89-year-old man and injured had to wait while Tan’s entourage got special clearance


He Ting Ru responds to Png Eng Huat’s post about the chaotic trip back from JB where a 89-year-old man in his group of volunteers needed to wait in queue, while the entourage of grassroots that followed behind Minister Tan has special privilege and clearance:

This post got me thinking about the values of the society we hope to build, especially as I have been experiencing first-hand the graciousness and thoughtfulness of strangers in Singapore who have often crossed train carriages to offer me their seats on crowded trains when they spot my growing baby bump. They come from all ages, backgrounds and nationalities, and for each one who pretended not to see me or stare studiously at their phones, I encounter a few others who ask me to sit down with a smile. Thank you for your thoughtful gestures – we aren’t as graceless a society as we are sometimes accused of being.

Some airports have dedicated fast-track queues for those who need special assistance, and ICA should prioritise implementing this not for VIPs but ordinary folk who may have mobility issues.

She was responding to Mr Png’s post as follows:


“The durians were not the only bad thing we encountered during the 1-Day Desaru Tour yesterday.

Upon returning home, both immigration checkpoints were overwhelmed. In the midst of waiting patiently to clear the Singapore custom, suddenly there was a commotion and a certain excitement in the air. Many tired travellers were relieved to see another counter opened but to their dismay, it was only toallow Minister Tan Chuan-Jin to clear as he had joined his residents for a day of outing and fun too.

Most people in the queue probably did not mind that as being a Minister does come with privileges. However, along with him, 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. No one else could use that counter.

In the long queue at the immigration check point yesterday were many travellers, some of whom are old and tired, but they all had to wait patiently for hours for their turn.

One of my residents is 89 years old and another was injured during the tour. If these two elderly residents can wait in queue patiently for their turns, so can all my volunteers and grassroots members. After all, we are supposed to enjoy a day of fun TOGETHER. No one should not be accorded more ‘fun’.

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.”


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