ICA responds to complaint of unfair treatment

Checks at entry and exit points are a critical part of Singapore's security, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a statement yesterday.

"ICA officers are empowered by law to conduct travel document and baggage checks on all travellers," it said .

The statement was in response to a post on Oct 15 by Facebook user PJ Wong, who alleged that he had been singled out unfairly for a baggage check while passing through immigration at Changi Airport.

In his post, Mr Wong said the ICA officer involved had not responded to his requests for an explanation as to why he was being checked, and that his phone had been snatched from him when he tried to record a video of the incident.

Mr Wong alleged that the incident was an abuse of power by the officer. The Facebook post, which had more than 400 shares, has been taken down.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Mr Wong apologised for his initial post. "I was under tremendous pressure to get to my next meeting and attend to many pressing matters," he said.

In its statement, the ICA reminded people that photography and videography are not permitted within certain areas at checkpoints, and that travellers may be subject to additional checks and interviews when necessary.

"For travellers who refuse to comply with the security checks, ICA will not hesitate to take firm action against them, in accordance with the law," it said.

Zhaki Abdullah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2015, with the headline 'ICA responds to complaint of unfair treatment'. Print Edition | Subscribe