On my return from Batam, I had to go through security check at Harbour Front. My bag had to be screened. The mobile phone has to be placed in a separate tray.
On passing through the metal detector, there was a beep. So, I had to be screened. I had to empty the wallet, keys, pen from my pockets. Many questions were asked. I only had two hands, so it was quite difficult to be holding the passport, wallet, keys and other items.
After being passed as "not carrying weapons", I collected my luggage and left. Ten minutes later, I realised that my mobile phone was missing. I had to go back to recover it.
I hope that our security officers realise that a traveller has only two hands, and that they had to take care of many things. It is not necessary to give so much hassle to the travellers, who are returning home.
The security officers are only carrying out their duty, as written by the top leaders. The top leaders (i.e. government minters and civil servants) are given VIP treatment, so they do not have to go through the hassle that lesser mortals had to endure.
I know that it is important to have security measures to ensure that terrorist do not smuggle weapons into Singapore. Are we harrassing the wrong people in the process?
In most other countries, the security officers exercise their discretion and do not follow the rules by the book. If someone (like me) does not look like a terrorist, they do not subject this person to the same detailed check.
But, in Singapore, everything goes by the book and is implemented blindly. It requires our top leaders to experience the inconvenience personally, before they change the rules. And the top leaders are trapped in their ivory towers, surrounded by security guards, and receive ground reports from underlings who only convey what they wish to hear. (Sigh). This is Singapore!
Tan Kin Lian
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