Long queues at Malaysian consulate leave many frustrated
She started queueing at 6.45am to renew her passport that is due to expire next month, but Madam Lim reached the gates of the Malaysian consulate here only five hours later.
The 50-year-old clerk, who did not wish to give her full name, said she had expected a queue but was shocked to see hundreds of people lining up at the High Commission of Malaysia on Tuesday morning.
The permanent resident said she was turned away as the consulate had hit its daily limit of 30 walk-in applicants.
Malaysians who spoke to The Straits Times said long lines at the High Commission in Jervois Road in Tanglin have been a persistent issue throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many have taken to social media to express their frustrations.
One Facebook user said the elderly and wheelchair-bound had to wait for hours under the sun.
"Everything is chaotic regardless of whether one has made an advance appointment via e-mail," she wrote.
According to the High Commission's Facebook page, walk-in applications for passport renewals resumed in December. They had been halted from March 30 last year due to Covid-19, and Malaysians here were told to apply online and wait for an appointment date to collect their passports.
Mr Tommy Yap, 47, a permanent resident from Malaysia, said the queues have been an ongoing issue since last year.
His 10-year-old son's passport expired in December and his wife went to the consulate with the boy at 7am one January morning - an hour before it was supposed to open. By then, there was already a queue of more than 200 people.
While he was concerned by the lack of social distancing, he also understood the constraints faced by the consulate.
"The High Commission may be short-handed. There may also be an overwhelming number of applications because people would usually go back to Johor Baru to do their passport renewals but the borders are closed now."
Madam Lim managed to collect her new passport yesterday evening after she went back to the consulate on Wednesday at 5.30am and queued again for several hours.
Acting High Commissioner of Malaysia to Singapore Radzi Jamaludin declined to comment when contacted by ST.