S'pore Couple Claims Immigration Officer Banned Them From M'sia For Questioning Him
The Johor Immigration Department is investigating the Singaporean couple's claim.
A Singaporean couple have been banned from entering Malaysia for six months after they allegedly questioned the way an Immigration officer at the Tuas Checkpoint (Second Link) stamped their passports
According to a report in New Straits Times yesterday, 22 May, the incident happened on 20 March, when Abdul Qayyum Rahim and his wife were heading to Johor Bahru via the Malaysia–Singapore Second Link.
"We were stuck at the checkpoint for an hour because there were only two counters open. When we arrived at the counter, the officer told us to remove our passports' covers in an impolite tone," Qayyum said.
Qayyum then removed the covers and gave them to the female officer.
"She proceeded to chop (stamp) the passports. Upon checking the passports, I noticed that the officer had purposely left a blank page on my passport. As for my wife's passport, she chopped on page 27 before scribbling on it and re-chopped on page 28 for no good reason," he added.
New Straits Times reported that Qayyum then parked his motorcycle, after which he and his wife walked to the office. There, they asked a male officer about the procedure to file a complaint against the officer at the counter.
Qayyum claimed the male officer raised his voice and told the couple to do it online. He also allegedly did not explain the process to them while telling them to do it outside the office.
"There was no need for him to act that way," Qayyum added.
Qayyum claimed when his wife asked the male officer a few times to explain the procedure to file a report online, he became irritated, and took their passports from them, and sent the couple to another office
Instead of being helped at the office on level 2, the couple was issued a 'Refusal of Entry' letter.
When they asked for an explanation as to why they were issued with the 'Refusal of Entry' letter, Qayyum claimed the officer on level 2, instead of giving them an answer, raised her voice.
"[She] sarcastically gave us a choice of being banned from Malaysia for either six months or one year. After which, she told us we were banned from entering Malaysia for six months for no valid reason," he added.
Of the three officers at the checkpoint that the couple encountered, Qayyum said only one of them was wearing a nametag
"The female officer who issued us the letter at the level 2 office, her name is Asisten Superintenden 'Rexsus', an Indian female officer," said Qayyum, adding that the officer at the counter was not wearing a nametag, while the male officer at the first office wasn't wearing a proper uniform, just a t-shirt and a jacket.
According to Qayyum, a friend of his also had a similar experience
He said that his friend told him that when her boyfriend questioned why the officer stamped the centre of the page in his passport, the officer shouted at him and took them to the higher office.
"I think this needs to be standardised because it's not fair for us (Singaporeans) to be paying for our passports and the officers are just wasting our pages," Qayyum said, adding that all he wanted was an explanation about the proper procedure for the Malaysian Immigration Department to stamp passports.
He said that while he understands the on-ground officers are doing their job, the least they can do is treat people with respect.
"I just hope with this post, Malaysia Immigration will take action on the procedure, the proper turnouts for an officer, and also the proper way of treating foreigners coming into your country," he added.
The Johor Immigration Department is now investigating the claim
Johor Immigration Department director-general Ruslin Jusoh told Berita Harian that they have initiated an investigation into the incident and are looking into the matter, reported New Straits Times.
No further details were divulged about the investigation.