Come Sept 10, Malaysia and Brunei will sign an agreement to allow MyKad and Brunei Identity Card to be used as frequent travellers cards (FTCs) between Malaysia and Brunei, eliminating the need for passports.
This was agreed during a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah earlier this week.
A good news for the people of both countries. However, it seems that for non-frequent travellers, passport is still needed. When I was posted to Sarawak in 2000, I was asked to produce my international passport before being allowed to enter Kuching. The Immigration's stamp on my passport read `Permitted to enter and remains in Sarawak/Malaysia for THREE MONTHS from the date shown above.'As I was to work in Kuching, I need to get a Work Permit which must be approved by the Chief Minister's Department. I was issued a work permit listing me as an `Expatriate'. I went back to Kota Kinabalu by road, my passports pages were almost `used up' being stamped at every checkpoints - seven times - even entering Sabah from Sarawak. So the FTC will come handy, I only hope...