Singapore, 2011: Still Annoys Me

The title of this post does not mean that I hate the city and its people. I found it annoying at the immigration department in the airport and the border on land.

I have not found reasons why they kept me in the box-sized cell for around 30-45 minutes. Early this year, they did that to me with a simple answer: random check (oh ya, random checks applied for Asian women)

Note for myself:

– no matter what you do or what you wear, or what you say, you will be asked to follow them (immigration officers) to the glass cell and stay there for 30 minutes

– get ready to asked for fingerprint and answering a few simple questions (do you speak English? what do you do? What is the trip’s purpose? How long will you stay in Singapore? Who do you travel with? Do you work in Singapore? etc)

– get ready to hear all Asian women you happen to share the same cell complaining about that problem in many languages (Filipino, Chinese, Indonesian, Malaysian, Vietnamese, etc.)

– always bring a return or onward tickets with you

– a less annoying way to enter in Singapore so far I have known is by bus/on land.

My stories

Story 1 @ Changi Airport, Budget Terminal – Arrival

Immigration Officer (IO): Good afternoon. Do you speak English?

Me: Yes I do, Sir.

IO1:  /scanning my passport and the immigration form/ / Peep peep peep – the sound from his computer/ Excuse me. Please wait for a sec.

Me: No problem, Sir.

/wait and wait for 5 minutes – Then now I knew what would happen/

IO1: Please follow me this way.

Me: Is there any problem, Sir?

IO1: Nothing. It is a random check. Please go this way

/then, he handed me to another IO/

IO2: Please come inside and wait.

/he did something like recording my passport information/ /Another IO appeared and looked at me/

IO3: Please follow me to this room.

Me: Excuse me. What is going on? Can I get my passport back?

IO2: Not at the moment. Please go inside for the fingerprint and I will give you back your passport.

IO3: /getting my fingerprint/ What do you do?

Me: I am working in Ho Chi Minh City as Customer Service Assistant

IO3: What is the trip’s purpose in Singapore?

Me: I just travel with my family: my mother and brother who are waiting for me outside.

IO3: How long do you plan to stay in Singapore?

Me: 2 days only.

IO3: Done. Everything is done. Please go back to the room and wait.

IO2: I will hand you your passport later.

/I stayed in the glass cell and saw a Vietnamese woman yelling and complaining in Vietnamese. She tried to use her cellphone but she was not allowed/

/Another IO came and pointed the picture on my passport/

IO4: Ms ABC. Please follow me.

Me: Yes, Sir /following him quietly/

IO4: Can I see you return ticket?

Me: Here you are

IO4: How long will you stay here?

Me: only 2 days

IO4: what do you do after visiting Singapore?

Me: I will visit Malaysia

IO4: who do you travel with or alone?

Me: I travel with my mother and brother.

IO4: What do you do in Viet Nam?

Me: I am working @ Mobile App Company in Ho Chi Minh city. Is there any problem with my passport? Why do you keep doing this every time I visit Singapore?

IO4: Oh that is a random computer choice. Everyone can be in the same case.

Me: OK. Will it affect to my next visit to Singapore.

IO4: No it will not. Everything is fine now and you can leave.

Me: Thank you, Sir.

***

Story 2 @ Changi Airport, Terminal 1 – Arrival

Immigration Officer (IO): Good afternoon. Do you speak English?

Me: Yes I do, Sir.

IO1:  /scanning my passport and the immigration form/ /AGAIN Peep peep peep – the sound from his computer/ Excuse me. Please wait for a sec.

Me: No problem, Sir.

/wait and wait for 5 minutes – Then now I knew what would happen/

IO1: Oh, you just left Singapore 2 days ago.

Me: Yes, Sir. I traveled with my mother and brother to Singapore and Malaysia

IO1: What do you do in Viet Nam

Me: I am a Customer Service Assistant in HCMC

IO1: Could I borrow your return ticket?

Me: Here you are.

IO1: OK. Thanks. It’s done. You can go now.

Me: Thank you, Sir.

I dislike being in the long Q and then answering the same freaking boring questions. Why me? Why Asian women?

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6 thoughts on “Singapore, 2011: Still Annoys Me

  1. Yeah the immigration officers are so disrespectful, at least they sounded polite to you. Earlier today they stopped me bcoz of my frequency in going back to my home country. I’ve held the sg green card for 13 years, mine just expired so they keep questioning me. Asking me rudely if I really am going back to my house in sg.. They’re really dumb..

  2. Well, you wrote that the immigration officer said it was a “random check”. That could mean it’s not based on the way you look.

    It sounds like you want them to see how different you look, and because of your appearance, not check you; but that wouldn’t be a random check.

    • well, if it is random, why they kept Asian women, who were kept in the cell with me and had the same clothing style ( kinda cloth-less cheap fashion style). Obviously I do not ever wear such things. My style makes people think I am a student/a pupil.
      It cannot be a random check when they have had all my record before. The latest time I was there is early Mar this year. They store all data on computer. When they scan my passport, they see everything about me
      I do not think ‘random check’ is an answer for my question ‘why do you keep me in the cell?’. they’d better tell me that they do that because some reasons related to human/women trafficking. that makes more sense to me

  3. I thought they went to Korean or Taiwan to do that. Very sad to know that virginity just costs $10,000 >< Using money to help family is not the excuse. Oh well! BTW, when I travelled there, I did not look like those girls. Are the immigration officers trained to look and see how different between those girls and girls like me?
    +1

    • I thought they went to Korean or Taiwan to do that. Very sad to know that virginity just costs $10,000 >< Using money to help family is not the excuse. Oh well! BTW, when I travelled there, I did not look like those girls. Are the immigration officers trained to look and see how different between those girls and girls like me?

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