Thursday, March 29, 2012

Restoring My Identity

Never been robbed and never been living with a photocopy or temporally identity. After I was robbed all I have was a laminated photocopy of my passport. :-( That was what i used to identify myself. I arrived in Kuala Lumpur International Airport showing my Emergency Certificate to the Immigration officer, he smile and nodded. I was quite used to repeating the story of me being robbed by now. He was surprised that I went travelling for 10 months alone and shocked to find out I lost so many things and stunned that I have to pay RM6000 to come back to Malaysia, maybe he felt sympathized with what happen to me and asked me if I needed the passport urgently. I responded with an unbelievable look and asked is that possible? Then he asked his colleague to prepare for me a letter to be submitted by hand. He told me if they send that thru the office courier, it will take a month, if I go personally to the Head Office it will be faster. I was so thankful for his help. :-) With that I cut short 1 month.

After recovering from jet lag 3 days later, the first thing I did was to get a pair of spectacles. I need my clear vision back. ;-) Then I went to make my Malaysian ID, with my birth certificate and the police report and being first offense, I was charged only RM10 for a replacement but I need to wait for 3 weeks.

Then I went to the Immigration Head Office to submit the letter which was sealed in an envelope. I was sent to the Head Office which only handle Lost of Passport overseas. That make it sound a bit special at least, my case is handled differently from those loosing passport in Malaysia. :-)

The Immigration officer was very humble and nice, he scheduled an appointment for interview one week later and pass me a form to fill up. I have to bring photocopy of my birth certificate, photocopy of Malaysian ID, photocopy of Singapore ID, Police report, 2 passport size photos, and a declaration form to be certified by the commission of oath. Actually I have all those with me but they can't give me an interview straight away.

A week later, the same humble and nice guy interviewed me, he asked me lot's of questions, he asked me what do I do, where do I live, where I have been, when did I leave the country, am I residence of any country, why do I travel, when did I get robbed, how did I get robbed, what did I loose, why do I need my passport back,  when do I need my passport back, etc... The only question interest me was the last one. I told him ASAP please! :-) Surprisingly he told me in 5 working days normally I will receive an answer. Before it used to be a month. Wow! I almost jump from the chair. I also took this opportunity to find out about the penalties of loosing passport, he told me if one loose their passport overseas for the first time, normally he/she will get back a new 5 years validity passport. if one loose their passport overseas for the 2nd time, he/she will only get back a new 2 years validity passport, if one exceeded their stay in foreign country, he/she will not get a passport for 3 years after return!

What happen if one loose a passport at a country where there is no embassy? If there is no embassy, check if there is a high commissions, permanent representative to UN and ASEAN or a consulate office. If it is a Commonwealth country, there shouldn't be a problem. One can get assistance from the embassy of other Commonwealth country. If it is not, last resort is go to the local embassy for assistance.

Meanwhile, I wrote to PADI to get a replacement DM card (AU$25), I just need to send them my photo and pay. Even thought it is "Put Another Dollar In" at least you get good service!  Don't think I will get my IANTD Nitrox card replaced so soon.

Winnie and Dylan came to visit me in Kuala Lumpur, she brought me my new Citibank Credit Card but she forgot my SIM card, so I still can't make any transaction online.

3 working days later I received a call from the Immigration Office telling me that my passport replacement request has been approved! I swear I would hug the officer and gave her a big kiss if she is in front of me. :-) I was jumping with joy. It was much faster then expected.

I return to KL and Adelyn my niece has been driving me around for all my errants. We went to the Immigration office 7:30am in the morning when the door open, there was no one at the counter. We waited till 8am and finally someone came, I pass him the letter and he asked us to go for coffee. As expected, they take their own sweet time and need their breakfast time as well. Eventually I got my new Passport (RM300) at 10:30am. Woohoo! We went straight to LCCT airport so I could catch the next available flight to Singapore.

Arrived in Singapore at 2pm, at the airport they check me in with no issue. I head straight to the ICA office to get my Re-entry permit and Singapore IC replacement. For the first time offense, I was charged S$60 instead of S$100 and it takes a month to process. 

Then I went to M1 to sort out my outstanding bill of over S$200, the thief managed to use my phone to make some calls in BA before I cancel the line, they told me they could only waive S$50 off my bill. That was the best they can do. I was not happy with the offer, I tried to speak to the officer in charge to ask for more but they said they can't do much. :-( The last thing I did was to get my POSB card replaced and a new Internet banking dongle.

The following day, I went to get my driving license replaced, it also required 1 month to process and cost me S$25. Pay! Pay! Pay! What else? I got my Travellers cheque (Free) replaced , Yellow Fever Card replaced (S$11), new camera housing (S$340), and new hand phone (S$0 with 2 years contract)

One month later, I will be ready to go again. :-)

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