Better balance between security, crowd management needed

ON TUESDAY night, I was in high spirits as I arrived at the National Stadium at 7.15pm to attend the SEA Games closing ceremony.

However, it was chaos when I arrived at the security screening area at the west entrance, near the Kallang Wave Mall. The place was jam-packed.

I queued for 45 minutes in the express lane for ticket holders without bags as the crowd moved along at a snail’s pace. When I finally arrived at the screening point, I was surprised to find that the checks were carried out by security officers using handheld metal detectors. Handbags were checked by officers using a stick and a torchlight. The process was slow and painstaking. There was no tentage, and the checks were carried out in the dark.

Over at the “normal” queue, those with bags were channelled through security screening under brightly lit tentage, housing multiple lanes of walk-through metal detectors and X-ray machines. This queue turned out to be smooth flowing and hassle free. My friends in this queue entered the stadium 25 minutes ahead of me. They took only 20 minutes to clear security.

Why was the express lane not equipped with walk-through detectors and X-ray machines to speed up the screening process? While I understand the need for tightened security at such events, there is room for improvement in terms of crowd control and management.

Tan Buck Yam