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6/16/2011

Stop visiting Malaysia

The current episode of two women driving to JB in the wee hours of the morning for a cup of tea and the adrenalin sapping adventure they experienced is a hot topic on both sides of the causeway. Hishamuddin, the Home Affairs Minister, is setting up an inquiry into the case.

Many Singaporeans are angry and crying foul. Some are calling for a Stop Visiting Malaysia campaign to protest against the ill treatment of Singaporeans. The thinking is simple, why visit a country to be abused and harassed, not only by robbers and crooks, but also by the authority there to protect you? This is a double barrel risk to take.

This kind of reaction is quite natural in the heat of the moment. But with the complex relations between the two countries and people, this is just not possible. There are many people on both sides of the causeway that have all the good reasons to cross the causeway. The fact in this case, which is a genuine mistake with the errant parties walking to the immigration to correct the mistake but was hauled up and badly treated, like criminals, and with the authority throwing the books at them for immigration violation, has sent fears to innocent visitors to the country.

There was no attempt for discretion, to acknowledge a simple, honest mistake which many visitors to any country can make, and to subject visitors to such an ordeal cannot be taken lightly. Can’t the immigration officers see the difference between a genuine mistake and a criminal offence to arrest innocent visitors? The Immigration Authority is still claiming the high ground, that they were doing their duties when any normal thinking person would have handle the case differently.

Perhaps for Singaporeans who feel like protesting as a show of unhappiness, they could advise Singaporeans who have nothing important to stop visiting Malaysia for a month. Those casual visits, holidays etc, can be put off temporarily and would not cause any pain to anyone. It is just about sending a message. After that, hopefully the message is taken and visitors are treated a little courtesy as a show that they are welcome to visit Malaysia. It is basic hospitality and human decency to make your guests feel welcome, and to assist them when they make little mistakes because of unfamiliarity in a new environment.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Try getting caught entering Singapore illegally and see what happens. And why do they need to have supper in JB in the middle of the night? No 24-hour eateries in Singapore, meh? Something with their story does not sound very right.

Wally Buffet said...

Putting off visits temporarily?

I'll say stop going there permanently. Period.

There are countless places on this Earth to go to where you don't meet brain dead, incompetent and clueless CIQ "officials". They are a disgrace to their country.

Just what is it there that other countries which are more welcoming don't have?

Come to think of it, I don't disagree that these two women went to that shit hole for supper. Serves them right. Hope the nightmare they went through will give them sleepless nights for years to come and is a lesson never to step into a minefield just for "supper".

Hehe.

Anonymous said...

yes, we must, as proud Singaporeans, give that place a miss, and let their jokers up there realise how much they will miss us (our money and goodwill) and jock up their immi fellows real hard. a lesson that they will not forget

kudos to the malaysians concerned for highlighting and lambasting the unforgiveable manner they treated the two Singaporeans

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The important point here is that the two are not illegal immigrants or someone caught for illegal entry. They made a mistake and went to the immigration officer to correct the mistake.

I am very sure any visitor coming to Singapore, took a wrong turn and went to inform the immigration officer will not be treated as criminal and subject to this kind of harsh treatment. The officer will correct the mistake there and then.

The mysterious 1.30am supper trip is a separate issue and they cannot be put through all the harrassments just for that. Innocent unless proven guilty.

The said...

/// Anonymous said...
Try getting caught entering Singapore illegally and see what happens. And why do they need to have supper in JB in the middle of the night? No 24-hour eateries in Singapore, meh? Something with their story does not sound very right. ///

They did not even make the mistake. The immigration officer was not at the booth - the booth was empty and the green light was on. Their only mistake was to proceed without clearance. This is very different from trying to enter illegally.

You mean you can't Kate Spade of Louis Vitton in Singapore meh? Must fly to New York and Paris to buy them meh? I got money what?

Gee, I don't know what to say to you, anon @ 10:00 - stomping my feet away.......

Anonymous said...

Ya man. Every time a visitor makes a mistake, they will be rubbing their palms, golden opportunity to get rich.

Instead of being helped, the poor visitor will have to say tolong, tolong and then you know what?

Anonymous said...

This kind of mistake is not forgiveable. It is the basic pillar of travelling to another country, that approval is obtained first.

The absence of officers at the counter (if true) does not give the women the right to commit the act.

Even if they came back and surrendered themselves, whether or not to be lenient depends on the country. It is the country's privilege - I doubt SG will be lenient if the converse happened.

Even LKY has declared JB as lawless. Where even men hesitate to go during daytime, two single ladies attempt to, at midnight.

MY has has problems with PRC women who go to JB to solicit so it is their right to be firm.

There is no need at all to go to JB, if one is so sensitive. Stay home and be proud...but you will not enjoy the huge discounts in JB. Cannot have your cake and eat it.

The said...

/// Anonymous said...
This kind of mistake is not forgiveable. It is the basic pillar of travelling to another country, that approval is obtained first. ///

So, you make them strip and do nude squats? Extort money from them?

agongkia said...

Sorry hor.
I cannot agree with you all.How can I not visit the North just because of these 2 ladies.I must be crazy.

In my homeland,no local lady driving new car have ever bother to glance at me.Majority look at the sky when they notice me around.I look small.

But those in the north are different.When I am there,I am treated not only like human being,but like sibling and spouse to them.They call me kor,ling,laukong...walau,cannot tahan them.I only feel like a man when I am there there.

I need to be there regularly to make myself look more like a man.I will not stop going there just becos of these ladies and incident.Sorry,I dun want to become tiny.

Anonymous said...

'This kind of mistake is not forgiveable. It is the basic pillar of travelling to another country, that approval is obtained first.'

Unforgiveable? Luckily you are not the immigration head. Just because someone made a mistake with no intent to break the law and it is unforgiveable? That means the stripping, slapping, squatting, detention are all justified? Maybe you would want to club them to death?

Luckily they have Hishamuddin who agreed that it was wrong to treat a visitor to such barbarism. Bless the world with more Hishamuddins than the likes of you.

What a dangerous place the world has become.

Anonymous said...

One. They did on purpose to discourage us from going, making their job easier.

Two. They dont give a damn about our little red dot and the head of state. why??? They dont bother to read the page in the passport with the Singapore Crest printed with the following statement :

{{The Presidednt of the Republic of Singapore request all authorities to allow the Singapore citizen named in this passport to pass without delay or hindrance and, if necessary, to give all assistance and protection.}}

Tom Lim Singaporean said...

There is a Master's Graduate in Biochemistry from Prince Songkhla University who visited Singapore (first time) by bus with a schoolmate & friend 2 years ago. She can tell you that she was stopped at Spore Woodlands by ICA and detained for 9 hours and almost repatriated to the Philippines ?? Finally when her friends were allowed to intervene and clarify, she was made to return to the Johore side then reenter Singapore. Our ICA officials can be very high handed too. I had other unpleasant experiences with ICA and dislike their unhelpful attitudes.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Tom Lim, welcome to the blog.

I am not sure of the details of your friend's case. What is important is that law enforcing officers are there to not only enforce the law, they are the protector of the people, and also to assist those in trouble.

Officers that abused their power by ill treating or bullying the people, citizen or not, and trying to extort money from them are real bad, the bad guys not the good guys.

The said...

Tom Lim,

High handed is not nice, but is still legal. At least they don't make your friend to do nude squats. And the ICA was actually manning the booth.

In the Malaysian case, the booth was empty, the green light was on, the barrier went up. And the 2 women were subject to humiliating and probably illegal nude squats.

Anonymous said...

Maybe, just maybe, the Malaysian Immigration Officers just love to see naked/nude bodies. Cannot blame them as most of the time, they are mostly covered up from head to toe.