Thursday, December 28, 2017

Raymond Anthony Fernando's letter to The New Paper: Help those with special needs at checkpoints

My letter to The New Paper on the above matter is published today, Thursday, 28th December 2017 on page 10.


I am saddened that a 63-year old, Mr Mohd Ismail Abdullah, who was travelling with his wife from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, suddenly collapsed and died at the immigration counter at the Sultan Abu Bakar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex last week.


Elderly people who are not so fit need better support at these road crossings as the long hours of the journey can sap their energy and cause serious health issues.

Most airlines give priority and help arrange speedy clearance for travellers who need special consideration.

There is bound to be a longer waiting period for immigration clearance these days as more detailed security checks are needed in view of the threat of terrorism.


So it would be helpful if a lane is allocated at immigration checkpoints for those with special needs.




Airlines such as those in America allow travellers needing special consideration to board the plane first –no questions asked whatsoever.  Here this group requiring special assistance can board the plane before other passengers through a priority boarding.

The Philippines Airlines is yet another elderly friendly service provider. They give some priority to those with special needs. When boarding the plane, the elderly aged 60 and above will be allowed to move up the plane immediately after the passengers who have book the first-class flights board the plane.  


In the spirit of ASEAN solidarity, I urge the authorities from Singapore and Malaysia to allocate a separate clearance lane at the immigration check points for those with special needs – who include senior citizens age 60 and above so that they can at least have a proper place to rest, whether on board a bus, coach or plane.


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