Thousands of people cross the border between Singapore and Malaysia daily, and for those who run into trouble at the customs it can almost feel like a lottery with downsides.
On Nov. 29, a Singaporean man named Muhammad Nuruzzaman posted on Facebook about his nasty experience with Malaysian customs.
He said he was driving from Singapore to Malaysia, having cleared the Singapore customs, when he was stopped at the Malaysian border by a female customs officer.
It was not stated at which land crossing Nuruzzaman had tried to enter into Malaysia.
But according to him, he opened up his passport to the page with his biometric ID and photo for scanning.
However, the customs officer allegedly tore the passport page, then asked him why he had tried to enter the country with a torn passport.
Taken to an office and left there for hours
Nuruzzaman pointed out that if his passport really was torn before this, he wouldn't have been allowed to leave Singapore in the first place.
However, he claimed that the officer refused to listen to him.
He was then led to an office and left there for "hours" without receiving an explanation.
To make matters worse, Nuruzzaman said that the Malaysian police were called, and they threatened to arrest him and confiscate his car for trying to enter the country with "falsified documentation".
Help from MFA
Fortunately, Nuruzzaman's colleague managed to contact members of Singapore's Consulate-General in Johor Bahru for assistance.
Although he said the police were allegedly "adamant" on arresting him, they ultimately let him go.
The officers present also would not reveal the name of the customs officer who had stopped Nuruzzaman in the first place.
"The feeling of coming home is definitely damn good as you know that you have your rights in your country and you know that this kind of corruption or corrupted behaviour doesn’t takes place in Singapore," Nuruzzaman said.
"As much as we like to visit foreign countries, this is definitely one of the most baddest experience which can happen to one person especially when it’s got smth to do with our passport."
He added "I hope this alerts those around to be vigilant whenever we’re entering foreign countries."
Mothership has contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) for comment.
(Update): On Dec. 1, MFA confirmed that the Singapore Consulate-General in Johor Bahru had indeed provided consular advice to Mr Nuruzzaman.
Nuruzzaman's Facebook post, with a photo of a torn Singaporean passport, appears to have been taken down:
Top image adapted from Muhammad Nurazzaman's Facebook page.