Immigration Officer Yelled At Two Senior Citizens Because She "Thought They Were Chinese"

Both were elderly parents and one of them was even wheelchair-bound.

Cover image via Gillian Benjamin

It was a Tuesday evening on 6 September when Gillian Benjamin and her family had just landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

It was supposed to be a happy affair, but ruined by an unpleasant experience.

Photo for illustration purposes only.

Image via Bernama

In her Facebook post, Gillian expressed her utmost disappointment towards one particular immigration officer at Counter 33, whom she claimed to be extremely rude to her elderly parents, one of whom is wheelchair-bound.

She said the officer rudely shouted at her parents from a short distance away, asking them to move over to the next counter.

Upset, she told the immigration officer to speak nicely to her parents, explaining that there was no need to shout as the distance between the officer and her parents was not far.

They were directed to another counter but eventually ended up at the aforementioned immigration officer's counter as there was no one else there

Gillian (left) with her parents.

Image via Gillian Benjamin

Above the officer was this signage that indicated the counter was for Malaysian passport holders.

At this point, GIllian's friend, Qhal Isnariah, who was also with them decided to confront the officer over her unwarranted rude behaviour.

This was when the officer shouted at him saying, "Saya tak cakap dekat kamu. Saya cakap dekat mereka (Gillian's parents). You kenapa? Sesat ke? You orang apa?" (I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to them. What’s wrong with you? Are you lost? What ethnicity are you?)

"Saya orang Malaysia! (I'm a Malaysian!)" Qhal replied. He also told the immigration officer that the two people she shouted at were also "his parents".

The officer's next reply was rather shocking as she said, "Mana saya tahu! Saya ingat orang Cina!" (How would I know? I thought they were Chinese!)

Things escalated quickly from this point as the immigration officer retorted with an appalling reply about Gillian's attire

Instead of apologising for her earlier remark, the immigration officer feigned ignorance and claimed that she reacted as such because of the way Gillian dressed.

"Dia (Gillian) pun pakai macam itu, mana saya tahu?"

This only made Gillian even more upset and she criticised the immigration officer for drawing baseless conclusions based on how people dressed, and in no way justifies her ill-treatment towards people with disabilities and senior citizens.

"What does (being) Chinese have to do with the way I dress? A singlet top with shorts? What does (being) Chinese have to do with how you yell at OKU (disabled) and senior people?" she said in her Facebook post.

To add insult to injury, Gillian said that no one came forward to ask them what happened but just stood and watched the commotion

She added that the officer went on to threaten Qhal by asking the officer at Counter 31, who was servicing them, to take down his passport number.

When Gillian and Qhal asked if they could have her name instead, the immigration officer refused.

Gillian's post on that horrid experience has received more than 2,000 shares as of today.

It was reported that the case is currently under investigation

Immigration Department Director-General Mustafar Ali

Image via Yusof Mat Isa/Malay Mail Online

According to Sinar Harian, the Immigration Department Director-General Mustafar Ali had confirmed that the case was being investigated.

"I was informed of the incident yesterday night and I have given out instructions so that swift actions will be taken to investigate this issue," he reportedly said on Wednesday, 7 September.

As of yesterday, 8 September, Gillian said that she was unaware if there are any new developments to the case

"No one knows since the investigation is still under process and up to now, there is still no call or whatsoever from anyone from the immigration or the authority," she wrote.

She also stated that she has no ill intentions when she wrote her viral post, adding that she only dared to speak up because it was nothing but the truth.

"I'm a Kadazan Eurasian, I'm a Malaysian! I'm a sports person. My race or my dressing have nothing to do with the way she treated us. Some of this haters say maybe this lady officer thinks that we are from China. So? Did we shout at her? Did we make any contact with her? Did we break any law? No!"

"I received many comments from those people who were also mistreated. Therefore, let this be the voice of our people. I stand for them and I stand for my parents. Justice will prevail, I hope."

Do you think the immigration officer should be penalised if she was found guilty? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Last month, three Singaporeans were detained for hurling abuse at an immigration officer:

You may be interested in:

Leave a comment