The first joint winner was the Immigration Department of Malaysia, of the Ministry of Home Affairs, for the new Malaysian ePassport. Launched in November 2017, it has received a major upgrade in its design and a host of enhanced security features. The country was the first in the world to develop and introduce ePassports back in 1998.
The new pages show batik designs in blue, red and orange. The inside cover has songket motifs resembling a golden weave, while two hibiscus flowers bloom on the inside back cover. The inside pages also feature iconic national landmarks such as the Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur Tower, Istana Negara and Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in Malaysia. The Rukunegara principles (national principles) are evident in the images chosen: a mosque (belief in God); Istana Negara (loyalty to king and country); Parliament (the supremacy of the Constitution); the Federal Court (the rule of law); and the National Museum showing Malaysia’s heritage and culture (courtesy and morality).
The upgraded security features include an embedded chip in the polycarbonate personal particulars page. Formerly, the chip was in the back cover. The chip’s new position makes the passport harder to forge and allows data to be read more easily.
The new polycarbonate datapage features a variety of built-in security elements, including tri-coloured security thread stitched with back-sewn lock, and the groundbreaking true-colour UV security elements based on Gemalto’s Sealys True Vision solution. It offers high-resolution UV images with high brilliance and outstanding colour reproduction, protecting the document from duplication and reproduction.
The Malaysian authorities h also selected the highly flexible and patented passport datapage hinge with the integrated UV printing element, which guarantees a secure and robust sewing of the datapage into the passport booklet.
The prime contractor for the project was Datasonic Group. De La Rue designed the document along with Portals, who supplied the paper, whilst Gemalto was responsible for designing and producing the datapage..