After last blogpost in December last year, now I am back, all of sudden with story at The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority or ICA of Singapore.
This story happened last week. After a wonderful second visit to Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia.
It was my first time to enter Singapore. I had only been to the Changi airport before this.
I took bus trip from KL, that took around 5 hours to Singapore.
When I was queueing through the passport check, I noticed that I should have filled up a form first. I got out of the queue and found the form, then filled it. Back on the queue and when it was my turn, I realised my stupid mistake. I didn’t print out my ticket back to Indonesia. That was when it began.
I asked the officer, if I could get internet connection and show the ticket to her, would it be just okay. She told me to wait to be picked up by other immigration officer(s) and follow them to the office.
When I arrived at the office and asked to be seated, I placed myself next to a girl. I asked her what her problem was. She had no idea. She was Vietnamese. She said she had waited for 15 minutes, and was sure her bus has left her. My bus? I missed my bus already when I was in Johor Baru, story about it later.
Some minutes passed, an officer behind the desk asked me to come forward. He asked me about my flight back to Indonesia. I connected my phone to internet and once I got the e-mail containing my ticket details, I showed it to him. I thought, he would just check my name on Air Asia flights and found it, then I would be able to leave.
Not that easy.
Some moments passed, I was suddenly called from the door beside the desk, asked to follow the officer, until we arrived at the interview room. The Malay looking officer interviewed me in Malay language, which is similar with my native language, Bahasa Indonesia. The Chinese looking officer stood next to him. The Malay officer asked me to show them my Indonesian ID and all moneys I brought with me. I showed them my Malaysian, Indonesian and Singaporean moneys (the latter my dear friend Rini lent me, just in case). Then he showed me an A4 paper with some questions that would be asked in the next room. There were perhaps around 10 questions. I thought that was it. I would just answer yes or no. Off we went to the other interview room.
I put my left hand on the kind of detector? I am not sure what it is called. Then I put the headphone on, so I could hear the questions asked by the computer/machine that was also showed on the screen in front of me. The Malay officer sat on the other side, I assume in front of the computer. He told me to just sit back. Then it started.
I really thought it was only one round. But it kept going and going. The questions could vary in each round, but if I am not mistaken there was one question that kept being asked in each round, that is: Did you lie to the officer(s) about your visit?
Other questions that I could remember:
- Did you ever steal from your boss?
- Did you ever steal from your friend?
- Did you ever involve in terrorism?
- Did you bring anything illegal with you?
- Did you ever involve in human trafficking?
I kept answering NO. But it kept asking me questions. It was like, you keep telling your friend that you don’t do it, but they insist to ask you again and again.
I lost count how many rounds it was. I noticed the way I answered the questions weakened, but still tried to answer clearly. I knew I felt something already deep inside me. I tried to hold the tears that might come out of my eyes.
Then it stopped. I followed the same officer back to the waiting area. I sat down.
Then I burst into tears.
To be continued…