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Thread: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

  1. #81

    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by CantikFotos View Post
    So how are Indonesian women treated at Harbourfront Centre?



    We stayed for about 10 days. As I said.......they didn't open the slide film. The Infrared film was clearly marked and they knew exactly what they were doing. And they smiled as they did it. Since I was carrying 5 camera bodies and close to $10,000US in lenses, you'd expect they would have realised I had a reason to buy alot of film. I've traveled all over the world and the ONLY place I've ever had trouble about film is Singpore. I tend to believe the officers were throwing their weight around simply because I am white and my wife was Taiwanese. She was also the first Taiwanese in Playboy.

    And a note. Up until the mid 1990s, most good hotels in Singapore would refuse to accept Taiwanese guests. This is just one reason alot of Taiwanese still hold a grudge against Singaporeans. Silly, but there it is.

    Corey

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    Am sorry, I do not know what Indonesian women you were referring to.

    Normal Indonesian women coming to singapore for holiday from nearby Indonesian Islands???

    How were they treated? Perhaps you can advise us.

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Don't about Australia immigration but had problems with US immigration. I think the guy at the US immigration was trying to be funny he asked me for my visa knowing full well that Singapore was under visa waiver program. Than he asked me for my IC. I don't normally bring my IC and isn't the passport enough.

  3. #83

    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by centuryegg View Post
    Corey,

    Really? What is the reason why taiwanese dont like Singaporeans in the 90s? I always thought we had good relations considering we have our forces training there.
    As I said, one reason was the treatment Taiwanese tourists received in Singapore. This was reported often in the media here. And while you had troops training in Taiwan, that didn't mean the local Taiwanese were happy about it. There were a number of incidents between Singaporean troops and locals. The Taiwanese were always complaining about how "proud" the Singaporeans were. In addition, there was the political aspect.......the Taiwanese didn't like being lectured by Singaporean government officials on matters relating to PRC-ROC relations. And they still don't. Remember the "piece of snot" remark a couple of years ago?

    The main problem is too many people think when they leave their home country they can act as they want and think any and every slight they experience is due to racism. Some of course is, but most isn't.
    Last edited by CantikFotos; 30th November 2006 at 01:17 PM.

  4. #84

    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by laker View Post
    Am sorry, I do not know what Indonesian women you were referring to.

    Normal Indonesian women coming to singapore for holiday from nearby Indonesian Islands???

    How were they treated? Perhaps you can advise us.
    Read my post a page or 2 back in the thread.
    Last edited by CantikFotos; 30th November 2006 at 01:17 PM.

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    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by CantikFotos View Post
    In Summer 1993, I flew to Singapore on the way to Indonesia with my Taiwanese wife and 1 year old son. We were all treated rudely by Immigration on entering. One reason we were stopping off in Singapore was so I could buy film (Kodak had just indroduced a new slide film I wanted to try and I also wanted to get some HIE) that was not available in Taiwan.

    When we went to the airport to leave, the security inspectors seized my HIE (all carefully labeled and packed by Kodak) and proceeded to open each and every roll. HIE is sensative to light and the canisters must be opened only in a darkroom. 40 rolls of very expensive film were ruined by those b*stards. They knew exactly what they were doing because they didn't touch the slide film. I took the opened now worthless HIE and tossed it in the trash.

    They told me that I was lucky.......security was much tougher in Greece.

    That little display of Singaporean hospitality cost me about $500US.

    I travel to Singapore 7-8 times a year and I've never had another problem but then I don't rant on about "chinks" or "gooks". Perhaps Samuel you should change your attitude. Just a thought.

    Corey

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    I had to pay extra customs tax on 70% of my trip to indonesia...

  6. #86

    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by xtemujin View Post
    I'm very glad to be back home in Singapore after my backpacking trip of Melbourne, it left a big negative feeling of Australia for me.

    The immigration officer were very impolite and cold. After stamping my passport, I was screened by the first officer and asked about my passport, air ticket and is it the first time I visited Australia.

    After, collecting my luggage, another officer came and asked the same questions again, passport, air ticket and whether it is the first time I visited Australia.

    Then I had to go to another officer to screen what I have in my luggage. Pasar malam at the checking counter for 1/2 hour and asking the same questions again and how much money did I bring into Australia.

    He then kept my passport in the drawer put on his gloves and proceeded to go through my stuff. I had to take out my belt and also show my hidden waist pouch. Then he asked me why I was using a jacket and I had to remove it and let him go through my jacket, it was cold in the airport.

    Fortunately, I did not have to strip down. After checking all my stuff, he told me that I was a suspected threat because I was travelling alone.

    I talked to some of the people who have stayed there for a while and was told that it is quite common for Asian travellers and I was lucky that I was not detained for a few hours.

    I talked to my hostel mate from USA and he told me that he did not have to pasar malam when he went through immigration.

    Just a warning to those who are thinking of backpacking to Australia alone.


    yeah, I've got the same experience in Perth.
    Can't believe that they actually open my 40 rolls of film one by one, and line them up on the table. And also my filters, various filter attachment ring, step up rings, and other photography accesories, they put everything and display it on the long table at checking point.

  7. #87

    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    while i will note there is racism everywhere even here in Singapore( i once had 4yr old child scream at me i nthe car park eee indian man much to the shame of his mother), i wonder if this issue is actually one of race or one of just doing a job. In the philipines, i had my bags checked, went through a metal detector and was patted down not once but twice, in thailand i cruised through, in australia not once have i encountered any hardcore pasar malam style checking though i did once see an englishman have his bag emptied of its contents and followed by his magazines checked page by page lol.

  8. #88
    Senior Member afbug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    I think the process is like this. Just came back from ICT in Aussie. Also Pasar malam everything and it took 2-3 hours to clear the whole flight. But the officers are friendly, even in the early hours of 1-3 am. We're all irritated and tired after 7 hrs flight but no choice, its their customs regulations. Just bear with it.

    During RnR at Rockhampton, also got some aussie guys in a car yelled at us. Some racism comments. We just yelled back!

  9. #89

    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    imho, the 9/11 tragedy is what I think making these immigration policies strictly well-imposed on every foreigner entering a certain country. Because we'll never know when and where Saddam will come to strike back again!

  10. #90
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    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by xtemujin View Post
    I'm very glad to be back home in Singapore after my backpacking trip of Melbourne, it left a big negative feeling of Australia for me.

    The immigration officer were very impolite and cold. After stamping my passport, I was screened by the first officer and asked about my passport, air ticket and is it the first time I visited Australia.

    After, collecting my luggage, another officer came and asked the same questions again, passport, air ticket and whether it is the first time I visited Australia.

    Then I had to go to another officer to screen what I have in my luggage. Pasar malam at the checking counter for 1/2 hour and asking the same questions again and how much money did I bring into Australia.

    He then kept my passport in the drawer put on his gloves and proceeded to go through my stuff. I had to take out my belt and also show my hidden waist pouch. Then he asked me why I was using a jacket and I had to remove it and let him go through my jacket, it was cold in the airport.

    Fortunately, I did not have to strip down. After checking all my stuff, he told me that I was a suspected threat because I was travelling alone.

    I talked to some of the people who have stayed there for a while and was told that it is quite common for Asian travellers and I was lucky that I was not detained for a few hours.

    I talked to my hostel mate from USA and he told me that he did not have to pasar malam when he went through immigration.

    Just a warning to those who are thinking of backpacking to Australia alone.
    see nothing wrong with that. high risk profiles. as long as what they are doing does not exceed what they should and what they could do. it is either that they do it to everyone or do it to someone. can't be not doing anything right?

    the last thing to call it is to ever call it racism or discrimination.
    Last edited by zoossh; 23rd November 2006 at 10:36 PM.

  11. #91
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by samuelho View Post
    If u read my thread, an immigration officer reading my wife's diary and questioning my wife on details of her life which are irrevelant. EVen i don't read my wife's diary.
    that is too much. if only it can be raised to some kind of attention to higher authorities there....
    Last edited by zoossh; 23rd November 2006 at 10:55 PM.

  12. #92
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    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by CantikFotos View Post
    In Summer 1993, I flew to Singapore on the way to Indonesia with my Taiwanese wife and 1 year old son. We were all treated rudely by Immigration on entering. One reason we were stopping off in Singapore was so I could buy film (Kodak had just indroduced a new slide film I wanted to try and I also wanted to get some HIE) that was not available in Taiwan.

    When we went to the airport to leave, the security inspectors seized my HIE (all carefully labeled and packed by Kodak) and proceeded to open each and every roll. HIE is sensative to light and the canisters must be opened only in a darkroom. 40 rolls of very expensive film were ruined by those b*stards. They knew exactly what they were doing because they didn't touch the slide film. I took the opened now worthless HIE and tossed it in the trash....

    That little display of Singaporean hospitality cost me about $500US.
    just wonder if you have told them that if they opened that, your film will be spoilt?

  13. #93
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by CantikFotos View Post
    As I said, one reason was the treatment Taiwanese tourists received in Singapore. This was reported often in the media here. And while you had troops training in Taiwan, that didn't mean the local Taiwanese were happy about it. There were a number of incidents between Singaporean troops and locals. The Taiwanese were always complaining about how "proud" the Singaporeans were. In addition, there was the political aspect.......the Taiwanese didn't like being lectured by Singaporean government officials on matters relating to PRC-ROC relations. And they still don't. Remember the "piece of snot" remark a couple of years ago?

    The main problem is too many people think when they leave their home country they can act as they want and think any and every slight they experience is due to racism. Some of course is, but most isn't.

    Corey

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    well, the reason that most Chinese Singaporean sees themselves racially and culturally related to China is going to place themselves critically biased in the straits relationship. moreover, the mandarin-speaking taiwanese channels available via the cable tv will only bring some singaporeans thinking they know all about taiwan when they dun.

  14. #94

    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by dinxcarin View Post
    imho, the 9/11 tragedy is what I think making these immigration policies strictly well-imposed on every foreigner entering a certain country. Because we'll never know when and where Saddam will come to strike back again!

    Errrrr Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11 in case you are still led by USA's "theory". Everyone knows by now linking 9/11 to Saddam was just an excuse for Bush to legimately invade Iraq.

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    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Let us stick to the thread title and don't deviate otherwise it will turn into a "terrorist" thread.

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    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jemapela View Post
    If you are sure that you bear no racist feelings, throw the first stone!

    I urge you to think carefully before picking up the stone.

    Realistically speaking, racism exists everywhere and in every person. It's only a matter of how well covered up it is. Please, don't tell me Singapore has no racism! Anybody saying Singapore is completely race-neutral is severely retarded. To even object your child from marrying a lover of another race is racist. Now imagine your own daughter or girlfriend eloping off with a man of another race.

    Now, I wanna watch who throws the first stone.

    However, I won't defend Melbourne or Australia. I can openly tell you that racist elements and sentiments do exist but really, in all the years of my observation, I think Melbourne does better than Singapore. Here's why.

    (1) Melbourne (not Australia) is home to people who come migrated from about 150 different countries. Compare that number with Singapore.

    (2) About 70 different languages are spoken in Melbourne. Compare that number with Singapore.

    (3) Government/community/social information and services are available in about 12 different languages. Of this dozen, Cantonese and Mandarin are included. Also included are Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesia, and Thai. Compare that diversity with Singapore's 4 "major" races.

    (4) A very high Asian population lives in Melbourne city. It's so high (I forgot the percentage) that the entire city could almost look like Chinatown. (If you have travelled to Melbourne, you know I'm not lying.)

    (5) Early this year, Asian (Chinese) cuisine has taken over first place for number of eateries in the city. Also in the same report, more and more Caucasians are consuming Asian cuisine for its perceived health benefits.

    (6) The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, John So, is a Chinese man. He was popularly elected by Melbourne residents twice, and if not mistaken, he's into his third term of office now.

    So why the unfriendly/hostile customs officer?

    As I have already said in my earlier post, and also echoed by another ClubSnap member, Australia is a desirable country to live in. (Ehh... factually, Singapore isn't as desirable no matter what you have been told by higher authority.) Statistically, numbers don't lie. The number of illegal immigrants and refugees risking life and limb to land on Aussie shores isn't as small as the nose-diggings you flick off your last finger. Australia has detention centres housing hundreds or thousands who have illegally landed.

    Customs officers are probably not used to seeing long holiday VISAs without proof of money to sustain your holiday or a definite address. If you are pissed off at the officers trying to find out if you have intention to overstay and illegally migrate, then you could similarly be pissed off at the tail-wagging beagle who sniffs your luggage for drugs. Why not kick them both?

    Also, although I'm not implying that all Asians are perpetually rude, but our tone of voice of opening sentence when starting a conversation may be misinterpreted as unhappy and rude. I have personally seen this many times when Asians open their gaps towards Caucasian Aussies. It's as if the offensive Asian has a permanently lodged cactus in their black-wind-holes. (I swear! I'm disgusted and ashamed when I witness this. The offending Asian is surely a social misfit in Aussie society for being so cold and rude when opening his/her gap, and sometimes I see the Aussie's facial expression change.)

    Really, I would say that before we call others rude or racist, take a good hard look at ourselves in the mirror first.
    Now this was a long time coming.

    If we all open our eyes a bit more, and look at things from the other side of the fence, it ain't that oppressive or racist isn't it? That having been said, it does take two hands to clap else ,it's not just a single party's face changing/blanching (take your pick).

    I've been to Perth countless times and I'm pretty sure I find less racism there than in our neighbourhood markets, with ignorant housewives speaking to their kids not to mix with other races in their own dialect.

    Many Singaporeans need to take a reality check and not be holier-than-thou when in another place. We are certainly racist enough here, just that social conditioning has made it into an almost SOP thing that could be explained away as a subset of something more innocuous, like economic/wage differential/class standing and the ilk.

    Nasty truth, no one wants to hear it though.
    We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities. - Oscar Wilde

  17. #97

    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by LazerLordz View Post
    Now this was a long time coming.

    If we all open our eyes a bit more, and look at things from the other side of the fence, it ain't that oppressive or racist isn't it? That having been said, it does take two hands to clap else ,it's not just a single party's face changing/blanching (take your pick).

    I've been to Perth countless times and I'm pretty sure I find less racism there than in our neighbourhood markets, with ignorant housewives speaking to their kids not to mix with other races in their own dialect.

    Many Singaporeans need to take a reality check and not be holier-than-thou when in another place. We are certainly racist enough here, just that social conditioning has made it into an almost SOP thing that could be explained away as a subset of something more innocuous, like economic/wage differential/class standing and the ilk.

    Nasty truth, no one wants to hear it though.
    Hear Hear! Well said.

    I for one get more discrimination in Sg than in other parts of the world and I'm not part of the minority either. I can't imagine what it is like to be part of the minority and living in Sg.

    Discrimination comes many forms - age, sex, socio-economic, race.
    Last edited by Tetrode; 25th November 2006 at 08:22 PM.

  18. #98
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    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Hi everyone,

    I find it really timely to read this thread as my hubby and I just returned from Melbourne yesterday. The travel agent told us our visa is valid for 1 year (multiple-entry) but we were only there for 5 nights. We were fortunate not to encounter any racism at the immigrations though we were queueing at the 'THINGS to DECLARE' lane cos when it's our turn, we went to a officer of Asian or Aborigini origin. He just took a look at our food items and let us go. It was 3am.

    However, on our last day in Melbourne, we encountered a racist treatment which almost spoiled our holidays. I had purchased A$600 worth of merchandise from different outlets of a particular brand over our stay there and wanted to claim GST tax refund at the airport. The tax brochure clearly states that we can accumulate multiple receipts but we have to get the retailer to CONSOLIDATE all the receipts into 1 SINGLE invoice before we can claim tax refunds. When we went to the outlet nearest to our hotel in downtown Melbourne Central Shopping Centre, the lady manning the store was wearing the nametag of MANAGER. I thought, 'Good' she must know what to do. How hell wrong I was.

    The moment we voiced our request for her to CONSOLIDATE the receipts - she said in a rude and condesending tone, 'NO, we don't do that.' We tried to show her that this is what the tax refund brochure states, she was not interested and repeated several times again annoyingly, 'NO, we don't do that. Tax refund is done at the airport'. I kept my cool and tried to explain to her that yes, we are aware that tax refund is only done at the airport but the brochures says to CONSOLIDATE all the receipts before the officers at the airport can process our refunds! She was not interested in what we were saying and just waved us off. We politely asked if she can check with her head office, she shook her head continuously, shrug her shoulders and kept repeating, 'WE DON'T DO IT!'. By now, some of the other customers in the shop was staring at us like some Chinese idiots trying to create trouble. She, being a MANAGER, was utterly RUDE even though she saw my receipts totalled S$600 of purchases from their brand! This is nothing but plain racism. We felt embarrassed by her treatment.

    We walked out, went to our next shop (Country Road) and was served by a young pleasant Vietnamese salesgirl. When we told her that we wanted to claim tax refunds, she knew immediately what to do. She took our receipts, wrote down the purchase amounts into 1 single tax invoice, totalled the amount, got us to sign, and Viola! It's done in less than 5 minutes! We told her our encounter at the previous shop and she was puzzled as she said Melbourne Central is popular with tourists so they get such requests ALL THE TIME. So we took the sample invoice from Country Road and went back to the shop to show the racist manager. Instead of helping us, she that she DOES NOT have the invoice book and she can't do it for us. Throughout the whole conversation, she was very unfriendly and made us feel so unwelcome. We did not believe her and went back to Country Road to borrow their phone to contact the head office and explained our situation to 3 different persons.

    Finally, to cut the long story short, after much ding-donging, the supervisor in the head office called the Manager of the store up and told her to follow what Country Road did and issue us a hand-written invoice. She insists that she received several of such requests everyday but she just told them 'WE DON'T DO IT'. After she put down the phone, she did not issue us the invoice immediately, she called 2 other colleagues in the head office to complain in full-view of us!! How rude. Surely she knew we could hear what she was complaining??! She was obviously damn 'buey-song' that she had to accede to our request. Then, she opened a little cupboard behind the cashier and know what? It was FULL of invoice books!!! She had lied to us!! We were very dismayed at her horrible atittude towards us - just because we are Asians.

    It is a pity that our stay in Melbourne had to be tainted with such a racist salesperson but through our persistence, we got back A$90 in tax refunds. Still worth it but kinda leave a bad taste in your mouth. So much for my racist encounter in Australia. Sorry I wrote so much cos when you are victims of racism, you just want to vent and caution others.
    Last edited by pixie_genie; 25th November 2006 at 09:16 PM.

  19. #99
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    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by pixie_genie View Post
    However, on our last day in Melbourne, we encountered a racist treatment which almost spoiled our holidays. I had purchased A$600 worth of merchandise from different outlets of a particular brand over our stay there and wanted to claim GST tax refund at the airport. The tax brochure clearly states that we can accumulate multiple receipts but we have to get the retailer to CONSOLIDATE all the receipts into 1 SINGLE invoice before we can claim tax refunds. When we went to the outlet nearest to our hotel in downtown Melbourne Central Shopping Centre, the lady manning the store was wearing the nametag of MANAGER. I thought, 'Good' she must know what to do. How hell wrong I was.

    The moment we voiced our request for her to CONSOLIDATE the receipts - she said in a rude and condesending tone, 'NO, we don't do that.' We tried to show her that this is what the tax refund brochure states, she was not interested and repeated several times again annoyingly, 'NO, we don't do that. Tax refund is done at the airport'. I kept my cool and tried to explain to her that yes, we are aware that tax refund is only done at the airport but the brochures says to CONSOLIDATE all the receipts before the officers at the airport can process our refunds! She was not interested in what we were saying and just waved us off. We politely asked if she can check with her head office, she shook her head continuously, shrug her shoulders and kept repeating, 'WE DON'T DO IT!'. By now, some of the other customers in the shop was staring at us like some Chinese idiots trying to create trouble. She, being a MANAGER, was utterly RUDE even though she saw my receipts totalled S$600 of purchases from their brand! This is nothing but plain racism. We felt embarrassed by her treatment.

    We walked out, went to our next shop (Country Road) and was served by a young pleasant Vietnamese salesgirl. When we told her that we wanted to claim tax refunds, she knew immediately what to do. She took our receipts, wrote down the purchase amounts into 1 single tax invoice, totalled the amount, got us to sign, and Viola! It's done in less than 5 minutes! We told her our encounter at the previous shop and she was puzzled as she said Melbourne Central is popular with tourists so they get such requests ALL THE TIME. So we took the sample invoice from Country Road and went back to the shop to show the racist manager. Instead of helping us, she that she DOES NOT have the invoice book and she can't do it for us. Throughout the whole conversation, she was very unfriendly and made us feel so unwelcome. We did not believe her and went back to Country Road to borrow their phone to contact the head office and explained our situation to 3 different persons.

    Finally, to cut the long story short, after much ding-donging, the supervisor in the head office called the Manager of the store up and told her to follow what Country Road did and issue us a hand-written invoice. She insists that she received several of such requests everyday but she just told them 'WE DON'T DO IT'. After she put down the phone, she did not issue us the invoice immediately, she called 2 other colleagues in the head office to complain in full-view of us!! How rude. Surely she knew we could hear what she was complaining??! She was obviously damn 'buey-song' that she had to accede to our request. Then, she opened a little cupboard behind the cashier and know what? It was FULL of invoice books!!! She had lied to us!! We were very dismayed at her horrible atittude towards us - just because we are Asians.
    well lady...don't you think it's too fast to consider this thing as racism issue?
    how do you really 100% know that racism was the real reason?
    it sounds more like procedural problem to me which could be happening in any shop.
    let's say this thing happened in singapore, are we going to consider this as racism?

    i agree with laserlordz post, it's very well said. when we point our fore finger to someone, the rest of the fingers are pointing back to us.
    well..i guess we just need to keep it cool and reflect to ourself, do we do the same thing?
    just my 2 cents lady.

  20. #100

    Default Re: Warning: Immigration screening at Melbourne, Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by pl4nx View Post
    well lady...don't you think it's too fast to consider this thing as racism issue?
    how do you really 100% know that racism was the real reason?
    it sounds more like procedural problem to me which could be happening in any shop.
    let's say this thing happened in singapore, are we going to consider this as racism?

    i agree with laserlordz post, it's very well said. when we point our fore finger to someone, the rest of the fingers are pointing back to us.
    well..i guess we just need to keep it cool and reflect to ourself, do we do the same thing?
    just my 2 cents lady.

    I have to agree with above. It didn't sound like racism to me, more like a lousy service. And by mentioning the Vietnamese lady- to stress the difference - who is more racist?

    Btw, I am Indonesian. Following the mention in earlier posting, this is how Indonesian women are treated. I travelled often to Singapore through Batam back in 1998 (economic crisis, dark year for Indonesian chinese), once I was questioned on my frequent visits and that I, although not overstaying, stayed for the full period my visa allowed me. The officer also asked how much money I carried and when told that I didn't have much because I had bank account in Singapore, informed me that it was "against law" not bringing enough cash. When I asked which law stated that, I was told to shut up as he had the power to refuse my entry. I shut up and he granted me ONE day visit pass.

    Singapore also relies on tourism and Indonesians form a significant number.

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