Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hassle given to travellers

When I visit another country, I am usually asked to complete three detailed forms for immigration, custom and health. They ask a lot of detailed questions. It is quite troublesome to complete these forms.
I suspect that the authorities do not use the information in the forms, but they still ask the visitors to complete them anyway. It cost them nothing. They do not care about the hassle given to the visitor.

The immigration form was necessary in the days before computerisation. It was the only way for them to record who has visited their country. But, after computerisation was introduced, the information of the visitor was already automatically recorded into the computer. But the immigration authority continued to ask the visitor to fill up the form.

Have you wondered why they ask you to enter information on where you are staying? The only purpose is to contact you in an emergency. If this was the purpose, it would be easier to ask the visitor to give the mobile phone number. Anyway, the forms were introduced in the days before mobile phone was available, and has not been changed.

I wonder why all the governments around the world, including Singapore, employ highly paid civil servants, but they do not think, or do not care.

My Indonesian friend passed this remark. A civil servant had said that it is their job to make life more difficult (and not simpler)  for the other people.


Steve said...

I dont understand why i can be identified internationally and uniquely by my mobile phone or credit card but it takes so much paperwork to identify me at the airport 6 times a year. I think it is just to keep civil servants employed all over the world. Take my finger print once and verify me once. After that it should be easy.

Anonymous said...

Actually a lot of the information is requested by the local tourism authority. They need to compile statistics on where visitors are coming from, which city, what they are coming for, whether its a repeat vistor etc. The cards you fill in are usually scanned and processed by OCR (which is why many of the cards ask you to fill it up in block letters and in boxes).

Anonymous said...

Despite the hassle of filling up forms and tight security checks at immigration points, terrorists still could sneak up the aeroplanes. What are those people checking/doing?

Yes. in a way is to create or generate jobs, else the unemployment rate is even higher.

Tan Kin Lian said...

To computerised passport checking is sufficient to check on people entering the country. The filling of forms is superfluous, and is an unnecessary hassle to travellers.

Most of the security ehecks are a hassle and are not effective in catching the terrorists. They are only effective in giving a hassle.

I prefer our officials to be thinking, rather than acting blindly in giving hassles. Things will only improve, if the highly paid officials and ministers go down to the ground and see what is happening at the checkpoints.

wjsim said...

Efficient bureaucracy, an oxymoron.

I have always wanted to say that. =D

Parka said...

Because their salary and performance appraisal doesn't require them to think or care. Whatever they do, they will still get a salary at the end of the month.

In other words, lack of job professionalism.

Anonymous said...

Malaysians Authority did try to get rid of the embarkation card for a while. It was very pleasant for Singaporeans who went to JB, and less work for the JB Immigration officers.

Then they discovered they did not have statistics vital for their tourism planning, as well as other plans..........which I suspect includes the 20 liter petrol limit.

Anonymous said...

The early days of my job I had to deal with civil servants everyday. I do agree with your friend that most of the civil servants here will make the lives of other people more difficult becos their rice bowls are made of iron!

They have forgotten that who is their real paymaster, not the ruling party nor the govt, it's the people of S'pore.

How do you feel when these civil servants "bite" the same hand that "feed" them?

Anonymous said...

It is to create jobs.
Look at Japan. So much technology but yet the highway toll gates are operated by elderly retirees.
Its a pity. These men & women suffer exhaust fumes and possible collision from vehicles.
Being the most advanced country with endless electronic innovations, you would have thought they could just use a smart card system.

Anonymous said...

There must be a gd reason bhind it. Somethngs tats beyond our imagination.

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