Just came back from renewing Elyssa's passport.
Elyssa and I arrived at the Kelana Jaya Immigration Department just after 7am on a Sunday morning. And got greeted by this :
Already more than a hundred people ahead of us! I googled beforehand and I knew they would only issue 200 numbers on a Sunday. Judging from the numbers, I should be able to get my number. (still not certain. What if a big family wants to renew but sent only 1 representative to queue? If there's a few similar cases, then that will reduce my chance. But of course it could be the reverse situation, where there may be 2-4 people in a family queing up but only 1 needs a passport).
Anyway, we patiently waited until the official opening time of 8am. Just after 8am, a officer came to the crowd and said "Harap Sabar. System offline!!!"
What the heck??? Already waited 1 hour!! When I asked him how long it would take for the system to be up, he said it can be hours or even the whole day. Aaarghhhh!
I decided to wait for a while. 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 1 hour 30 minutes...... Just wait and wait. As time went on, more and more people left the queue but majority still stayed. I kept thinking "Am I silly for waiting so long for perhaps NOTHING? But then the other thought was "We have already waited so long, maybe just another 10 minutes). And thankfully, Elyssa didn't fuss at all.
Just after 10 am (3 hours of waiting), the system was back online. Yay! Then came another news - due to the delay, they would only process 100 number that day. Oh nooooo! The queue had become slightly shorter but we may or may not make it. Aiyo.
It took approx. 40 minutes till we got to the door. Our number : 82. Phew! If we came 10 minutes later, we would have missed it. Or if some people ahead of us didn't leave, we would have missed it too. While waiting, I chatted a bit with the couple in front of me and the small family behind me. I tell ya.....we were sooooo happy with our numbers. Before we reached the door, we were already asking each other " Can ah? Can ah? Should be ok hor? But got risk cannot". When we got through, we were all smiling ear to ear like we won the lottery. haha.
As expected, there were plenty of noise and complaints from those who just missed the numbers. I would be too! Imagine standing in line for almost 4 hours only to be told to come back another day.
After getting the number, it still took almost 1 hour. Our actual time at the processing counter was only about 5 minutes. Few minutes later, our number was called for payment and finally...... DONE!
By the time we left the Immigration office, it was around 12pm already. Imagine this - 5 HOURS in total to renew passport! The system down-time was the main reason for the delay. But not being able to renew online and not being able to renew at the kiosks were 2 big factors as well. Why or why did they do away with that?? I won't be able to renew via those 2 methods for Elyssa's passport anyway, but that would have reduced the crowd significantly.
So, that's how 5 hours on a Sunday was wasted. But at the point, I am more relieved than upset. At least we got it all done. Phew! (passport collection is tomorrow onwards, but that should be fast).
And I like this shot of Elyssa having her photo taken yesterday :-)