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     Community: Singapore Community Issues

 

     Can security personnel demand NRICs?

The latest letter/article is at the top. The letter/article that started the debate is right below.

 

 

Excerpt of a letter by LEE Boon Hwee, Deputy Head (Public Relations) for Director Singapore Immigration & Registration, to The Forum, The Straits Times of 2 Mar 2002

NOT ILLEGAL FOR SECURITY GUARDS TO HOLD NRIC

  "...The National Registration Act authorises certain officials, for instance the police and immigration officers, to retain a person's identity card (NRIC) for the purpose of investigation.

  "Security guards at buildings, condominiums and other premises are not authorised by the Act to retain a visitor's NRIC.

  "However, it is not illegal for them to do so if the visitor authorises them - by the act of surrendering the NRIC - to hold his NRIC as a condition for entry, or in exchange for a visitor's pass. This is a private arrangement between the two parties concerned.

  "NRIC holders who want to replace lost identity cards have to pay a replacement fee. Waiver of the fee may be considered on a case-by-case basis."

Excerpt of a letter by LEE Kwok Weng to The Forum, The Straits Times of 25 Feb 2002

CAN SECURITY PERSONNEL DEMAND NRIC?

  ".....During my visits to various buildings, premises and offices belonging to government ministries and agencies, as well as private companies and organisations, I have been asked to hand over my NRIC in exchange for a visitor's pass.

  "One reason for this is that security has been heightened since the Sept 11 attacks in the United States.

  "However, I wonder if this is an excuse and that some security measures are a little extreme.

  "I read with dismay news reports about the Asian Aerospace 2002 exhibition, which described how the secutiry personnel there will demand randomly to see a visitor's NRIC or passport.

  "Who gives the right or power to security personnel, other than police officers, the right to demand to see or to retain an NRIC?

  "Is this legal, in fact? What happens if, after handing over my NRIC in exchange for a visitor's pass, my NRIC is misplaced. Can I be issued with another one without having to pay a replacement fee?

  "The places that I have visited so far do not state clearly that they will pay for a replacement NRIC if it is lost while in the hands of their security eprsonnel."