MFA Reminds S’poreans To Check If Their Passport Is Stamped Properly At M’sian Customs

Image: 10 FACE / Shutterstock.com

There are a lot of things to look out for when you enter Malaysia.

Things like:

  • Make sure not to dress too nicely.
  • Don’t flash a thick stack of ringgit when you’re walking on the streets.
  • Keep a lookout for motorcycles when you’re walking along the road.
  • And make sure your passports are stamped properly, especially at the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints.

And before you wonder if the last item on the list is necessary, it has happened before.

Just earlier this year, in fact.

Couple Got Into Trouble For Not Having Their Passports Stamped

It’s a given and your passport is stamped 99.9% of the time but 49-year-old Tay Mui Hiang and her 46-year-old husband Koh Meng Soon were part of the 0.1%.

Halfway down the Causeway, they realised their passports weren’t stamped.

They were advised to turn back to the Malaysian customs to stamp their passports, which turned out to be a huge mistake.

It is an immigration offence in Malaysia, and you may be detained, fined or even banned from the country.

For Mdm Tay and her husband, they suffered a loss of $396 (RM1,200) for having to cancel their plans to Genting just in case they got detained.

Though the couple were lucky enough that the issue could be solved easily by going down to JB, it will probably be much harder in the face of other countries when travelling by plane.

And MFA Doesn’t Want You To Repeat That Mistake

Tis the holiday season (hohoho) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) knows that Singaporeans are likeliest to travel over to JB for some cheap food and shopping.

They ask Singaporeans to enjoy themselves, but at the same time, to be prepared to deal with:

  • Accidents
  • Natural disasters
  • terrorist attacks

And take the necessary steps to keep safe during their travels.

In addition, they have also asked Singaporeans to be particularly careful when crossing the checkpoints:

“Singaporeans travelling to and from Malaysia, in particular via the land checkpoints, are reminded to ensure that your passport is presented to a Malaysian immigration officer and stamped correctly before leaving the Malaysian immigration booth,.”

Failing to do that might result in severe consequences including:

  • Detention (Put behind bars)
  • A fine
  • A ban from entering Malaysia

Yup, the last one scared us the most too; how else can we get cheap food and shopping done?!

They have also asked for Singaporeans to find out more about the country they’re going to, including the local political climate (read: Hong Kong).

What to Do if You Realise Your Passport Isn’t Stamped

Step 1: Get hold of the Malaysian immigration authorities.

Don’t go to their office because you obviously will have to pass through the checkpoint and you can’t; instead, call them at +603 8000 8000.

Tell them your problem, and they’ll probably direct you to the JB checkpoint.

Step 2: Head down to the JB checkpoint (I’m looking at you customs officer) to resolve the problem.

And don’t do this a month or a year later simply because you didn’t need to travel back to Malaysia; it’d be a greater hassle to settle it after a long time.

Step 3: When in trouble, call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to come to the rescue.

We’ve got your back with their number: +65 6379 8000. Now go and chase that girl!

Step 4: If all else fails (how?) and you actually get detained, get help from the Singapore High Commission in KL by calling +603 2161 6277.

As with all the other services, they abide by the office hours; so don’t annoy them after that!

Granted, if you’re detained you really don’t have a say in annoying them or not. So reach out to them at +60 16661 0400 instead.

You won’t want to miss these most-read articles:

 

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Ang Mo Kio MP Ang Hin Kee pins PMD issues on “hyperbolic jump” of food delivery services –

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Singapore—Unlike other recent Meet-the-People (MPS) sessions, which have been widely attended by food delivery riders after the ban on e-scooters in public footpaths was announced in Parliament on November 4, the November 13 MPS session at Ang Mo Kio saw no PMD riders at all.

Ang Mo Kio GRC is represented by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong himself, among other Members of Parliament. On November 7, there were 50 such riders who attended the session, wishing to air their concerns to their MPs.

The MP who attended the November 14 MPS was Ang Hee Kin, the assistant director-general of the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC), who, in the absence of food delivery riders, spoke to the media that night.

Mr Ang pointed out that issues with PMDs have intensified because of the sudden proliferation of food delivery services in the last three years, according to a report from mothership.

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The MP from NTUC is quoted as saying that there’s “a lot of willingness from households to buy the services and for the restaurants to put themselves on the platform, and riders have the convenience to come in. This thing grew to a size today that offers great convenience and great options for those who want to look for a job, look for convenience and food.”

He called the growth of this new industry a “hyperbolic jump.”

However, with the speed with which this new industry has grown, it has also come with attending problems.

“Technology has brought great convenience but along the way of the technology, the business model that supported the technology probably didn’t quite anticipate a lot of the unintended consequences,” said Mr Ang.

Adding to the problem is the absence of a proper framework for this new line of work to grow at a pace that is sustainable.

Mothership quotes him as saying, “Unintended consequences of proliferation [such as when] people leave it here, behind, some who are reckless in the way they use it, etc, if anyone has foreseen them, they would have stopped it in the first place. But where else have you seen [the] precedence to know how to anticipate [what would happen]?”

The MP from NTUC also talked about the flexibility of food delivery service as a job, which makes it attractive for freelancers. At the moment, one out of every 10 people in Singapore works as a freelancer.

“More than 85 percent of them (doing freelance work) say that they voluntarily enter into a freelance career… more than 85 percent said that they walked into this job with their eyes wide open.

So those were the people who sort of found career options inside this space of disruptive technology, we saw how many people become (sic) private hire car driver, how many people became food deliver[ers] so it definitely created career options for those who need it for one reason or another.”

Importantly, Mr Ang underlined the fact that NTUC wishes to represent food delivery riders, and is at present working to form an association for representing riders, which would help mediate between them and the authorities, as well as, help with benefits for riders’ families. -/TISG

Read related: PMD users organise peaceful rally at Hong Lim Park to voice concerns over abrupt PMD ban

PMD users organise peaceful rally at Hong Lim Park to voice concerns over abrupt PMD ban

 

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M’sian Boy Raises S$500 For New Spectacles So His Poor Friend Can Study For National Exam

Malaysian Boy’s Best Friend Couldn’t Afford Buying New Pair Of Glasses

For those of us who are short-sighted, spectacles are our life-lines. It’s hard to focus when our vision is blurry or when our spectacles have scratches.

Faizal, a Malaysian student, found himself in a predicament when he found out that his spectacles were faulty. To make matters worse, he will be taking the Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) at the end of the year, which is the equivalent of Singapore’s O level examinations.

Luckily, his friend heard of his plight and rallied netizens to help fund the spectacles in a Tweet on 11 Nov. It has since gone viral with 12,200 retweets.

Source

Here’s a translation:

“This is my childhood friend but he’s never been in the same class as me because his memory is bad. So, he has been sitting at the back of the class since primary school. This year he has SPM, the same goes for me. But the problem is, his specs seems to be spoilt. Look at the picture.” 

Student’s spectacles blurry

The friend shared that the student’s spectacles seems to have lost its degree, causing it to be blurry.

Source

This would affect his studying and preparations for the upcoming SPM.

Student not well-to-do

In a second tweet, the friend shares that the student is not well-to-do.

Source

Just last year, his family passed away in an accident, and he now lives with his uncle.

“He’s from the underprivileged community. His family passed away in an accident and he now lives with his uncle. If his spectacles are blurry and spoilt, how is he going to do his SPM?”
Source

Since he was unable to make a new pair of spectacles, his friend was worried that he would have trouble taking his examinations.

Friend asks Twitter community for help

Wanting to rally more support, the friend took to Twitter to ask for help to buy new spectacles.

“So Twitter community, I hope that you can help my friend get new spectacles. Please help to retweet until he’s able to buy new spectacles. If you retweeted, I really really want to thank you and I hope Allah returns your kindness.”
Source

Of course, netizens swiftly responded, transferring money to his bank account.

“Please check your account later!!!”
Source

Some even suggested optical shops with cheaper rates.

“You’re from Johor? KSL has shops selling cheap spectacles under RM 100” 
Source

He closed the donations a day later on 12 Nov and thanked the netizens for their help. He told them not to worry because he would give updates too.

The friend added that they will get the spectacles on Saturday (16 Nov).

“Update: Guys, this Saturday a few of us will use the money for Faizal’s needs. So, can you retweet this to inform others? Hehe can’t wait to see Faizal wearing new spectacles.” 
Source

All the best for their exam

A friend in need is a friend indeed. Faizal is truly fortunate to have such a good friend.

MS News would like to wish both the boys all the best as they take their SPM.

Featured image adapted from Twitter.

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Chee Soon Juan –

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Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) secretary-general Chee Soon Juan has asserted that Bukit Batok SMC MP Murali Pillai’s continued silence on the fire hose reel issue at Block 210A Bukit Batok Street 21 contradicts Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s call for MPs to win the trust of the people by being open and transparent.

Earlier, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) reported that the fire hose reel at Block 210A was padlocked and did not have water supply when a fire broke out in a 13th-floor unit, causing a delay in putting out the blaze which had entrapped three residents.

Dr Chee, who regularly walks the ground at Bukit Batok after he contested the ward in the 2016 by-election, has been asking MP Murali Pillai to explain to residents why the fire hose reel was padlocked and did not have water supply on the night of the fire.

Days after Dr Chee published an open letter asking Mr Pillai to provide a transparent account of events to Bukit Batok residents, Jurong-Clementi Town Council’s (JCTC) general manager Ho Thian Poh said that the fire hose reels at Block 201A had been working two weeks before the fire.

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Despite this, he said that the town council which oversees Bukit Batok “accept[s] the SCDF’s finding that the hose in question was not working on the day of the fire.”

JCTC’s statement, however, puzzled Dr Chee who had been told by a man claiming to be affiliated with the contractor in charge of maintaining the hose reel that the contractor inspected the hose reel hours after the fire and found it to be in working condition. Claiming that the inspection was supervised by a JCTC official, the man also provided Dr Chee with a copy of the job sheet purportedly proving the inspection.

JCTC’s statement omitted explaining why the fire hose reels were padlocked and failed to mention that the SCDF issued Fire Hazard Abatement Notices to the town council.

Dissatisfied with the town council, which also did not mention whether an inspection occurred right after the fire as per the job sheet that Dr Chee highlighted in public, the SDP chief has raised more questions for Mr Pillai.

In a Facebook post published this afternoon (14 Nov), Dr Chee summarised the SCDF’s findings and said that the two violations the SCDF discovered constitute an act of omission – or absence of action – and an act of commission, where a deliberate decision resulted in the violation. He wrote:

“There were two violations that the SCDF cited. One, the cabinets housing the fire hoses were padlocked. Two, when firefighters managed to break the locks, they discovered that there was no water.
“There is a difference between these two violations. One is an act of omission. The lack of water supply could be due to oversight, carelessness and/or negligence. That is, there was an absence of action.
“The second, which is altogether more serious, is an act of commission. The installation of locks on the cabinets required proactive measures. In other words, someone (or some people) made a conscious decision that resulted in the commission of the violation.”

The opposition politician then raised a series of critical questions for Mr Pillai to answer:

1. Did the MPs know that the cabinets were locked? If yes, why did they authorise it? If no, were they sleeping on the job? This is the safety of the residents we’re talking about.

2. If the padlocking was authorised, who authorised it?

3. What was the reason(s) given for padlocking the cabinets?

4. Were Town Council funds disbursed for the purchase of the locks and installation?

5. How widespread is the problem? Have other town councils also padlocked the hosereels?

Pointing out that Mr Pillai is ultimately responsible for what happens in his ward and should not let the town council speak for him, Dr Chee asserted that the elected MP’s continued silence makes a “mockery” of DPM Heng’s recent call that MPs should earn the people’s trust by being open and transparent:

“The MPs, in particular Mr Murali, cannot continue to use the Town Council to speak for them because they are ultimately responsible for everything that happens in their estates. The buck stops with them.
“The matter is of intense public interest and the longer Mr Murali delays giving a full account of the violations, the bigger the mockery he makes of Mr Heng Swee Keat’s call for MPs to win trust by being open and transparent.”

More questions regarding the BB-fire-no-water saga. There were two violations that the SCDF cited. One, the cabinets…

Posted by Chee Soon Juan 徐顺全 on Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Dr Chee claims PAP Town Council’s inspection of fire hose reel contradicts SCDF report

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