Tailgater charged, remanded at IMH

SINGAPORE- The serial tailgater who dodged Customs officials and breached the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) compound has been charged with criminal trespass.

Police confirmed this yesterday, adding that the 27-year-old Malaysian teacher is currently remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric assessment. The maximum penalty for criminal trespass is three months' jail and a $1,500 fine.

The woman, who has a history of mental illness, was being investigated for evading immigration checks.

Her extraordinary journey began on Friday afternoon, when she sneaked into Singapore by tailgating another vehicle at the Woodlands Checkpoint.

The alarm was raised two minutes later and the arrival zone for cars was locked down. By then, her red Perodua car was gone.

The woman surfaced three days later, when she apparently tailgated a taxi for an hour across the island.

That same day, at about 2.30pm, she entered the MFA compound in Tanglin by tailgating an authorised vehicle.

It is understood that she drove inside the compound for a few minutes before MFA security officers managed to stop her.

It is also understood that nothing suspicious was found in her car when she was arrested.

The New Straits Times reported yesterday that the woman is a divorcee from Kedah named Nurul.

Malaysia's High Commissioner to Singapore, Datuk Husni Zai Yaacob, was quoted as saying: "Our officers have visited Nurul to ensure her well-being and tried to communicate with her. So far, she has refused to speak to anyone."

Meanwhile, Singapore-bound traffic on the Causeway slowed to a massive crawl at about 4pm yesterday, but traffic in the opposite direction was smooth.

The police and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority have said they would review their security systems and work processes in the wake of this incident.

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