S'porean woman shares encounter with M'sian customs officer who allegedly did not stamp passport

Always ensure your passport is properly stamped when crossing the land borders into Malaysia.

Irwan Shah | June 09, 2022, 12:13 PM

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A Singaporean woman, Haslinda Sham, and her family had a troubling encounter that could have gotten much worse during a trip to Malaysia, if not for some extra caution on her husband's part.

She shared her experience in a Facebook post to remind Singaporeans to be aware when travelling into Johor.

Handed passports over to be stamped

On June 4, Haslinda and three other family members travelled to Johor in a car via the Causeway.

They approached one of the immigration booths at the Sultan Iskandar CIQ Complex and proceeded to hand over their passports to the officer.

Her husband kept his ears peeled to listen out for the heavy drops of the immigration stamp each time a passport was being stamped.

He was driving the car and was the nearest to the officer. The officer returned the passports to them and Haslinda's husband drove the car forward.

One out of four passports not stamped

However, to make doubly sure, her husband stopped the car about five to six metres from the booth for the family to check their passports.

"That day, I felt uneasy and reminded everyone (to check their passports)," recalled Haslinda, speaking to Mothership.

To her surprise, she discovered that her passport was not stamped. "It was fortunate we took some time just to confirm," she said.

Haslinda returned to the same immigration booth and approached the officer to get her passport stamped.

M'sian immigration officer supposedly nonchalant about the error

Haslinda told Mothership that the officer was allegedly nonchalant and unapologetic when the error was pointed out.

Afterwards, Haslinda made a Facebook post about her experience and reminded Singaporeans to check their passports after exiting Johor's immigration booths.

She added that it will be a waste if travellers are given summons because of stamping issues.

Netizens say they experienced similar issues

There were Facebook users that commented on her post, saying that they went through something similar as well.

Screenshot from Haslinda's Facebook post.

Screenshot from Haslinda's Facebook post.

The (unverified) Facebook comment in Malay translates:

They do it on purpose. My passport was not stamped as well. When I was coming back to Singapore, I did not check. I only noticed that it wasn't stamped for departure during the next visit (to Johor).

I had to go into their office and it was troublesome. Afterwards, I was scolded for not checking and was threatened with a fine. What can I do? It's their country. So I ended up apologising for their mistake. We were the ones who had to say sorry.

Not the first alleged incident with Johor customs officers

Haslinda's experience was not the only recent incident that involved Johor customs officers.

Previously in May 2022, three Singaporean men were allegedly detained for seven days in Johor and fined RM3,000 (S$942) each.

Their passports were found to be missing records of their entries into Malaysia, Shin Min Daily News (SMDN) reported.

A separate incident also in May 2022, involving a family of six, claimed that they were asked for RM200 (S$62) in bribe money for an officer because of an alleged "serious offence".

The incident with the family was brought to the attention of Johor Chief Minister Onn Hafiz Ghazi, who commented on SMDN's  Facebook post that he will "take this allegation seriously".

He added that he will "get" the necessary authorities to investigate the incident.

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Quotes were edited for grammar and clarity.

Top photo from Haslinda Sham/Wikimedia