The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) issued a reminder to the public on Friday (Oct 23) that its officers are empowered by law to conduct travel document and baggage checks on all travellers.
This follows an incident a week ago, when a traveller posted a video on his Facebook account under the handle “P J Wong”. Upon his return from an overseas trip, Wong said he was stopped by an ICA officer at Changi Airport for a random luggage check.
The traveller initially claimed he was held back without an explanation. In an effort to save himself from “being dragged away against (his) will”, he started filing the ICA officer with his mobile phone, though he was in a restricted area where photography and videography are not allowed.
In a news release on Friday, ICA reiterated that checkpoints are its "first line of defence, and security checks are critical to safeguard Singapore’s security”.
It added: “Additional checks and/or interviews may be conducted, when necessary."
ICA also noted that there are clear signs to advise travellers on areas where photography and videography are restricted.
The agency said it will not hesitate to take firm action, in accordance with the law, against travellers who refuse to comply with the security checks.
The traveller subsequently apologised for his actions. “I deeply regret that my rant last Thursday about my recent experience at Changi had gone viral,” he wrote on Monday. “I have taken down the post and I seek for understanding and forgiveness for my post and the comments I made. I hope everyone can let this matter rest.”