Immovable rules out of step in borderless world

Mr David Ng of Assurity Trusted Solutions mentioned that overseas Singaporeans are required to update their foreign address with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority under the National Registration Act (Important for overseas S'poreans to update foreign address with ICA; July 15).

I left Singapore a decade ago.

Then, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority had asked for my foreign office address.

But as I did not hold a job overseas and, thus, had no work permit from my adopted country, it informed me that my registered address in Singapore would suffice.

Why did the authorities not register my foreign residential address?

I wonder if the authorities know that I have not been residing in Singapore all this while. They seem to have assumed that the people at my registered Singapore address can get hold of me if necessary.

I also empathise with Dr Lee Siew Peng, who has had difficulty getting an HDB flat (Difficult for returning S'porean to get HDB flat; Forum Online, July 15).

I have encountered difficulties too.

I am expected to personally check with HDB if I am qualified to buy a flat and the type of flat I can buy, and to be present during the sale.

Why is this necessary? Instead of having to fly to and fro several times, why can't I appoint a lawyer or a relative or friend to settle the choosing, booking and payment for me, especially if I am paying fully in cash?

Such rigid immovable technicalities, rules and regulations are out of place in a borderless world where people are constantly on the move.

Ho Kok Fei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2017, with the headline 'Immovable rules out of step in borderless world'. Print Edition | Subscribe