Checkpoint breach: Driver jailed 4 weeks

Malaysian woman had tailgated a vehicle and driven through immigration barriers

Chong Jing Jing pretended to be asleep when she was asked to step out of the car.
Chong Jing Jing pretended to be asleep when she was asked to step out of the car.PHOTO: IMMIGRATION AND CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY

Her passport had expired, so she drove straight through immigration without stopping. When ordered by officers to get out of her car, she pretended to be asleep.

Malaysian national Chong Jing Jing, who breached Woodlands immigration checkpoint on June 30, was sentenced to four weeks' jail yesterday.

The 34-year-old administrator in an Ipoh music school had driven from her home in Perak, Malaysia, to Singapore, even though the passport she carried was invalid.

Instead of stopping at the immigration counter, she tailgated the vehicle in front of her and drove through the barrier.

The officer manning the counter activated the alarm system at once, bringing traffic at the checkpoint to a halt.

Immigration officers went after Chong, finally locating her Malaysia-registered pink Perodua Axia in the arrival section.

When a checkpoint inspector directed Chong to switch off the engine, unlock the doors and step out of the car, she ignored him. Instead, she closed her eyes and behaved as if she was sleeping.

After repeated attempts to order her out of the car, the officers finally managed to break into the vehicle by smashing its windows, and arrested her.

Chong pleaded guilty to three charges of failing to stop at the checkpoint, not presenting her passport, and refusing to obey an immigration officer. The latter two charges were proceeded on.

She walked free yesterday after District Judge Liew Thiam Leng backdated her sentence to July 2, when she first entered remand.

The judge said her offences were "relatively serious" but noted that she had pleaded guilty and already been in remand for four weeks.

Chong, a slight woman who spoke in Mandarin, started wailing upon hearing the backdated sentence.

As she was led out of court by officers, she sobbed repeatedly: "Thank you, Your Honour! Thank you for letting me go!"

For failing to present her passport, Chong could have been jailed up to six months, fined $1,000, or both. For obstructing the duty of an immigration officer, she could have been jailed up to 12 months, fined $4,000 or both.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2015, with the headline 'Checkpoint breach: Driver jailed 4 weeks'. Print Edition | Subscribe