Theary and I returned home to Phnom Penh yesterday morning after a 6 weeks visit to Australia.
We often fly with Malaysia Airlines and never had any problems until this trip.
On the way to Australia we had a flight from Phnom Penh (Cambodia) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). The first leg of the flight was 40 minutes late. It's amazing how a little thing can cause such a big impact further down the track.
Due to the late arrival in KL we had to run to make our flight from KL to Brisbane (Australia).
When we arrived in Brisbane some 8 hours later we discovered our baggage had not made the flight. We went to the baggage counter and were told it would arrive in 2 days and that someone would bring it out to where we were staying.
So we walked over to the Customs inspection line with our two carry ons. The line for Customs is always very long. Sometimes you will even see them filming the TV show "Border Force".
We were nowhere near the inspection point when a Custom staff member came over and ordered us to follow her. She took us to an inspection point and asked if we had any phones, cameras, computers, hard drives and USB drives. We had all those things in the carryon bags and confirmed we did have them.
A colleague of hers came over and asked to see my phone. I showed it to him. Nothing fancy, a Samsung S9. He ordered me to unlock it and give it to him.
He informed me that he had the right under Australia Law to inspect the phone and I had no right to object.
He then took my phone and went into an area where I could not see him. That was very confronting and unnerving.
Meanwhile the Customs woman had both carry ons open and was rummaging through them. They contained mostly cameras, lenses, two laptops, some back up drives and a few USB drives.
She really didn't seem interested in any of it and told us to go sit down for a few minutes. It really was only my phone they wanted. They never even asked to see Theary’s phone.
My mind was racing trying to think what might be on my phone that could offend these guys or the Government.
My heart was racing as I tried to look relaxed.
After about 10 minutes, the phone napper returned and cleared us to be free to leave.
We believe this happened because we stood out from everyone else in the customs line. They all had a few large suitcases. We just had the two small carry ons. I'm white, my wife, Theary, is Asian. So I guess we also stood out as possible people smugglers.
You might be thinking none of this is a big deal and if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.
You're thinking that because it has not happened to you.
When it does you may not be so complacent. It does matter. It's a huge invasion of privacy. If it's not, why do you lock your phone?
Anyway, it was an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience which was caused by a late flight.
Goes to show, you just never know what's going to happen next.
Anyway, We’re back home now and I’m happy to hear from you. Do let me know if there are any problems or questions you have by replying to this email.
There is never a good time to get started on your business. Building a business is always going to require disruption in your life. You will have to pay a price. But the price is never as much as not building the business and getting your freedom. Pick a date and commit to it. Get the price paid and live like others will never live