I have no idea on the abysmal quality of training provided to ICA officers these days, but thought an experience that borders on being comically absurd (even by ICA’s terribly appalling standards) warrants highlighting if you are not already embarrassed by such utter incompetence. To be precise, this incident happened between 11.55pm, Wednesday 22 Feb to at least 12.15am, Thursday 23 Feb.

Along with other commuters who were making the commute from JB, after clearing the Singapore checkpoint at Woodlands immigration, I proceeded to join the queue for Service 160 at the Woodlands Checkpoint bus stop at around 11.40pm. There was no bus in sight until around 11.55pm when a Service 160 pulled up to clear immigration.

To my (and that of fellow passengers) consternation, that Service 160 was held up by your ICA staff for at least a good 20 minutes (in the interim period, at least 5 other SBS Buses and two SMRT Service 950 buses had to use the other immigration clearance for buses/heavy vehicles). I have no idea if your officers who splendidly orchestrated the delay are even mindful of the fact that many commuters waiting for Service 160 were waiting to catch connecting buses/trains (myself included) which, thanks to your staff’s woeful incompetence and inaptitude, led to many missing their connections.

I certainly hope your officers did a wonderful job detaining a would-be terrorist or narco-trafficker (although quite unlikely as I will explain below) in the form of the driver for that Service 160 as such forlorn incompetence and lack of common sense hardly renders ICA comparable to their third world counterparts – to do so would be an insult to the latter.

Just for the record, the consequence of this mess resulted in two other Service 160 clearing the immigration at around 12.15am and three Service 160s arriving at Jurong East bus interchange within 5 minutes of each other (including the bus that had been unduly delayed) at around 12.45am.

The bottle-neck and terrible bus scheduling is bad enough as it stands (and no, there was no traffic congestion at that hour either in the roads leading up to the JB CIQ or any part of the route leading back to Jurong East interchange covered by Service 160 as many commuters and I had commuted just minutes before this incident); just what on earth warrants a public bus (with no passengers on board) being unduly delayed in such inexplicable fashion is befuddling to its core.

Needless to say, I look forward to your bureaucracy-tested investigations and review through CCTV footages and conjuring of some unbelievable excuses to justify such incompetence while I eagerly await the day when you incompetent lot hold up a plane’s departure at Changi Airport at your whimsical discretion.

For good measure, I am highlighting this unsavoury experience of your fourth-rate incompetence to some social media websites (bcc-ed).

Johnson Tham
A.S.S. Contributor

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