A look at Woodlands Checkpoint: Singapore's first and last line of defence
Officers at Woodlands Checkpoint know one miss can undermine years of vigilance
Woodlands Checkpoint commander Ong Choon Beng has 1,500 goalkeepers at his disposal. That is how he refers to his team of Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers, who keep a clean sheet for Singapore the way world- class Dane Peter Schmeichel did at football giants Manchester United.
But one miss is enough to undermine years of vigilance. "You can be Peter Schmeichel and save 10,000 goals, but let one through and people say you're kayu (Malay word for 'wooden' meaning silly)," says Assistant Commissioner Ong.
That is why there is never any respite on Singapore's side of the Causeway - one of the world's busiest land immigration checkpoint.
Each day, 350,000 travellers cross the checkpoint, more than at all other entry points to Singapore - land, sea and air - combined. That works out to the country's entire population, every 15 days.
On the alert
"They try to outsmart our profiling techniques by using expensive cars. But it doesn't matter what you drive, as long as you fit our telltale indicators."
Deputy superintendent of police TANG FOOK YUEN, recalling how eight Mercedes-Benzes carrying cigarettes were stopped by his team this year
The number of travellers crossing the Woodslands Checkpoint each day - 350,000
The 15-year-old checkpoint cleared more than this number of vehicles last year - 50 million
The ICA officers who ensure the security curtain is not breached - 1,500