Member of Parliament for Hougang, Png Eng Huat, shared in his Facebook about the dismay his residents and him felt when the Customs and Immigrations Checkpoint at Tuas opened a special lane during an extremely busy period, just for Minister for Family and Social Development Tan Chuan-Jin and his entourage of grassroots leaders.
The incident happened yesterday (17 Jul) when the opposition MP was returning to Singapore with his residents after a 1-Day Desaru Tour. The MP explained that initially many tired travellers were relieved to see another counter being opened. But it turned to dismay when they discovered that it was only to allow Minister Tan Chuan-Jin to clear.
Minister Tan, who is the MP for Marine Parade GRC like Mr Png, had joined his residents for a day of outing and fun in Malaysia.
Mr Png said that most people in the queue probably did not mind that as a Minister Mr Tan had certain privileges which others did not, but felt that it was unfair that besides the Minister an “entourage of grassroots leaders and members with shopping bags in tow also enjoyed the privilege of fast clearance at the custom without needing to join the crowd.”
Besides the Minister and his entourage, no one else could use that counter. Mr Png recounted that there were many travellers (some of whom are old and tired) at the checkpoint at that time, but they all had to wait patiently for hours for their turn.
The opposition MP said that his volunteers and grassroots members were different. They waited patiently with all the residents who went with them on the tour, because they understood the meaning of togetherness. By doing so, his team identified with his residents Mr Png said, among whom one was 89 years old, while another was injured during the tour.
“The chaos, anger and confusion at the Tuas Immigration check point certainly made us forget how bad the durians were yesterday, and how bad the system needs to change,” Mr Png said.