Saturday, June 18, 2011

Asleep on the Job

Singapore's Straits Times reproduced this news story of a Singaporean (i.e. Eric) who told of his experience with unmanned checkpoint booths to citizen journalism website STOMP. Eric had claimed that a Malaysian checkpoint officer had "allowed" him to pass through without stamping his passport.

His story: "My wife and I had a similar encounter with an unmanned booth that showed the green light, with the barricade lifted up. Fortunately, we were on our way out of the country. When it was our turn, we stopped at the booth and looked inside. There was an immigration officer who sat in the background, arms folded and expressionless. The lights insider were not switched on. Thinking there was another booth up ahead, we drove on. To our horror, there was none and we were already out of Malaysia when we realized it. We felt compelled to drive on and it was only when we arrived at the Singapore side and narrated our encounter to the Singapore immigration officers that we were advised to return to the Malaysian side to have our passports stamped".

Eric continued: "We also understood from the conversation that our encounter was not unique. The incident had caused us much confusion and inconvenience. The Malaysian government must be responsible for such irresponsible conduct of (their) civil servants and not push the blame on innocent tourists".

I know it is not fair to stereotype, but as his job requires him to be at the front line and he is err... asleep on the job, it doesn't reflect well on Malaysia, does it? This lagard of an officer was obviously lethargic, languorous and lazy, but when the public chanced upon this Immigration officer in his comatose state, he would have unwittingly given the impression that his department is slack, slothful and slumberous. is it any wonder even Malaysians have few good words to say about our civil servants?

Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, popularly known as 'Zunar' is suing the Government, Home Ministry and three others over the seizure of 66 "Cartoon-o-phobia" comic books and a painting(!) on September 24, 2010 (Star, June 16, 2011, p 24). Read my postings on September 26, 2010 for the background story.

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