Circulating on Facebook is this post by a certain PJ Wong claiming that his rights were violated when an ICA officer, Eugene Ng, stopped him and asked to check his luggage. I refuse to dignify PJ Wong’s absurd claim by sharing his post here. That said, I think Mothership.sg did an excellent piece to explain that PJ Wong was completely off in thinking that his rights were violated.
The ICA officer, Eugene Ng, had every right to stop anyone he deems appropriate and demand to search their luggage. If PJ Wong had nothing to hide, he should have just complied. In fact, as a Singaporean, PJ Wong should have felt grateful that our ICA staff is conscientious in discharging their duty. These people are doing their best to keep our borders safe, minimise the amount of dangerous goods, harmful illegal drugs, and negative influences from entering Singapore. Given how porous our borders are, the folks at ICA really have their job cut out for them without obnoxiously self-entitled people like this PJ Wong kicking up a fuss.
What is heartening is that it seems that most Singaporeans disapprove of PJ Wong’s absurd behaviour of challenging the ICA officer and ranting on Facebook. What is not heartening is that PJ Wong got away without being punished. Not even a minor slap on the wrist. I think this sends the wrong signal.
When our law enforcement officers are doing their jobs, acting within their statutory powers, they need to know that the law will be on their side, that Singaporeans will support them, that any one who obstructs them will be punished to deter other people from being minded to be obstructive. If not, they will feel discouraged from doing their job, or worse, be afraid to carry out their duties well.
So. To the ICA officer, Eugene Ong, I would like to say that you did the right thing. Thanks for keeping our borders safe. Please keep it up!
[Featured image: Changi Airport Facebook page]