20140406 PMO, MHA not bothered about ICA’s error

The Woodlands Checkpoint breach in January reminded me of an incident in 2012 which my friend’s cancelled passport was used 3 times at the same checkpoint.

I highlighted the incident to the MHA, and subsequently to the PMO, as there was a possibility that ICA’s error had not been rectified.

The issue should have been resolved in a common sense manner ie the MHA should investigate the ICA and not allow the ICA to investigate itself. I strongly disagree with the approach taken by MHA ie forward my feedback to ICA. The relevant details of the passport holder and my contact number had already been provided.

Although the error occurred in Jan 2012, could it still not have been rectified until now? The way our authorities sit on issues, there is always a possibility.

Look at the situation in Geylang, which has worsened, where PAP MP Fatimah Lateef has spent “hundreds of hours of talk with little action from various authorities”. She is still patrolling Geylang “at least twice a week or more if required” to sort our and solve “many issues”.

A issue which she has been working on for 8 years has now become “a potential powder keg”, according to Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee.

Imagine Fatimah is an MP and her concerns were mostly ignored. Am I to believe the government will be bothered about an ordinary citizen’s concerns?

Feedback timeline:

7 Feb 2014 – Feedback to DPM Teo with photos of passport, relevant information and my contact number.

13 Feb 2014 – ICA replied requesting contact number of passport holder. (ignored)

20 Feb 2014 – Reminded MHA that it should have verified and conducted an independent investigation. (no response)

10 Mar 2014 – Feedback to PM Lee my concerns were ignored. (no response)

I find it incredible that a cancelled passport could have been used 3 times. Isn’t there a systemic issue at the ICA? Is there a possibility that other passports were also used in the same manner?

Until an investigation has been conducted, nobody really knows. The government’s indifference is troubling.

From: pipakh@singnet.com.sg
Sent: Monday, March 10, 2014 11:09 AM
To: PM LEE ; DPM TEO
Cc: HENG ; STANLEY
Subject: 20140310 MHA should investigate public feedback on cancelled passport used 3 times in 2012

Dear PM Lee

I refer to my email to DPM Teo on 7 February on the issue of a cancelled passport which was used 3 times in 2012. (enclosed)

Although my feedback was probably not read by DPM Teo, it shocked me that it was simply forwarded it to the ICA. ICA requested me for the contact number of the passport holder on 7 and 13 February.

However, facts such as the name, date and photos of the passport holder had already been provided. My contact number was also included. The MHA appears to have taken my feedback very lightly or it would have conducted an independent investigation.

Like the majority of apathetic Singaporeans, I could have remained silent. But what if such an oversight by the ICA was exploited by criminals? The MHA could have easily assuaged my concern but has not bothered to do so.

The ICA cannot investigate itself for its oversight. I hope the government shares the same concern that my feedback warrants an independent investigation.

Thank you and have a nice day.

Regards

Phillip Ang

From: pipakh@singnet.com.sg
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2014 11:31 AM
To: DPM TEO
Cc: STANLEY
Subject: 20140217 Home Affairs ministry should have verified, conducted independent investigation Re: 20140207 ICA overlooked cancelled passport 3 times in 2012

Dear DPM Teo

I refer to ICA’s request for Mr Sandosham’s contact number on 13 Feb. (enclosed)

My feedback to DPM Teo highlighted a security breach.

The details which I have provided could easily be verified and I hope the MHA has conducted an investigation.

Thank you and have a nice day.

Regards

Phillip Ang

From: pipakh@singnet.com.sg
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 5:27 PM
To: DPM TEO
Subject: 20140207 ICA overlooked cancelled passport 3 times in 2012

Dear DPM Teo

I refer to CNA articles “Alleged MFA trespasser entered Singapore illegally on Jan 17”, link and “Checkpoints breach should have been dealt with “more urgently and decisively”: DPM Teo” link

The recent articles reminded me of the mistaken use of a lost passport to leave/enter Singapore 3 times before the error was detected by an immigration officer. I am aware that this happened 2 years ago and have reservations about highlighting this issue. But in view of the risks should appropriate action not have been taken, it would be irresponsible to remain silent. Please disregard this if this issue has been resolved.

Chronology of events:
1 The passport belongs to Mr Sandosham Paul Stanley.

2 It was used to enter Malaysia on 10 January 2012, return to Singapore on 10 January 2012 and enter Malaysia on 16 January 2012 via the Woodlands Checkpoint.

3 On the return trip on 16 Jan, an ICA officer detected the invalid passport. He was questioned politely at the ICA office and his explanation was accepted.

4 Mr Sandosham had reported the loss of the above passport (which he did not know was actually in his house all the while) and was issued a new one on 7 Jan 2010. (below)

The most likely reason would be a computer error ie lost passport not updated on ICA’s system. However, that does not explain how the error could have been spotted on returning to Singapore on 16 Jan after he had been cleared to leave Singapore on the same morning.

Thank you and have a nice day.

Regards

Phillip Ang

HP: 9383XXXX

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