A Singaporean man claimed that while going through the Malaysian checkpoint an immigration officer tore his passport and then solicited a bribe on September 24. The performance auditor was travelling from Singapore to Johor that night, as it has been his daily routine but never faced any issues related to his passport.
The man, who got married in February 2017, works in Singapore and lives with his wife and in-laws in Johor. On October 4, he told The New Paper that the 26-years-old man always crosses the border via the Second Link and never faced any problems with his passport before.
The man, who wanted to be addressed as Muhammad Fauzi said that on September 24, at around 11.30 pm when he was going through the Malaysian checkpoint on his way home, an officer asked for a bribe after tearing his passport, which had no issues when clearing Singaporean customs on the same night.
He said that at the Sultan Abu Bakar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex, an officer questioned him and he Fauzi noticed that during that process his was palm moving the bio-metric page clockwise. Just a few moments later, the officer ordered him to take a u-turn and go back to Singapore, as his passport was torn.
When Fauzi asked to see a supervisor, the ICA officer told him to park his bike and follow his lead. As per the Fauzi, it was the time when the officer asked for a bribe by stating that he could help him but in return he also needs something.
Soon after that conversation, the man took his passport and returned to Singapore. After talking to an officer in ICA about the issue, he was asked to file a police complaint. Fauzi filed a complaint and also shared his experience on social media platform Facebook. The post has received 3200 likes and 12000 shares.
However, Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia Johor (JIM Johor, Johor's immigration department) said in a statement, which was published in Facebook that they have started an investigation against the officer and said the department took a serious view on the case. In addition, the statement in Malay said that if the officer found guilty, then required action will be taken.
ICA said a torn passport would be considered as an invalid document. So, Fauzi had to stay for two days with his parents and paid $80 for the new passport.
It should be noted that Singapore's corruption control system is highly effective and any kind of bribery offences are primarily governed under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The alleged culprit of this case would face charges under Malaysian Penal Code Section 161.