"Encik, mintak tengok passport?", one of the two gentlemen at the doorway politely requested. They were standing right in the middle of the doorway of the embarkation hall, preventing access. I did not hestitate a bit to draw my passport out and handed it to the gentlemen for inspection.
He briefly scrutinized it and returned it with a polite "Thank you..."
With polished politeness I thought, a bit wee too polite and what on earth were these 2 guys checking passports at the embarkation hall for. It was the last flight out to Singapore for the evening and I had passed through 4 prior passport checks- the first being the airline counter check-in, second time at the escalator leading to the immigration checkpoint by uniformed police, third check at the immigration checkpoint and the fourth time right after the x-ray scan leading to the embarkation hall by airline staff. This was the fifth passport check for the same flight inside the embarkation hall. Not uniformed PDRM, nor immigration personnel nor airline staff; just in plainclothes. It did not occur to me that I should ask for their ID, probably the act of getting my passport out for pre-flight checks was on my subliminal side.
I made a quick call to my friend who was a frequent flyer too, flying about every 2 weeks; admitted that it was rather unusual for having passport checks inside the embarkation hall, especially when the last check was just outside the hall. It was a case of one check too many. "Why on earth so many passport checks?!"
Who were they? Looked like I did not make the grade. Damn.