Singaporean couple banned from Malaysia after challenging passport stamping procedures

Photo: Abdul Qayyuum Rahim
Photo: Abdul Qayyuum Rahim

A Singaporean couple has been banned from entering Malaysia for six months after raising concerns about the way an Immigration officer stamped their passports upon arrival. 

Abdul Qayyum Rahim took to Facebook to share his experience, recounting that he and his wife were en route to Johor Baru via the Tuas checkpoint on May 20. 

They encountered a delay of an hour at the checkpoint due to only two counters being open.

According to Qayyum, when they reached the counter, the officer instructed them impolitely to remove the covers of their passports. After complying, they handed over their passports for verification and stamping.

“We were stuck at the checkpoint for an hour because there were only two counters open. When we arrived at the counter, the officer told us to remove our passports’ covers in an impolite tone.

“I then removed the covers and gave them to her and after she verified our particulars, she proceeded to chop (stamp) the passports. Upon checking the passports, I noticed that the officer had purposely left a blank page on my passport. As for my wife’s passport, she chopped on page 27 before scribbling on it and re-chopped on page 28 for no good reason,” said Qayyum.

Dissatisfied with the service they received, the couple decided to inquire about the procedure for filing a complaint against the officer.

They approached a male officer at the office, but he responded brusquely, advising them to submit their complaint online without providing further assistance. Qayyum felt the officer’s behavior was unwarranted and unnecessarily rude.

“After my wife asked him a few times how to do it on the website, he was irritated and took our passports from us. We were taken to another office on level 2 where we were issued with a ‘Refusal of Entry’ letter by one ‘Asisten Superintenden Rexsus’, an Indian female officer,” said Qayyum.

When they asked for an explanation as to why they were given the letter, Rexsus responded sarcastically and raised her voice, offering them a choice between a six-month or one-year ban from Malaysia.

Qayyum expressed frustration that they were banned for six months without a valid reason, highlighting that the officer at the initial counter was not wearing a nametag, making it impossible to identify her.

Additionally, the male officer at the first office was dressed in a t-shirt and a jacket instead of a proper uniform.

Qayyum also mentioned that a friend of his had a similar encounter.

She questioned an officer about the placement of a stamp in the center of her boyfriend’s passport, which led to the officer shouting at them and taking them to a higher-level office.

Seeking clarification on the proper procedures for passport stamping, Qayyum called for standardization to prevent unnecessary waste of passport pages for Singaporeans who pay for their passports.

Although Qayyum provided his account of the incident, some Facebook users disputed his version, suggesting that it was the couple who initially provoked the officer.

Others downplayed the issue, claiming it was a minor matter and criticizing the couple for questioning the officer’s actions.

One user, Rahmat Mohamed, emphasized that being Singaporean did not entitle them to challenge immigration procedures and that the authorities had the right to refuse entry if they perceived a threat.

Meanwhile, some users expressed sympathy for the officers, suggesting that their workload, which involved processing numerous passports each day, might have contributed to fatigue.

It is worth noting that while Qayyum raised concerns about his experience, there are differing opinions among Facebook users regarding the incident.



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