First of all I heard mention of ICs but didn’t know what they were and as I had 97 other things on the boil, I didn’t worry about it. Then when I had a spare 5 mins I asked someone what it was and why I needed it. Turns out a that an IC is an identity card (in most of the word ‘ID’ would have covered it) and I was told that you hardly ever need it. So I wasn’t in too much of a hurry.
When I followed up a couple of weeks later, I found that to get an IC, you have to go to a government building and queue up. The doors open at 8am and people were recommending going at 5:45 am to queue to be sure of being seen on the day. It sounded horrendous and as an IC didn’t seem to be that necessary, I procrastinated. Someone told me, that the Immigration Office had just started opening on Friday afternoon from 2 – 4 and not many people knew about it yet, so it should be easy to get in.
I turned up at 1pm on Friday afternoon and stood outside the building for an hour. I was 30th in the queue. Then the doors opened, the queue disappeared and there was a mad panic to get to the front. I was in the middle of a crush of 100 or so very nice Pakistani and Indian gentleman. I think I was the only woman. We stood cheek by jowl. If someone at the front moved 6 inches forward, we all moved 6 inches forward like a curled up centipede. After 25 mins of intimate crush and after making perhaps 18 inches headway towards the inner sanctum, we were told ‘habis’ closed for the afternoon. We were all sent home.
So my only option seemed to be to queue at 5:45 am. I have to tell you, I’m not a morning person! So once again I procrastinated; particularly as no-one could tell me what the IC was used for.
Several weeks later, on a whim, I drove by the Immigration office on a Tuesday afternoon, and thought … I wonder. So I drove up, gathered my papers and headed in. Within an hour I’d been photographed, finger-printed, deprived of a small sum of money and sent on my way with instructions to come back in one month to pick up the card.
Yesterday was the day! It took me 20 mins to work out where in the building I needed to go to pick it up (damned Malay signage!), but I’m now the proud owner of a green IC. Turns out that it is an essential item. Without it I can’t get paid, can’t buy a car, can’t do much at all! So Hallelulah!