Following up on my last email (PART 1), I finally got another reply to my query that it is not possible to remember the precise date of all my travel in/ out Singapore. (I did try to search my frequent flyer records but hell, 3 years ago? No way, not to mention some flights without miles acrruement will not be reflected. )
I didnt know if I should snort, laugh or weep at the first liner of the reply email, this time by someone more senior, and cc copied to many more other names. Who these people are is irrelevant to me and doesnt put me off in getting a more acceptable solution. I am not sure if by law, I am "permitted" to disclose the content of the email since there is a very very tricky tiny small print Official Secrets Act (Cap 213). warning in light ash-grey, located right at the bottom.
However it should not be against the law nor contravening the "secret act" for me to share the "concept" and "after feelings"of the email. One must be wise to toe the line while airing undiluted views and opinions within a limited confine.
After the reading the email reply, I was led to understand that they could not think of any reliable sources or agencies which keep and provide a service to view my travelling records......... also, if I have less than the aggregate of 30 days' stay in Singapore during the last 3 years, I need not apply to register as an overseas elector. I was also to learn that after all, it is not compulsory that all overseas Singaporeans have to register as overseas electors. "
The rest of the email then tell me if i am confirmed I have 30days, then I can write a block date and send me a mail stating I am not sure of the individual records.
How do you interpret this email? I have an option, to let the issue drop, but I choose to pursue as this reply left me with even more queries.
Hence I queried a few things
1. How can there be no reliable system or agency for them to match with or draw reference from? In australia, when I needed to know if I exceed 125days of residence, the staff could pull out all my entry/exit records on the spot within few mins, and we counted the dates together to get the answer. Hence my query was if Sg is supposedly technologically more advanced, how could our immigration not hold my records?
2. Even if I did remember my 30days records, doesnt this system require some workprocess/ flow to validate my online input? So what do they use to check and ascertain that I definitely meet the 30days requirement? Or are they telling me they will blindy take any value and period that a user indicated with no check process? Come on! And that I should mail in commenting against the block date I am not sure of the exact dates, then why couldnt the system handle that? What's the point of launching million dollar portal that still require paper work? Isnt it a waste?
3. To tell me if I have 30days residency, I meet the criteria and then can vote.... but she missed the WHOLE point again. Did you realise my point? That is I cannot remember if i do have 30days because I cannot rem my travel dates. Chicken and Egg reply? I know I was back several times but I dont keep count do I? There was no prior information that I should retain records for this purpose. Everything is so hush hush and ambiguous.
4. So overseas voter are not required to vote. I need to know then, does it mean because I am overseas and i cannot rem if I was there for 30days, my vote is not necessary nor essential? Or does it mean that once again I will be struck off the list and go through the hassle of reinstating my name? And does it mean that i have the OPTION not to vote and not be blacklisted? I'm not wise in the law and I like to know. lastly, I left off saying that it is within my rights as a citizen to decide who I want to place up there to lead the country isnt it, especially when I have that priviledge to?
I'm waiting for a revert. Like a comment posted earlier, if someone has committed a crime, they can tell you exactly when the committer has travel in and out of sg. Yet for a voter, this knowledge is suddenly deemed "unreliable", or is it an indirect admission that the system launched wasnt very well thought out?
The reason why I didnt indicate the name of the public service staff because it is probably illegal for me to do so without getting into trouble, I also think if we look at it objectively, it isnt entirely his fault, much that he could have been less vague. The people who should be held "accountable" are the people who partake in the design of the system, for not making it more integrated with the immigration records. Maybe it's design cost issue, maybe its manpower issue, or maybe its just one of those justifcations we need more "FT" to even design something important as such.