One of the most important things that we need to keep with us whenever we are travelling is our identification documents and if you happen to lose it, then you will be facing huge problems!
This father, Wan Fadillah Wan Ahmad who is the Sarawak Education Department’s Management and Development Sector chief, shared his experience with Sarawak Voice when one of his children accidentally misplaced her MyKid identity card when the family was waiting for a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching. Uh-oh! The incident happened on December 31, 2017 when he was with his family, including seven children, and waiting for their AirAsia flight at around 1.40pm.
His 12-year-old daughter discovered that she had lost her MyKid and they quickly went to make a police report. He said, “As soon as we realised that her MyKid card was lost, I went to make a police report in KLIA2 before meeting the security officials of Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd (MAHB) at the entrance of the domestic flights to inform them of the problem we had.”
“Unfortunately, the officials told me that they could not allow my daughter to board the plane even after we showed them the police report, passport copies on my phone and also a copy of her birth certificate. They told me that I had to show them the MyKid card and original birth certificate even though they knew that it would be difficult for me to get it.”
Wan Fadillah contacted the Sarawak Immigration Director and several other officials to get their help but to no avail. The officials said that they would need a confirmation letter from Sarawak Immigration, which was quite difficult to obtain especially on such a short notice.
He was getting desperate and disappointed at the lack of help from the airport officials. Having no choice, he decided to fly back to Kuching to get his daughter’s passport and then fly back to Kuala Lumpur to bring her back. He said that he had to leave his daughter all alone without any supervision for almost nine hours as he flew back and forth.
They were supposed to depart from KLIA2 at 10.35pm to finally get home but their flight was delayed for more than an hour. Wan Fadillah expressed his frustration and disappointment at the lack of helpfulness that MAHB displayed and said that although he knows they were just doing their job, they should have been more understanding.
In response to this issue, MAHB has issued a statement saying that although they sympathised with the father’s predicament, they could not make any exceptions.
They said that they were just doing their duty by following national security protocols to accept only valid and original identification or travelling documents for boarding.
“While we understand the inconvenience it had caused the parents and child involved, we were not able to compromise on this matter as the measures are in place for airport security to safeguard the national gateway against unsecured access, for the security and safety of the individuals as well as airlines alike.”
“In view of previous cases of human trafficking, some involving children, we hope the public especially parents can appreciate the diligent screening performed by our AVSEC officers to ensure the highest level of security and safety at the busiest exit point of our country.”
They also mentioned in their statement that footage from security cameras showed that the girl was not left unattended as claimed but was accompanied by an elderly couple instead. Apparently, she had left the airport with the elderly couple at around 1.48pm.
What do you think of this issue? Was the father’s frustration in MAHB justified?
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