18 Jun 07
Singapore Democrats vice-chairman, Mr Francis Yong, encountered an all too inquisitive customs office at the Woodlands Checkpoint last week.
When he pulled up his car for inspection, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers ushered him to the office where a thorough search of his belongings was conducted.
This included examining every piece of paper and plastic in his wallet. This was followed by a just-as-thorough inspection of Mr Yong’s car.
The ICA was not satisfied with the usual search. The vehicle was moved to a special area and a complete scan was done by equipment that seemed to come straight out from Mission Impossible VIII.
Apparently, it was concerned that the SDP leader, who was a candidate in the 2006 elections, may have been carrying some contraband designed to disrupt life in Singapore as the PAP knows (and loves) it.
In the meantime, about 10 officers arrived to assist in the harassment process. What took other inspections 15 minutes to complete, Mr Yong’s lasted more than an hour.
They picked the wrong man to intimidate. Democrat Yong has been with the SDP since its inception.
“You marking my car?” Mr Yong could not resist poking at the officer-in-charge to see what reaction he would get.
“No, no, no, this is just a routine inspection,” came the practiced response.
So what was really behind all the fuss?
The officer let the cat out of the bag when he asked: “The last time you came in was there anything…?”
The man was being coy.
The “last time” referred to September 2006 when Mr Yong had in his car this banner:
Then, the ICA also pulled up his vehicle and seized the banner. Mr Yong was then called up for questioning by the Jurong Police Division for carrying the banner.
Question: Since when is carrying a banner of Mr Lee Hsien Loong and his salary an offence? (Note: Two million dollars is the amount before the PM raised his salary. Its now three.)
And speaking of the rule of law, would AG Chao Hick Ting or any lawyer like to comment on this matter?
Incidentally, Ms Chee Siok Chin was also called up for questioning when she used a similar poster while selling SDP’s books several weeks ago.
Sensitive poster, no?
Hands up those who still think the PAP doesn’t use state instruments for its own political ends…
Which raises another interesting point: If only the ICA was just as vigilant with another Yong – Richard Yong, that is (no relation to the SDP vice-chairman), Singapore’s future would be much brighter