Man gets detained in S'pore for 2 hours, somehow ends up becoming the best spokesman for ICA

PSA: They are just doing their job.

Nyi Nyi Thet | August 19, 2016, 04:48 PM

Anyone who has ever been detained by immigration would know that it is a uniquely disconcerting experience.

You are in a new, perhaps unfamiliar, country, being investigated under a legal system you do not fully grasp. It is little wonder many take to social media to voice their frustration and fear after being detained.

Not for TheLoneRider though

The man, who goes by the name TheLoneRider on his travel website, was attempting to enter Singapore to catch a flight to Davao, Phillipines, when he was detained in immigration for 2 hours.

While he did take to the Internet to voice his thoughts, it was the best possible post ICA could have asked for.

Now, before we get into his thoughts, a quick refresher for those who are unaware immigration controls.

Non-residents cannot enter Singapore without showing confirmation of a place to reside in (in this case a hotel booking), or shown proof that they have a scheduled flight out of Singapore. You know, because we don't want to let prohibited immigrants into Singapore.

The problem

He quickly identified the reason why he was held in the first place.

For the life of me, I completely forgot to book a hotel and an onward flight, although I was spending the last few days looking for the cheapest deal.

Why he wasn't nervous

The worldly traveler explained why he wasn't nervous, even though this was his first time being held up at Immigration.

Not surprisingly, I was detained for 2 hours causing me to be left by my bus. Although unnerving, I welcomed the experience - because it's a new experience. I wasn't nervous.

There was nothing to be nervous about - I didn't steal, lie or kill. I just arrived with no booking. That's hardly a crime.

After explaining myself to the immigration officer, I was immediately released. They're smart and quick to tell that I was not a threat in any way.

Respect for Singapore

Now, despite 2 hours being quite a significant amount of time, and the fact that the bus had to leave without him, TheLoneRider had nothing but praise for our Immigration law, and officers.

In other countries, the officials would have applied the 'squeeze' to pressure me into bribing them.

Or, perhaps play God and power trip on me. But ICA was respectful the entire time, even managing a pleasant smile at times. There was absolutely no power play. They were the consummate professionals.

Summarising his point with this line.

I didn't do my job. It was really my bad and had nothing to do with them. They were just doing their jobs.

Sympathy for immigration officers

Being a full time traveller for over a decade, TheLoneRider, perhaps more than anyone, could be the most qualified to make the following statement.

Working at ICA is probably a thankless job - you bear the brunt of everyone who has been detained, delayed, interrogated, let alone whose contraband has been confiscated or those committng illegal entries.

All this aggravation when you're just doing your job.

Before giving an incredibly concise explanation of what Singapore might appear to some people.

This experience certainly adds dimension to Singapore for me - an unpleasant but needed one. The more I know about Singapore, the more I admire it. I can't wait to see what else is in store for me.

We know one group who was thrilled with the excellent write up.


Well done, ICA officers.


Top image from Panoramio

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