Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How to Get Permanent Residency (PR) in Malaysia: Part 2

In early December 2016, I shared that I submitted the documents for Malaysia PR application to the local Immigration Office in Seremban where I live.

After we successfully submitted the required documents for PR application, my husband and I understood that the next step would be an interview session with the Police and this would likely happen 1-5 years after the documents submission.

THE INTERVIEW INVITATION AND REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

Last Thursday afternoon, my husband received a call from unknown mobile number. This call caught my husband off guard because it was actually from Seremban's Police Station. The officer who called him was double checking with him if he's indeed married to an Indonesian and whether we just submitted PR application documents not long ago.

After brief verification on the phone, this police officer then invited us to go to the Police Station for the first round of interview on the next day and would like us to bring along some documents (as follows) during the interview:

  1. Two (2) Applicant's Passport Photos (blue background)
  2. Photocopy of Marriage Certificates (both overseas and Malaysia's marriage certificates, if the marriage was done overseas)
  3. Photocopy of applicant's and spouse's passport books (since they were married)
  4. Photocopy of Malaysian spouse's IC card and birth certificate
  5. Photocopy of the children's MyKads, passports and birth certificates.
  6. Photocopy of receipt of the PR Application Document Submission, if you still keep it

The above documents are actually parts of the documents that we submitted to the Immigration Office for applying PR in last December. Just make sure that you also bring the original documents for verification during the interview and bring TWO SETS of the above documents. 

My husband was driving when he received the call from the Sergeant who invited us for the interview at the Police Station so he was not aware that we ought to give him 2 sets of the photocopied documents. Alas, after the interview, my husband had to find a photocopy shop outside the Police Station to make another set of the copies and pass the documents to the Sergeant.

THE INTERVIEW


Our interview took place last Friday around 11am at Balai Polis Seremban. When we arrived to the Balai Polis, we registered ourselves at the Police Station's Security Post. The officer who manned that Security Post then gave us a receipt (stating that we had an interview appointment with the Officer XYZ) and two name tags (one for me and one for my husband) so we could enter the Balai Polis as visitors. He also took our mobile phones and kept them in a locker because we're not supposed to have them during the interview. After the interview and when we're leaving the Police Station, we can return the locker's key to him and get our mobile phones back.


I must confess that both of my husband and I did experience a bit of pre-interview jitters because both of us didn't expect to be invited for the interview so soon and could not guess what the interview's questions might be. 

Anyway, after we entered the Balai Polis, we went straight to the second level of the building to find the Sergeant who invited us for the interview. This Sergeant is apparently with the Police's Pejabat Bahagian Intelijen Keselamatan.

This Sergeant was surprised when he saw us bringing Brennan along to the interview. He thought there would just be my husband and me attending the interview. I explained to him that we had no babysitter at home so we had no choice but bringing this baby with us. He was okay with that and realizing that a baby had now joined our interview; he wanted to start the interview ASAP and finish it as quickly as possible.

There was nothing to be afraid of or nervous about the interview as the interview with the Police was done in a friendly and casual manner. Also, the interview questions basically revolve around confirming the applicant's and his/her Malaysian's spouse personal data such as date of marriage, where and when the couple first met, current address, length of stay in Malaysia thus far, how often and how long the applicant goes back to his or her home country, personal info of the applicant's and spouse's immediate family and children, education and working background and the likes. The interviewer threw questions as per the list in the form he had on hand and when he was jotting down our answers, he also double checked our answers to the documents that he requested for his report.

He shared with us that he received our PR application documents on February 8th 2017, He then called us and invited us for interview on the 9th and on the 10th, we had our interview with him at the Police Station. My husband and I agreed that the way the Police Station processed our PR documents was very efficient. We got the interview invitation from them just two months after we submitted the documents. Yet, the Sergeant/interviewer could not confirm with us if this would be the same case with the Immigration Office later on because after he makes the interview reports and passes the documents to his HQ, the next step of this application will be handled by the Immigration Office again. He could not confirm when and how the Immigration Office will contact us for the next step.

This interview in the Sergeant's office took about 30-40 minutes in total and we are glad that we have now passed the second stage of the PR application in Malaysia. 

Quick Tips:
  • Do not forget to bring the required original documents and two sets of the document copies
  • Make sure you and your spouse wear polite attire when attending the interview (no short pants or mini skirt, please)
  • Have quick pre-interview discussions with your spouse on your personal information (dates of marriage, where the couple first met, current or past working status, etc.). Make sure neither of the party has some sort of amnesia on your personal information so applicant and his or spouse can answer all the questions with confidence and the answers to the interview questions from both husband and wife are tally and wouldn't spark dubiousness
  • The police officer who interview PR applicants will most likely use Bahasa Melayu during the interview and for writing his report. If you are able to communicate or answer all the interviewer's questions in Bahasa Melayu, that'd be a plus value because it'd make the interviewer's job much easier

Good luck and I will update again on the next stage of this PR application when the information is available.

** Please note that this information is based on my personal experience and subject to change in accordance with any amendments to the rules and regulations from the Malaysian Government.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Making Nastar (Pineapple Tarts)

My Mom first introduced home-made Pineapple Tarts/Nastar to my siblings and me when I was in my Junior High School. Back then, it took her two days to create her home-made Pineapple Tarts. The first day was used to cook the fresh pineapple jam, which literally took hours to produce. The second day was to create the cookie dough, shape and bake the pineapple tarts.

Back then, Mom made us shape the Pineapple Tarts in cute tiny baskets that took forever to do. She even had to ask my brother who was still in Primary School 1 or 2 to stop doing whatever he was doing (maybe watching cartoon on our tube TV or playing games) and help the ladies shape the pineapple tarts. I remember I kept complaining why so much efforts were put into making these cookies... She told me, that was the price that we needed to pay to enjoy our damn good home-made Pineapple Tarts that we couldn't stop popping into our mouths. She's right.

For the past few years, I have been baking my own Pineapple Tarts for CNY. For this year, I use different recipe for my Pineapple Tarts and the new recipe turned out fine and nice, not too crumbly/fragile yet still has the melt-in-the-mouth effect.

Old-school Pineapple Tarts.

Pineapple Tarts (Nastar)

Ingredients:

200gr Butter, at room temperature
50gr Icing Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
50gr Milk Powder
300gr Flour (plus 1-2 tbs if needed)
1 Egg Yolk plus a spoon of liquid milk, for egg wash
500gr Pineapple Jam, rolled into small balls

Methods:
  1. Cream butter and icing sugar using electric mixer until pale. Add the egg yolks one by one and mix well.
  2. Using a spatula, fold in the milk powder and flour until well incorporated.
  3. Roll the dough into small balls. Flatten a piece of the dough ball and place the pineapple jam filling in the middle. Bring the edges of the dough together and press/roll lightly to seal. Repeat this process until all the dough is finished.
  4. Apply egg wash on the pineapple tarts before baking them.
  5. Bake the pineapple tarts in a preheated oven at 160 degree Celcius for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Once done, remove the tarts from the trays. Cool them completely before storing in plastic containers

Last week, I accidentally bought too much Pineapple Jam from the baking shop as I was in hurry... After I reached home, I realized I actually purchased 1 kg of Pineapple Jam and 1 kg of jam like this is really a lot. So yeah, I still have about 500gr of Pineapple Jam leftover waiting to be transformed into Pineapple Tarts. The sequel of Pineapple Tarts baking is TBC because yesterday's session in shaping these pineapple tarts was quite traumatizing to my back.

Making Strawberry Cheese Thumbprint Cookies

I am suddenly on a CNY cookies baking roll this year (but didn't bake a single cookie for last Christmas!)... I have been baking three different types of cookies for three days in a row now. I even had to rope in my husband's help in rolling the cookies dough because rolling or shaping cookies is quite a tedious job and takes a lot of time.

One of my favorite cookies to bake this year is the Strawberry Cheese Thumbprint Cookies by Tintin Rayner, which at one point of time had taken over my Instagram feed because so many home-bakers remade her recipe and posted their creations in Instagram. The #kiasu in me just had to join the wave in making Thumbprint Cookies.

Here's the recipe that I slightly modified. The first time I tested the recipe, my cookies were kind of melted when I placed them in the hot oven, resulting a slightly bigger cookies which didn't look so good. For the second attempt, I added a bit more flour to the cookie dough so the cookies would be in a better and firm shape after baking. I suppose each egg yolk has different size hence calls for a slightly different flour use. The key is not to put too much flour into the dough either; else your cookies might crack when you roll them into small balls.

Best Thumbprint Cookies.

Strawberry Cheese Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients:

150gr Butter, at room temperature
100gr Icing sugar
1 Egg yolk
A dash of vanilla powder, optional
225gr Flour (plus 1-2 tbs if needed)
20gr Corn flour
20gr Milk powder
1/2 sdt Baking powder
75gr Grated cheddar cheese
2-3tbs Jam/ Peanut Butter/ Nutella, placed in a piping bag for filling
1 Egg white, for coating

Step-by-step in making Thumbprint Cookies.

Methods:
  1. Beat butter and icing sugar using electric mixer until pale. Add the egg yolk, mix well.
  2. Fold in the flour, corn flour, vanilla powder, baking powder and milk powder into the mixture until well incorporated.
  3. Roll the dough into small balls. 
  4. Take one small ball and dip it into the egg white. Coat it with grated cheese.
  5. Place the dough ball in a tray that is already covered by baking sheet. Press the middle of the cookie ball with a finger to create an indentation. Repeat step 4 and 5.
  6. Fill the indentation of each cookie with jam or any filling desired.
  7. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 150-160 degree Celcius for 30-40 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.

PB and Jam Thumbprint Cookies.

For my second attempt in making these cookies, I filled half of my thumbprint cookies with Peanut Butter (which my husband loves) and didn't coat the Peanut Butter cookies with any cheese. They tasted as good as the strawberry jam ones. For me, Strawberry and Cheese are truly match-made in heaven! They taste so delicious when eaten together.

Last but not least, I don't know if you have the habit of reading the health benefits of super food that you eat but I do. I love reading the health benefits of fruits or veggies that I eat for my own knowledge. In case you are wondering the history and health benefits of strawberries, have a read about it here.