26 May 2014
Dear Mr Ding,
I refer to the Oriental Daily News article titled “睡不好遭刁难 新国马劳辛酸” on 26 May 2014 (writer unnamed).
2. The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) has been working closely with the Immigration Department of Malaysia to alleviate congestion at the land checkpoints. Both sides also cooperate closely for checks on travel documents and contraband items in order to safeguard security in both countries.
3. Measures to alleviate congestion include providing more automated facilities for passport clearance by motorcycle and bus travellers. As an example, about 30% of motorcycle travellers use the automated immigration clearance today at Woodlands Checkpoint. By mid-2014, 95% of motorcycle travellers will be eligible for automated clearance and this will reduce the queues for motorcycles. Other measures include opening 24 additional counters at the old Woodlands Checkpoint for motorcycles and goods vehicles. Additional car counters are also opened during peak periods whenever appropriate.
4. However, ICA may step up screening measures at our checkpoints during operations against attempted contraband smuggling into Singapore, or travellers without valid travel documents. We hope that travellers will understand that these stringent checks are necessary for safety and security reasons, including that of the travellers themselves. Travellers should follow the directions of officers at the Checkpoints to facilitate clearance of everyone as speedily as possible in a fair and orderly way.
5. ICA has stringent measures to monitor officers’ performance, including CCTV monitoring and travellers’ feedback systems. It adheres to a strict no-discrimination policy in the treatment of travellers, regardless of nationalities. Your article has made serious allegations of unprofessional conduct by our officers. ICA takes a serious view of such allegations. We would like to request for specific information from your paper or the persons mentioned in the report so that we can carry out a thorough investigation into the allegations. ICA’s contact details are ICA_Feedback@ica.gov.sg or alternatively we can be reached on our hotline at +65-63916100.
6. We would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation. Please publish this reply in full to keep your readers informed. Thank you.
IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
Please click here to view original letter