Picture this: you’ve been waiting for your road trip to Malaysia for the past few months, and it’s finally time for you to cross the Causeway.
Except that you didn’t realise you won’t be going back to Singapore as soon as you’d like.
According to Shin Min Daily News, a group of five men travelled to Johor at around 11am on 7 May through the Woodlands checkpoint.
Four of the men were Singaporean while the other one was Malaysian, and all five men were between the ages of 25 and 27.
When Shin Min spoke to one of the men’s fathers, he explained that the men were in Johor and Kuala Lumpur for around five days.
The group then split up, with one of the Singaporean men flying back to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The other four men drove back to Singapore from Johor Bahru instead.
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Getting Through Immigration
For the man who flew back from Kuala Lumpur, he managed to get through immigration.
On the other hand, his friends were not so lucky.
The same man’s father recalled that upon reaching the checkpoints at around 4pm on 11 May, the four men were stopped by an officer.
The officer told them that their passports were not stamped, and hence there were no records of them entering Malaysia.
The interviewee’s son, along with two other men who are Singapore Permanent Residents, ended up being detained.
Their Malaysian friend was given permission to return to his home in Johor Bahru until 16 May, when he was called to the checkpoints to record a statement.
Call for Help
The father recounted how he soon received a call from his son after his son got detained, which led to him trying to find help for the men.
The father then called the Singapore Consulate-General in Johor Bahru for further help.
The father-son pair were finally allowed to see each other two days later on May 13, and the father said that he was upset to see his son being handcuffed during their meeting.
Outcome of the Case
The three men were released on 17 May, almost an entire week after their initial departure date.
They were also fined RM3,000 (approximately S$942) each.
The father then showed a ticket that his son received, and the ticket wrote that he was detained for illegal immigration under Section 6(1)(c) of the Malaysian Immigration Act 1959/63.
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According to the son himself, their Malaysian friend did not receive any fine.
The son also mentioned that they attempted to reason with the customs officer and told him that they did not check their passports to see if they were stamped when they first entered Johor.
Additionally, even the law enforcement official told the three men that it was an odd reason for them to be detained.
And it isn’t the first time Singaporeans have faced having their passports not stamped at the customs.
Recently, a Singaporean family shared their experience of being asked for a bribe after their passports were not stamped at the checkpoints.
They were also found guilty of “illegal immigration” by officers there.
After the incident gained much attention, Johor Chief Minister Onn Hafiz Ghazi responded by saying that he will “get the necessary authorities to investigate” the issue.
Another woman also reported experiencing the same thing on a separate occasion.
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