8 reasons why ICA does NOT deserve the Singapore Quality Award.

I read with disbelief news that Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority has won the Singapore Quality Award (SQA).

In my view ICA does not deserve the award for the following reasons:

1. Many letters of complaints in the newspapers about Woodlands Checkpoint perennial traffic congestion
2. Traffic congestion is still the norm
3. Slow moving traffic on exiting checkpoint after customs clearance as there is only one lane and too many humps
4. Too much unnecessary red tape eg officer verbally verifying your name
5. On most days, too few counters are open
6. Old-fashioned toll payment system unlike Malaysia’s Touch and Go card
7. No attempt to reconfigure the checkpoint to ensure a smoother and faster immigration clearance
8. Public feedback not taken seriously

To be a worthy winner of SQA, the following criteria should be satisfied:

1. smooth and free-flowing traffic AT ALL TIMES OF THE DAY
2. ALL immigration counters remain open EVERY DAY
3. a pleasant experience in going through the ICQ

The official response to all this is that security is paramount so slow-moving traffic is unavoidable. With this mindset it’s not a surprise then that officialdom is trapped in their inability to think out of the box.

That ICA is a winner is indeed baffling.

If the award had specified Changi Airport Immigration Checkpoint I’d have no hesitation in applauding it.

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