I PERFECTLY comprehend Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng when he condemned the latest publicised slip-up of the Home Team, calling it 'appalling'.
But before we hammer the front-line Immigration officers, may I suggest looking into intangibles like work fatigue, work hours, impact of shift work and overwhelming workload because of the peak season, like the recent school holidays.
It is the confluence of all these intangible but nevertheless equally critical factors that causes slip-ups to occur.
For instance, an air-traffic controller will be too mentally fatigued and lose his alertness should he work for too long without adequate rest. Fatal crashes will then occur due to a slowed response-reflex action.
We need to find out whether the airports and entry and exit points have adequate manpower or whether front-line staffing needs boosting. It is not totally the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority worker's fault if he slips up when he has been working at maximum performance plus overtime for days on end without adequate rest.
Lim Boon Hee
'Those using the passports of others should be punished.'
MR JEFFREY LAW: 'Those using the passports of others for whatever reason should be punished. The genuine passport holder should not be spared either. We should avoid a situation whereby a person wanted for criminal offences can leave the country by using another's passport, be it stolen or borrowed. We must treat our passports with pride and a sense of belonging and not take it for granted. A passport that falls into the wrong hands can cause problems to the individual as well as to the community.'
'Do security officers inspect Singaporean passports as thoroughly as foreign ones?'
MS PATRICIA MARIA DE SOUZA: 'A few years ago, my husband's friend flew to Australia. When he landed, he was refused entry as he had used his wife's passport. He was put on the next flight back. Do security officers inspect Singaporean passports as thoroughly as foreign ones?'
'We shouldn't make the same mistakes.'
MR KOH SOON FUEI: 'A year ago, I wrote to this Forum page about an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) mistake that nearly cost my family $5,000. ICA officers let our maid pass through the immigration checkpoint without updating their records. Consequently, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) threatened to forfeit our security bond. ICA replied that they had helped us to resolve the matter with MOM. Now, it has happened again. I agree that we are all human and make mistakes. But we shouldn't make the same mistakes, in which case, action should be taken.'