Recently, a Taiwanese lady who had just arrived in Malaysia on March 9 was denied entry at the airport due to her damaged passport. She was then locked up for 35 hours before she was sent back to Taiwan on March 11, AsiaOne reported.
During a press conference with the media, she got emotional and cried as she recalled the nightmare being detained at the holding lounge.
The lady who goes by the name of Qiao Mei on Facebook posted her ordeal on social media and it instantly went viral. In just less than a week, her post was shared over 10,000 times.
“After disembarking from the plane on March 9 at 8.30pm, I went to line up to get my passport stamped, according to the standard procedure. When it was my turn, the officer said my passport was damaged, so I couldn’t enter Malaysia. He asked me to hold on while he went to do some inquiries.”
The officer questioned her why the passport was damaged to which she replied,
“When I was in Japan, a duty-free form stapled onto my passport was ripped off by a Japanese customs official when I was returning to Taiwan. And my passport was damaged in the process.”
The officer then told her to head into the office which she had to explain everything to the other officers.
“They said Malaysia does not accept such passport, so they confiscated my passport and asked me to go inside another room in the office.”
“After I went inside, my phone was confiscated and I was asked to leave my hand luggage in the small room at the back. When I placed my outer wear on my hand luggage, a fierce male officer hurled my outer wear at me, and threw my hand luggage on the rack.
“He then asked me to take out my money. But I didn’t want to give him any money, so I pretended like I don’t understand what he was talking. Then a female officer came in and asked me to keep my money in the pocket.”
“She wanted to take me to the holding lounge but I refused to follow. So the male officer put his hands together gesturing that he will handcuff me if I refuse to comply.”
In the holding lounge, she revealed that it was dark and most lights were barely lit. She recalled how the toilet was very dirty and didn’t even have a door to it.
She also said that the holding lounge had a lot of people – one of the person there was also Taiwanese. The Taiwanese had some trouble with the officer after she accidentally gave him an old flight ticket, hence leading him to think that she didn’t go back to her own country for one year.
However, after she showed him the correct flight ticket, apparently the officer refused to accept it and didn’t even give her a chance to explain.
“Throughout this 35 hours, many people came in and went out. The officers even blatantly demanded RM1000 from us if we want to be released earlier. There were many drawings on the wall. One of them said: ‘Don’t give them money, they are all cheaters.
“So I didn’t bribe them and waited until the next day, in the afternoon. When I asked them when can I go back to Taiwan, they said I’ve to wait until the next morning.”
“So I asked: ‘Am I taking the flight at 10am tomorrow?’ The officer stared at me for a moment, and said my flight would be at 9pm.”
“So I stopped asking, because I felt that the more I ask, the more reluctant they were in letting me go.”
“Apparently the immigration officer didn’t take note properly the people who were brought into the holding lounge. So they asked everyone to line up and started calling out names. Those whose name were called would stand at the other side.”
“A Vietnamese lady didn’t hear her name properly and walked to the other side, so an officer slapped her face with a notebook.”
The lady was later released and disembarked back home on 11th March.
After the lady’s ordeal went viral, Malaysia Home Minister has ordered a thorough investigation on the incident, according to Taiwan News.
Currently there’s no updates on the investigation, and it’s unclear whether the lady’s story is genuine or not. So let’s not all jump to conclusions and start bashing our own country guys!
However, if what Qiao-mei claimed is true, then a thorough shakedown should be done on Malaysia Immigration Department because our nation’s reputation is at stake.