Just wanted to share the unfair treatment I received while at ICQ Woodlands yesterday.
I arranged to pick up my new passport at ICA, Lavender at 2 PM because my old passport has ran out of pages before expiry. Went down to ICA at around 1:35 PM and got by passport at 1:45 PM. Efficient I must say. Told the counter officer to check on my new passport is OK before I collect them. She did the test in my presence and says that it is ok.
After collection, me and my wife decided to head to JB to buy some mooncakes as Mid-Autumn Festival is two weeks from now.
Drove up to ICQ, Woodlands and at the counter, I was told by the Officer that he was not able to clear my passport despite several tries. Told to wait and we waited for a good 15 minutes. Ask the officer again and he replied that he was unable to process my passport and to wait for an escort to escort me to the office where they will do the back end processing. Lan Lan, continue waiting and about 10 mins later, another officer came along and ask me to park my car. Of which I did and alighted, he asked for my car keys with both the passports of me and wife already with him. Followed him to a small office of which, there were a group of 3 already there before us.
Was told to wait and to get a seat within the office which we again comply. Shortly, my wife ask to go to the washroom but was brushed aside by the officer at the door that we are to wait inside the office and not suppose to go anywhere else. This is when I start to fume up.
I walked to the officer and asked if we have committed any crime, if we have not, why are we treated like criminals and deprive of our basic needs. I must admit that I raised my voice slightly. Upon hearing this, another officer intervened and ordered the officer to escort my wife to the rest room.
At this point, I asked the Officer again, what is wrong with my passport. I have just collected my passport from ICA and show him my booking appointment slip together with my old passport. I also shared with him that at collection, the counter lady did a check on my new passport and confirm that it is already activated. If the computer systems at ICQ Woodlands cannot process my passport than it is very much an IT issue which is of no fault of mine. Even so, I rendered my co-operation to them fully but why am I and my wife being treated as if we were convicted criminals. He tried explaining to me that it is for security reasons and so on. I replied that I am fully appreciative of their concerns on security and even when my passport cannot be processed, it does not mean that I am a criminal or a terrorist. Even if they classified me as a suspect, they are not supposed to pass judgement on me until the point that I have been proven guilty.
The officer subsequently relented and attended to my case first. At the end, we left that office before the group of 3 who have been in the office before we do. But I still buay song because not a single apology was offered despite the inconvenience created. Was really pissed off by this whole episode.