50 SINGAPOREANS TURNED BACK EVERY WEEK FOR TALKING TOO LOUDLY AT BATAM CUSTOMS
New rules imposed at the Batam Immigration Checkpoint have caused a great deal of confusion for some Singaporeans who were turned back for seemingly unknown reasons and forced to return to Singapore.
The new rule is in regard to talking loudly or using mobile phones at the immigration checkpoint.
Three Singaporeans complained to the media yesterday about being turned away without much information when they had taken a ferry to Batam over the weekend.
They were lined up and waiting to clear the immigration checkpoint at Batam when they were picked out of the line by an Indonesian immigration officer who brought them to stand in a separate line.
Their passports were also taken from them at this point and they were later directed to look at a poster which had a picture of a finger pressed against lips.
After waiting quite long in the separate queue, the women were then brought to the departure hall where they also saw another four Singaporeans who were also turned back earlier.
There was little communication given to the group about what was going on but they later discovered that the issue was that they had been talking too loudly or using their mobile phones at the immigration checkpoint.
Since the introduction of the new silence rule at the Batam immigration checkpoint, about 50 Singaporeans have been turned back every week.