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Singaporean stranded in Laos with no assistance from Embassy

I am a Singaporean who was exploring Laos (16 months ago) due to then much publicity with “Visit Laos Year” and the various Special Economic Zones (SEZ). With the sudden onset of the covid pandemic and strigent lockdowns for 16 months, it caught me totally unprepared as is the case with many people. I have even used up my emergency or savings funds in my bank’s ATM card, only recently I tried to request some financial emergency help from my Singapore Embassy in Laos, but to no avail or solutions.

It begs disbelief that Singaporeans overseas are not entitled to any help as compared to those who are in Singapore presently. Does the Singapore goverment or anybody not know that those trapped overseas have a bigger financial crisis being a foreigner, when we are not hustled we have to pay for Lodging, Food, and ever increasing Expenses due to food shortages etc. And to state the truth unpolitely, in the lands of Laos crimes are rampant including lots of murder incidents, the roads are extremely dangerous – medical rescue and healthcare is limited. And its most distressing that law enforcement officers will even openly harrass you for money even if one have not broken any laws by just holidaying. There should be travel advisories against visiting Laos.

On 05/07/2021, I then requested if the Laos Tourist Police ( Bokeo/Huay Xai ) can waive the extension fees since I have ran out of cash/savings and need to prepare even more money to return back to Singapore subsequently when lockdown rules are more consistent and transparent. Bearing in mind, Thailand’s exemplary example of automatic free visa extension for foreigners stranded in Thailand. I continued to pay US$2 equivalent every day for 14months while being held hostage to the situation. There was 1 time they short changed me 4 days of extension after paying for 30 days each time and no receipts were issued, after much explaining/pleading they then changed the expiry date, the altered dates is recorded in my passport thus the evidence that I speak of.

According to Laotian Times dated 29/09/2020 ( Laos online news in English ); “The government has granted visa amnesty, continually renewing tourist visas on a monthly basis for those who overstay, however, long-term visas and work visas are not being issued.” So based on the National News, my dire predicaments and nonstop lockdowns inter provinces, I tried to inquire about the visa amnesty and also explained that with the provinces lockdowns I am unable to travel to Vientiane months after months to seek Singapore Embassy help. Recently, rules are changed for a visitor travelling to Vientiane, one will need to have the 2 vaccine jabs if available due to shortages and some layover periods. Is it safe for me should I fall sick to side effects and lengthy hospitalization fees etc.

After some ‘chest beating’ the officer exclaimed that Singapore is very rich why no help for me, maybe he doesnt believed I have ran out of cash and my explanations that Singapore Embassy isnt helping with anything at all. No emergency financial assistance, no free/discounted limited chartered and connecting flights irregardless of circumstances. And my last problem should I returned, Singapore will quarantine me and I am supposed to be paying in full or face fines and imprisonment, thus I hope to stay longer until goverments know what they are doing precisely and coordinated etc. The Tourist Police then said to wait for their call the next day.

The next day, 2 immigration officers called me and asked to visit my room. I complied happily hoping maybe some form of help is here. The 2 immigration officers are much more friendlier ( tactics for effective interrogation ), they inquired about what am I doing or purposes for the many months in Laos, if I have any criminal records etc, the assets I am holding onto such as motorbike(no public transport), computer, camera, electrical home appliances etc and took photos of them and inquired what help I need such as money etc. In my statement, I said I do not want money from the Laos goverment as its unfair for them, but I do need more ‘free’ visa extensions for 3 months, etc. as I am Singaporean and all the covid protocals between goverments and agencies are changing every week. I can also look for help in the meantime. I suspect if I am officially deported, my assests can be seized.

The next day, we met up for more interrogation again and finger printed my testimony, I must stress here that they did not give me a copy of my statements as per international laws to prevent adding extra discrimating factors later etc. Later in the day, I got a call from the junior staff to wait for their discussion with their boss. The next day, I messaged the senior officer about the results – no reply. The following day, I messaged to have a copy of my testimony so I can write my letter or appeal as supporting evidence. He replied, “The results is in considering, please wait for my report”. And thats the last I heard from them till today (20/07/2021).

As I am currently in a very bad situation, I have no other recourse but to seek a small fundrasing on the TR Emeritus platform, because if I should write to other Singapore media outlets, they may edit or reject letters with any criticism of Singapore Ministries and Authorities.

In return, I can help answer any questions with regards to starting a new life, business opportunities or the standard of living in Laos etc. to the best of my knowledge and abilities.

Currently, my only access to fund is thru my Singapore bank account:

Sum Chee Hoe

UOB (United Overseas Bank) account no. 150-115-939-0

* I can then withdraw cash from the ATMs in Laos.

My email is [email protected] if u like to contact me.

Thank you very much for reading about my plight and my immense gratitude to those who are willing to help me.

 

Yours Truthfully,
(Mr) Sum Chee Hoe

 

 

 

yyy
READER COMMENTS BELOW

16 Responses to “Singaporean stranded in Laos with no assistance from Embassy”

  • KNN:

    Sinkpot Embassy is the most useless. You die your business. If you are related to that gang, help will come automatically.

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  • Gerrard:

    I think you never do your Sum properly!
    I ever worked in Laos in 1997, 1998 around that period. Working there is sleeping early and wake up early. No nite life.
    To go back Spore, I would travel all the way to Udon Thani on a van to catch a plane, sometimes propeller one to BKK to Take SQ or Thai Airways back Sg.
    To fly out from Laos is very expensive, if you got a bike , the petrol is not cheap.
    Getting help from Embassy faster way is thru BKK.
    If u want any help from Udon Thani, my Thai friend might be able to help u there. Not in Laos

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  • kuan:

    Gerrard:
    I think you never do your Sum properly!
    I ever worked in Laos in 1997, 1998 around that period. Working there is sleeping early and wake up early. No nite life.
    To go back Spore, I would travel all the way to Udon Thani on a van to catch a plane, sometimes propeller one to BKK to Take SQ or Thai Airways back Sg.
    To fly out from Laos is very expensive, if you got a bike , the petrol is not cheap.
    Getting help from Embassy faster way is thru BKK.
    If u want any help from Udon Thani, my Thai friend might be able to help u there. Not in Laos

    He cannot come in Thailand now because the land border is closed. In fact the Thai are getting very strict in monitoring it due to Covid.

    But he can come in Thailand through the usual approval from Thai embassy. perhaps he can try to ask the Thai embassy to let him cross to Thailand.

    For the quick fix he needs to return to Singapore – it probably a few hundreds and he should get from his relatives instead of public forum.

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  • Sum:

    Initially every1 thought covid wouldnt be that serious to warrant a 2yr lockdown, my plan was to cross into Chiang Rai from Huay Xai which is fast and safe, then opt to return via Air or Coach as soon as the lockdown is lifted. I waited month after month, now going 2 yr liao : (

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  • xoxo:

    You are not the only sg who needs fund-raising.
    Even in Sg itself,countless of SinkaPOOReans NEED FUNDing,i tell you most frankly.

    Of course,i hope some well-to-do sgs could offer you help the way so many of them HELP ALIENS.

    BTW,i humbly suggest you request someone send this *letter* to VIVI.
    Since your predicament in Laos is oredy made public here in TRE,forward same to MOF,sg n cc to YOUR FAMILY ETC.

    LETS SEE IF MOF DOES NOTHING FOR SGS IN NEED?

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  • Billy ma:

    Sorry to hear your situation.

    The very truth about PAP is that it’s super easy to replace a Singaporean herd or anywhere else outside.

    All it takes is just a certificate of citizenship to 1 foreigner.

    So this the reality & unfortunate truth with PAP.

    As is we’re soon will be a minority in our own country if it had not already adds up.

    So it looks like you’re on your own for now & not sure how long more.

    We Singaporeans are not having a great time here either.

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  • limpeh o$o $tranded:

    You will be surprised how many are the sinkaPOOR who are getting $tranded IN SINGAPORE too.

    When you vote for greedy monkey$,you are left only with peanuts?

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  • I don't give a...MDNA:

    Reading these replies is very sad. A lot of Sporeans don’t give a F for other Sporeans.

    Very sad. Has Spore come to this?

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  • michael:

    seek help from Adam Khoo.

    he is very rich business man .. he can spare you some help
    if you explain your case to him . of course, later you must
    return him the favour.

    Most singaporeans are jobless already … due to the stupid PAP ..

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  • xoxo:

    @I dont give a …MDNA

    Many sgs care but only when its for foreigners???
    NGOs,gahmen,rich sgs all rush to donate?

    But,reading aforesaid comments,what some say are true.

    Why the govt cannot offer help?
    Why NGOs suddenly become unCARING?

    Do we think NEEDY sgs,at home or stranded elsewhere,unworthy of receiving help or official/state assistance???

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  • xoxo:

    WHY ARE THERE NOW MORE N MORE sinkingPOOReans taking their
    own lives?
    Many needy elderly sgs are left *stranded* with no help forthcoming and that is a national issue here.
    These *stranded* seniors are prone to COMMIT SUICIDE.
    DO OUR RICH MINISTERS TRULY CARE ?
    Or,maybe,deep in their hearts,they wish more *used* and now *useless* seniors disappear one way or another so as to lighten ageing population problems for the state?

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  • Sum:

    On careful consideration to the bigger picture at large, if i officially sent this letter to Minister Vivian, they then have to liaise with them over such thorny issues – not the best for diplomatic relations etc.
    And from the Laos perspective, its just how things work here etc..the officers are paid very little. Maybe this is all i need to do for now.

    xoxo:
    You are not the only sg who needs fund-raising.
    Even in Sg itself,countless of SinkaPOOReans NEED FUNDing,i tell you most frankly.

    Of course,i hope some well-to-do sgs could offer you help the way so many of them HELP ALIENS.

    BTW,i humbly suggest you request someone send this *letter* to VIVI.
    Since your predicament in Laos is oredy made public here in TRE,forward same to MOF,sg n cc to YOUR FAMILY ETC.

    LETS SEE IF MOF DOES NOTHING FOR SGS IN NEED?

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  • xoxo:

    Hi Sum

    All said,i hope some among us,sgs, can come to your aid.
    Wishing you well.

    Stay safe,meanwhile.

    Sad to note sgs do not think there are sgs who need help,even our gahmen think like that?

    Cheerio

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  • Soccerbetting2:

    Reported on Straits Times :Quote-”SINGAPORE – A Singaporean woman who was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer while in the United States will soon be able to reunite with her family here, after the public raised more than $300,000 to fund her trip home.

    Arrangements have been made to put Ms Lerine Liu, 42, on an air ambulance operated by International SOS (Isos) on Thursday (May 28) morning US time.

    Ms Liu, whose cancer has spread to her bones, one of her lungs and liver, will be accompanied by a medical team comprising a doctor and nurse….”Unquote.

    Response : Can TR Emeritus with their powerful connection check whether this breast cancer woman Ms Lerine Liu is still surviving or not ? If still surviving and well,then it is puzzling why she need emergency airlift back to Singapore when her condition is not serious at all !

    As for Mr Sum Chee Hoe,why didn’t Mr Sum Chee Hoe leave his staying address at laos and all his particulars to TR Emeeitus website and TR Emeritus website can immediately submit Mr Sum Chee Hoe problem right to Mr Lee Hsien Loong ,the PM ,to help out ! I am sure Mr Lee Hsien Loong can easily ordered the Singapore government plane to fetch him back immediately since Mr Sum is a Singaporean(I assume). Problem solbe,why need funding for what ? The government policy is “no one will be keft behind,isn’t it ? Pui !

    Tech: TRE is NOBODY to Mr Lee, why should Mr Lee even bother to read emails from us? Besides, Mr Sum said he has already contacted the embassy, so big an agency also cannot help, what makes you think TRE can? B;loody TRE can’t even raise $20k for my medical, still expect TRE to deliver $300k (like the woman) to airlift Mr Sum home? You must be kidding.

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  • Trust only myself:

    Why should anyone believe him…………?

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  • Elite:

    Aren’t the Singapore representative in Laos look into this. Is he really so desperate or is it a scam?
    Either or, at this Covid situation . Is the Singapore Authority to look into this matter seriously instead of turning deaf years to his desperate plead and call for crowd funding. After all No Singaporean should be left behind.

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