Passport blunder: It’s Singaporeans who are negligent

First they let a dangerous terrorist slip away during his toilet break, and Singaporeans were told we were complacent.

Then, they let a retiree get through the checkpoints with the wrong passport. Now we are told we are negligent.

Straits Times, 25 June

Passport blunders leave S’poreans stranded
By Jessica Lim

SINGAPOREANS are a negligent lot when it comes to passports, travel agents told The Straits Times on Wednesday.

It is not common for travellers to make a mad dash to the airport with the wrong passport, some said, but added that,more often, they show up at the airport with expired passports or without the required visas.

Some forget their passports altogether.

Travel agencies contacted by The Straits Times say they make it a practice to call travellers before their flights with reminders to pack their passports and check that everything is in order.

Despite this, one in 10 will goof up every month….

Dr Teo Ho Pin, who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee for Law and Home Affairs, also called on travellers to exercise some responsibility.

He said: ‘In the most recent case, it is a genuine mistake, but that is not an excuse. If you travel with the wrong documents, you’re breaking the rules.’

It seems this government and the press that they control are intent to shifting the spotlight to Singaporeans’ shortcomings whenever they make an embarrassing blunder.

In this case, the GPC chairman for Home Affairs, the ministry responsible for this blunder, has the nerve to lecture Singaporeans on exercising responsibility.

When will a real leader stand up and accept responsibility for these “appalling” mistakes?


Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam is the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.

10 thoughts on “Passport blunder: It’s Singaporeans who are negligent”

  1. “When will a real leader stand up and accept responsibility for these “appalling” mistakes?”

    The only time the leader will do that is when his honest mistake in the lucky twist of fate generate more money to the government. Then you will see the full glory of MSM propaganda putting pages of how far-sighted and smart is the leader.

  2. Well for me the article says 2 things. First that these blunders actually occur frequently but our security still doesn’t check thoroughly, and second is that the security expects us (and terrorists) to make sure our passports are in order since they shouldn’t have to catch these mistakes.

  3. Dear Gerald,

    Check out what LKY said on the elements to succeed for a country:

    Second, leaders who are above board, who make decisions based on necessity, not how they will personally benefit. He said Singaporeans know they have such leaders because, over the years, ‘we have not got richer, Singapore has’.Third and most importantly, a country needs able men in charge.

    while I have respect for LKY, I suspect has has not followed WKS’s performance as a home minister.

    Selamat Gate, 2 escape prisoner, now passport blunder. rather than admitting fault, he has shift the blame to his minions, continue to collect his million dollar pay cheque and enjoy his life.

    what responsibilty has he shown? has WKS pass criteria 2 and 3?


  4. “These arrogant elites are sowing the seeds of their own decline.”

    Echoing the sentiments of the French, Russian & Maoist revolutions. And yet in your next post you make a very interesting observation. You say “A post-2006 election survey conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies found that most Workers’ Party supporters were from the upper-middle and above household income group.”

    I wonder if what you are advocating then is a different form of revolution? I wonder how you see it being played out? I’m interested in what your end game is in terms of political and social reform for Singapore.

  5. ByleDuct – I’m not sure what you’re getting at but let me attempt an answer.

    Unlike the French and communist revolutions, our ‘revolution’ (if it ever happens) will likely be led by an alternative set of elites. Economic disparity has not reached a point where the proletariats are going to rise up against their bourgeosie masters. Needless to say, I’m not expecting a real revolution, but a subtle shift in the centre of power once you know who is not around anymore.

  6. I guess I found it interesting that you make a rather strong statement regarding the arrogant elite. And in another entry you spoke of the upper class (from whom the elite are drawn) supporting the workers party (this almost seems a contradiction).

    But if your revolution is one that replaces the arrogant elites with the not-so-arrogant elites then I can see where you are coming from. Although I’m not sure advocates of the equality of all people through democracy reform would agree.

  7. I don’t think it’s a contradiction.

    The arrogant elites I was referring to were some of the ministers in the current govt, not all elites in Singapore.

    It is also a fact, backed by research, that support for a multi-party democracy in Singapore is highest among the middle classes.

    “Although I’m not sure advocates of the equality of all people through democracy reform would agree.”

    I’m going to stop using the word ‘revolution’, as it might be misinterpreted as seditious. (See the state of freedom here!)

    I believe in representative democracy and equality of all men. But I don’t believe that a govt made up entirely of uneducated people is going to to a good job running the country. We could end up like Myanmar. Call me elitist if you like, but I believe it is the responsibility of those who have been given much to also give back much.

    Yes, I believe we need an alternative elite to be in place to run this country WHEN ruling elite stumbles. And the stumbling seems to have begun already.

  8. I don’t think you are elitist at all. In fact I agree with you on all points.

    I think you misunderstand where I find the contradiction. It is not in your reasoning. It is not in your assessment of the current stumbling or prospective outcomes. It is in the idea that the “Workers Party” is mostly supported by the “upper middle and above” class. Again this is not an idea of yours you were simply quoting others.Throughout modern history the party of the workers represented the lower socio-economic end of the populous. So for their support in Singapore to be coming from the other end of the spectrum is indeed an historical contradiction.

    Your responses have indeed answered my initial questions. You are advocating a realignment and reformation rather than a revolution. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  9. I see where you are coming from. “Workers’ Party” was founded in the 50s, during the socialist era. All political parties were trying to pander to “workers” while differentiating themselves from the Communists. Even the People’s Action Party sounds like a communist party name, don’t you think?

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