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Checkpoint breach raises vital questions

The Straits Times | Han Fook Kwang | Monday, Feb 3, 2014

It has been almost two weeks since the revelation that a Malaysian woman drove her car illegally past the Woodlands Immigration Checkpoint and went undetected for three days.

There are too many questions about how such a security breach could have occurred, raising concerns regarding the competence and alertness of the officers involved.

These queries need to be answered quickly to reassure Singaporeans that the authorities are on top of their game.

Questions: How did the woman drive past immigration control in such a brazen manner without being detected?

It was reported that she tailed the car in front of her and went past the vehicle barrier without stopping for the usual immigration checks. Why did the officer manning the booth not notice her car when it went past? When did he notice and at which point was the alarm raised? If it took a full two minutes for the alarm to be raised, as was reported, why did it take so long?

After clearing immigration, vehicles proceed to the Customs checkpoint where officers check for contraband.

This is some distance away, and if the officers there had been alerted in time, the offender might have been apprehended there. Were they alerted, and when exactly? What is the procedure for such alerts to be passed from the immigration to the Customs checkpoint?

It is cold comfort to know that the woman had apparently sailed through Malaysian immigration checks as well, as her passport was not found on her when she was arrested.

There are other troubling questions about how she was able to go undetected for three days.

Questions: What exactly was the nature of the alert raised by the immigration department to the police and security forces in Singapore after she left Woodlands?

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