Thursday, March 5, 2009

What kind of lame SG electoral online portal is this?

You know how the papers are all advertising about the new Singapore electoral website, where you can check where your voting details are.

I recently went online to check if they have reinstated my name since I was overseas at the last voting excercise. Well, they have put my name back now. However, my frustrations arise very quickly at how stupid the requirements are when I try to change my current voting status to Overseas voting since I would not be in Singapore probably for the next elections.

While it was easy to update the overseas voting polling center as well as my address, the next page got me stumped and annoyed. You see, they have this (new?) CRITERIA for overseas voter. You must have at least resided for 30days in Singapore in the last 3 years. It wasnt the (new?) stipulations that pissed me off, it was the stupid beauracratic and BRAINLESS requirement to input the DATES AND DURATION of the time I was in SIngapore that irks me big time. So because I was unable to fill in that part, all my particular changes cannot be effected.

Firstly, would anyone really go recall details of flight travel for the last 3 years. The person who design this system or process flow must either a frog in the well, or one of those that only travel once a year kind to rem every plane flight. How the FUCK would I remember ALL my travel dates especially when I have been travelling so much the last 3 years? Especially as a citizen when I return, I do not need a passport stamp on my passport, and neither do I need a passport stamp when I leave Hong Kong since its all electronic. So can such a simple "problem" not occur to these people who design the system and launch it for use?

Seriously, isnt it MUCH EASIER for THEM THE ELECTORAL BOARD TO CROSS CHECK WITH THE IMMIGRATION RECORDS?

Hence I wrote a feedback email to the electoral board, asking for a recourse since I could not possibly recall the dates of travel. You know what sort of lame reply I got back? "Oh just fill in the dates to the best you can recall." What kind of feeble unhelpful response is that? It's like throwing the problem back to ME, THE VOTER who is asking for some sort of assistance and receiving NONE. Is it really that hard for them to cross check my passport number with immigration COMPUTER SYSTEM to verify if I meet the qualifications?

I really feel like sending an email back saying "ARE U STUPID?" but of course I didnt or I may get sued for insulting a Public Service SERVANT. So instead, I politely replied back that there is no way of recalling the dates if I have done dozens and dozens of travels in the last 3 years. I cannot even rem the month I was back, least of all the dates and duration. Up to date, no one has replied to my 2nd email.

Really, if it is SUCH A BOTHER for our electoral board to do a bit of work, then dont bother to launch this so call half hearted online portal. It's a freaking white elephant if it serves no purpose. I am happy to take the responsibility as a citizen to do my due diligence, but apparently the relevant government department isnt too keen to ensure its citizens receives timely aid or assistance. So dont complain the next time about your citizens are a bunch of quitters, or that we show no interest in the matters of our country. Simply because your middle level of employees are not doing their best to accomodate us either.

PART 2 Followup reply

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow. i am sorry to hear about your trouble. you are so cosmopolitan. being a heartlander, i have no trouble recalling where i have been all this time.

Anonymous said...

Anon@1.14pm,

do u smell something?? something sour... LOL!!!!

civil service scholars are all dumb.

Anonymous said...

"this (new?) CRITERIA for overseas voter. You must have at least resided for 30days in Singapore in the last 3 years. It wasnt the (new?) stipulations that pissed me off, it was the stupid beauracratic and BRAINLESS requirement to input the DATES AND DURATION of the time I was in SIngapore that irks me big time."

This could be a way to reduce the number of eligible overseas voters since such voters appear to be the ones that they cannot control to vote for the current party. What is the computerised system at the immigration for if they cannot check if you are qualified. Each in and out of Singapore is digitally recorded. So I can only imagine that they have nothing to do but think of obstacles to prevent overseas voters from qualifying. If the Singapore government wants to nab you for something, you can be sure that they will be able to tell you when you were in or not in Singapore. Even for the simplest thing like not paying a parking fine, you willl be stopped at immigration. So how is it possible that they do not have the records for these and expect overseas voters to waste their time to second guess when they are back.

I wonder who is the idiot from the electoral board who replied your email. Share the name of this nincompoop. Maybe write to Lee Hsien Loong and ask him why there are so many incompentents on the civil service.

Soojenn

"me-no-mad" said...

Soojenn,

I agree with you wholeheartedly on the matter that if they want to charge a person, all the immigrations records are available. Like you said, its all digitised. Which was why I was puzzled when I got a second reply saying there is no "reliable" agency or records to verify my stay. That raise even more questions from me. Thus... a 2nd part followup post...

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!!! I faced the same problem and couldn't for the life of me figure out why they would be asking me for such info when every damn thing is done electronically. Then I thought, maybe they are trying to catch you in a lie, after all, we who travel quite frequently or stay out of the country for extended periods are not generally their ideal voters. Similar to you, I don't get a stamp in my passport as I am a PR of a foreign country. So, it was hard to figure the period I was away.
The online system was probably a project for some government scholar who still can't figure out how to put into practice what he/she learnt in school.

"me-no-mad" said...

I'm glad I aint the only one living abroad wondering for the life of me why the system is so "incompetent"... and even more so that the relevant dept can politely reply that they thought about it but they cannot think of any reliable agency to provide the travel data. No reliable agency? Immigration dept is unreliable?

U are right that we are not their ideal voters. When i read the 3nd reply that overseas voters are not required to vote, I kinda get the feeling that I should just not pursue the matter and leave the "fancy" portal alone. I felt as if someone was signaling "Mind your own biz. U want to vote then come back." Of coz its just a feel, nothing concrete to support that.

So to local voters, they are only taregting at people who can be swayed by couple of lift / estate renovation projects.

If one think deeper about it, doesnt the whole domestic economy benefit by such projects anyway - churning jobs, and helping the whole supply chain in the industry, creating jobs and stimulating the currency..

In another note, without all these so call beautifying of the estate, can the govt really put up with every estate remaining old and ugly? Will we still be the famed "garden city" or "garden slump?" Think about it...

Well, it's just so many things that doesnt make sense and even if the its some pet project for some newbie, one would expect the system designer to raise it up, or the SENIOR people who approve the project and specifications to highlight this weak link. Yet, it seems no one cares. If u are out of singapore, immediately you are branded as a 2nd class citizen, lesser say than some FT turned citizens.

I wonder if such a requirement is required in tax revenue portal to ensure all tax are duly paid, would they be so carefree and relaxed still?