where is the integrity, honesty?

    It’s true about what House Victim and UFOne says. It sure makes me extremely frustrated that in real-life, you have all these simple problems – mindset, attitude, etc.

    No matter what, I will still love Malaysia but when non-Malaysians comment about issues like the above (which are A LOT!), I cannot defend our country (notice i didnt use G) when they have first-hand experience!

    -disappointed,disillusioned Malaysian-

    p/s – instead of mismanaged funds and to avoid corruption, why dont the G use the difference in actual costs to the costs reported which is I think easily RM1 Billion, to upgrade our living standard, increase pay, (I’m Malaysian and am uncomfortable to say this but) like in Singapore where its rather super-efficient and low-corruption and succeed by merit and hard-work! Why Singapore? Because in some ways it is similar to us and we can relate to them.

  5. #5 by achia3 on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 10:07 am

    My family and I are most fortunate to have chosen Perth to plant our feet as our PM also has a rest area here. Probably that explains the good service in Perth Consulate. I have got say that the service in Perth consultate is top class. Far better than public service in Malaysia. They are a good example of a courteous and all smiling public service. Mind you the malays servicing us here speaks good aussie-accented english. :)

    Go Perth!

  6. #6 by shine on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 10:21 am

    I am currently studying at The University of Melbourne, if ever something goes wrong here in Melbourne (touch wood) I dont think the consulate knows where to find me. They dont give two hoots about my wellbeing as long as their needs are taken care of ie. Ramadhan Bazaar. Well because I am not one of them, I am not on the mailing list, thus not receiving any news. I wonder if they organized anything for Merdeka.. hmm… I celebrated the countdown at a club that organized a Merdeka Night. Booze and Jalur Gemilang… We didnt torch it though.

  7. #7 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 10:23 am

    Why not? They are probably PRs there. Don’t be surprised if the driver to the CG turns out to be someone with a Master’s degree who prefers working in Ox than return home!

  8. #8 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 10:27 am

    Perth is the popular choice among the well-heeled Malaysians to put down their roots. It has a warm temperate type climate and population size is about the same as that of Penang. Vancouver in Canada has a similar climate. Seattle is not too dissimilar.

  9. #9 by izrafeil on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 10:34 am

    looks like Malaysia has succeed in exporting our incompetencies overseas, tabik Pak Lah

  10. #10 by Taikor on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 10:42 am

    Needless to say, the said person who got the job in Australia must have good connection with the influentials. Just like Muhamad Muhamad Taib, the mentri BESAR who can’t speak English.

  11. #11 by sotong on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 10:44 am

    Most foreigners working for our government overseas behaved in similar way – uncoopeartive, unhelpful and rude.

    It is the work environment that made them the way they are. Most Malaysians would not want to work there with little pay.

  12. #12 by fm2 on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 10:47 am

    malaysia goverment’s attitude, everywhere the same.

  13. #13 by taikohtai on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 11:25 am

    Same thing happened to me 5 years ago. After waiting for 3 years for my replacement passport, I rang the Consulate and was told that they were still waiting for my birth certificate – which was also stolen together with my passport.
    So I decided to request for an Australian passport and guess what? I got mine in less than 3 weeks together with my citizenship papers! And it’s the best move I made, thanks to the inefficiency and tidak apa attitude of the Consulate.
    So why continue to settle for second class service, third class attitude and fourth class citizenship? Just burn the bridge after you.

  14. #14 by Jonny on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 11:30 am

    Try and see if it was Mat Tyson who does not ‘speaking much Englis’ lost his passport, see how speedy it will be.

    Too bad we’re not Tan Sri’s or Dato’s or we’re connected or that we have the $$$ lubricants to grease.

  15. #15 by paix on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 12:20 pm

    With so many paws in the kitty back home in Bodohland, there is not much money left for their postage budget for the embassies abroad. Hence the once-a-month mailings :-)

  16. #16 by BlueBear on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 1:34 pm

    I have dealt with the Canberra High Commissioner and Mr. Haa in particular. They are shockingly inefficient and documents take eternity to be processed. Very disappointing. Same goes to the branch in Sydney.

  17. #17 by sotong on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 2:50 pm

    His name Haa tells you what his attitude is towards work….haahaahahahahaha…the whole day.

  18. #18 by k1980 on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 3:58 pm

    What? No malaysian on the list of (dis)honour?,25197,22447019-2703,00.html
    A UN drive to recover billions of dollars in stolen assets worldwide, which lists former Indonesian president Suharto as the worst offender, sends a warning that Jakarta cannot allow the ailing ex-strongman to go unpunished, anti-corruption campaigners have warned….. its list of 10 of the most prominent offenders, with Suharto at its head, included former Philippines leader Ferdinand Marcos, with an estimated plunder of up to $US10 billion, Mobutu Sese Seko (Zaire, $US5 billion), Sani Abacha (Nigeria, up to $US5 billion), Slobodan Milosevic (Serbia/Yugoslavia, $US1 billion), Jean-Claude Duvalier (Haiti, up to $US800 million) and Alberto Fujimori (Peru, $US600 million).

  19. #19 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 8:17 pm

    Be fair. What goes on in Sydney or Melbourne is not a mirror image of what is happening in other foreign missions. The one in New York is efficient and has given no one a cause for complaints. I observe how Malaysians whether they be Malays, Chinese or Indians have their needs attended to reasonably efficiently considering that they are short-staffed.

    It depends on the Ambassador or the Consulate-General in charge. Those who are regularly visited upon by dignitaries and Ministers and VIPs from home tend to be more efficient and sensitive to the needs of Malaysians there.

    I once met a Malay student (who was studying and working to make ends meet and who does not have a government scholarship or assistance of any kind from Malaysia) who wanted to give up his Malaysian citizenship. He has a dual citizenship – U.S. and Malaysian. Dual citizenship is of course not recognized by Malaysia.
    The Consulate-General went out of his way to try and advise him not to renounce his Malaysian citizenship because once renounced it is lost forever. He did this in his private capacity of course.

    Most of the Chinese who appeared at the Consulate do so periodically to renew their passports. Most are working illegally, working to save the greenback to bring home. They rarely want to stay on. Malaysia is still a good country to live in despite the rampant corruption and abuse that we see at government departments.

  20. #20 by sheriff singh on Friday, 21 September 2007 - 1:00 am

    Haa Doan. Sounds like a Vietnamese. Employed by Wisma Putra?

    Sounds like “Hard One”.

  21. #21 by menarambo on Friday, 21 September 2007 - 4:47 am

    It’s the same everywhere. Not much different in US. I guess they hire their own people working there, and we are 2nd class citizen; treatment is the same in Malaysia, and abroad.

  22. #22 by W.O or Wilson on Friday, 21 September 2007 - 7:42 am

    I had the exact same experience with the Malaysian Consulate in Canberra. The people on the phone were rude, abrasive, and as diplomats in a Western-society, spoke appalling English.

    My housemate’s expired passport took 11 months to be renewed – because they had LOST it when he had gone in person to hand it to them.

    As Malaysian citizens in Australia, even though we hold residency, for many people, our passport is our official identification. Those 11 months caused him unimaginable inconvenience, from the day to day banking, applying for loans to lost employment oppotunities (because he had no official documentation).

    It is extremely disheartening to see that the inefficiency and complacency that plauges Malaysia has been ‘exported’ overseas.

  23. #23 by overseas_malaysian_undergrad on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 - 12:57 pm


    I am in equal straits. I’m a fourth year undergrad studying in Canada. I recently misplaced my passport by an unfortunate accident. It can be partially attributed to my own carelessness, but I was of the opinion that the administration allowed for human error. I was wrong.

    The Malaysian High Commission in Ottawa, Canada has been nothing but unaccomodating and unhelpful. They insist on my spending 2000 canadian dollars (~RM7000) just to go home to Kuala Lumpur and apply for a new passport. At this point, I cannot see any other option but that, though I should not be expected to spend this substantial amount of money just because of an extremely dysfunctional bureaucracy.

    I encounter a lady who speaks like a Malaysian over the phone. Her main objective inferred from her tone of voice is not to help a fellow Malaysian in trouble, but to get me off the phone as soon as possible. I never believed I would be this abandoned by my own country and I truly feel alone.

  24. #24 by rhematek on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 - 2:55 pm

    I get very sick reading about the in-efficiency of certain consulate or M’sian Embassy in other countries. The worst is that they would contact you while off duty and ask for side pocket $$$ which has happened to my bro-in-law. I do not want to go into details but it just shows that not only in Malaysia that corruption is abound but it is a triving and active business elsewhere conducted by the very people that took the oath to help Malaysian outside of Malaysia when needed. That is why I did not bother to join the Overseas Malaysian Society here….or maybe I should so I can also enjoy the same corrupted cake. Ha Ha.

  25. #25 by Taffyshar on Friday, 12 October 2007 - 9:38 pm

    I’m the unfortunate Malaysian in Melbourne who lost all our trvel documents etc couple with the nasty experience of dealing with the Malaysian Consulate let down.

    Latest update as of today, I’ve been in contact with the Immigration Office in Kuala Lumpur and guess what… our documents and applications have not been received by the Immigration Dept in Kuala Lumpur. This has been confirmed by a Immigration Official.

    After reading all the responses, I am now wondering how many years I have to wait for our replacement passports. Perhaps like taikohtai.. it would be quicker to apply for an Australia passport and Australian citizenship. But how on earth did he get his Police clerance from Malaysia and how long did it take. As I understand it has again to be submitted through the wonderful Malaysian Consulate. Or is there an alternative. Could taikohtai enlighten me on this.

    As to flying back to Malaysian on an emergency travel document, we are all working… how long can we take time off to go back and reapply for all the documents like the MyKad, and then the Passport… if they can issue a replacement with us going back, why does it take 3 -4 years via the Malaysian Consulate with the excuse of having to do investigations. Do they not go through the same routine with u applying in person or through the Consulate?

    It is my exact sentiment, with a job responsibility as crucial as the passport section at the Consulate, why employ a foreigner who can’t even speak proper English let alone who do not understand the entire process. Mr Haa’s knowledge of identity theft is next to zero since Malaysian passports have been targets by syndicates etc. He did not even bother to report the loss of our passport to Security therefore anyone out there who has their hands on our passport might be using it. Whose fault is it if our passports falls into unscrupulous hands when the Consulate fails to inform the relevant parties like Security. Why employ someone who can’t even speak a word of Bahasa Malaysia when he has problem communicating in English, we can’t even get through to him in Bahasa. He seems to operate as and how he likes with the tidak apa attitude of we need him but he couldn’t care less.

    Perhaps really and seriously, we should consider getting an Australian passport. So taikohtai, please enlighten us on how to to get our police clearance from Malaysia.

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