[YOUR LETTERS] CAN SINGAPOREANS TRUST ICA AND THE SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE?
[Editor's note: This letter was forwarded to several media outlets]
Singapore Police Force acts only if PAP power is under threat.
Ordinary Singaporeans like us remember the Toa Payoh HDB block rooftop graffiti case where several Singaporean teenagers displayed their disappointment with the ruling People's Action Party. The teenagers spray painted several public facing walls on the HDB rooftop with profanities aimed at the disappointing PAP, as its current leader is destroying what his father has painstakingly built up.
Expectedly, Singapore Police Forced managed to arrest the teenagers within 72 hours of the vandalism incident.
Singaporeans have short term memory. They cannot remember that 3 months ago, a Malaysian Chinese drove a Singapore registered Mercedes Benz and broke through the barriers despite ICA's repeated assurances that the security barriers are sound, despite an earlier security lapse when a Malaysian drive into Singapore by tail-gating another vehicle.
It is more worrying that shortly after the Mercedes gate crash incident, a video of the incident began circulating on the internet. The video, can be seen here, was obviously recorded from a mobile phone in a ICA Ops Room that monitors security footage. To me, this is a serious breach of trust by the check point authorities. Despite the promise of an investigation, this incident happened more than 3 months ago, but neither the SPF nor the ICA have given Singaporeans an update of the "leak" which happened in a supposedly controlled & secured environment; but when PAP's political powers are under threat, the SPF acted swiftly and managed to capture the teenagers.
Let us not forget that ICA officers have moral and integrity issues. Many corrupted ICA officers have made the news for the wrong reasons [https://sg.news.yahoo.com/ica-officer-charged-with-35-counts-of-accepting-bribes-105636869.html & http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/4-ica-officers-charged-corruption]. Can you seriously trust ICA to protect your passport and personal information? The reluctance of ICA to update the public regarding the leaked security footage is worrying. Is there a cover-up? How difficult is it to pinpoint the identity of ICA officers on duty in Ops Room on the day of the incident? Has our personal information held in ICA been sold to the criminals by corrupted ICA officers?
I raised these concerns to the authorities in ICA. But I am very disappointed with ICA because they did not address my concerns and they have intimated me and demanded me to furnish them my personal particulars. Are my concerns valid? Definitely.
I hope you can publish this and let Singaporeans aware the double standards of our law enforcement authorities. I have appended the e-mails below.
Subject: RE: Can ICA give Singaporeans some assurance?
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2014 13:59:50 +0800
Thank you for the non-reply. I am extremely disappointed.
From: [email protected]
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2014 11:33:42 +0800
Subject: Can ICA give Singaporeans some assurance?
Dear Mr Chee Seng
We refer to your email dated 6 June 2014.
Your email has received ICA's attention and we are looking into it. To facilitate our follow up on your feedback and clarify matters with you, please provide us with your full name (as in NRIC), NRIC number and local contact number. All details provided will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.
Ms Juliana Saruwan
Dy Head (Customer Relations)
IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
WARNING: "Privileged/Confidential information may be contained in this message. If you are not the intended addressee, you must not copy, distribute or take any action in reliance thereon. Communication of any information in this email to any unauthorised person is an offence under the Official Secrets Act (Cap 213). Please notify the sender immediately if you receive this in error."
Subject: Can ICA give Singaporeans some assurance?
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2014 10:26:29 +0800
I refer to the Woodlands Checkpoint breach by a Mercedes Benz that happened on 8 March 2014. It has been 3 months since the incident.
The ICA and the authorities have done a good job to apprehend the suspect and followed-up with measures to tighten up security around the checkpoints.
However, after the incident has happened, I remember there was a video footage that is believed to be recorded in the control room by ICA staff was circulating on the internet. The footage shows how the Mercedes Benz matter was handled. The footage can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zA6NpbvujM.
The authorities replied they are investigating how the footage was leaked: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/crash-barrier-failed-to/1026082.html
It has been 3 months but there are no news of the investigation outcome of the leaked security video.
As a Singaporean, I have a 2 questions for ICA:
(1) Is ICA still an agency that Singaporeans can trust if you cannot get your house in order – your staff deliberately released a security footage
(2) Are our passport and personal particular information safe since Singaporeans are now aware that there are unreliable ICA staff within.
To recap, there are just some of the few instances where ICA staff who were convicted for bribery:
I hope to get a reply.