Saturday, July 18, 2009

No eating on the MRT,,,

A woman was fined $30 for having a piece of sweet in her mouth by an MRT officer. She broke the rule that disallows eating and drinking on the MRT.

But let me ask you why is eating and drinking not permitted on the MRT train? It is disallowed in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taipei but permitted in Japan. The reason for not allowing people to eat and drink on trains is they might drop or spill what ever they are consuming and dirty the train - it is not eating or drinking itself that is the problem but intentional or unintentional littering. The woman in the video has technically violated the no eating rule but the chance of a piece of sweet falling from out of a person's mouth onto the the train is zero. The officer enforced the law rigidly without any regard to the spirit of the law. I wonder if breast feeding is allowed on the MRT or they will go ahead fine the 3 month old baby.

This reminds me of the story about a family that was detained at the Changi Airport for saying word "bomb" twice. They were on their way to Australia for a holiday. The child asked the mom why people were made to take off their shoes at the security checkpoint. The mom explained that they had to check for bombs. The security officers who were trained to detain people using the word "bomb" twice heard that and the family had to miss their holiday in Darwin. [Story in detail here].

What is more important than rules are the reasons behind the rules. We will have better citizens and smarter workers if they are brought up to question the logic behind the rules they are asked to follow.


Anonymous said...

that healthy woman should also be fined for occupying a priority seat.

Jimmy Jim said...

Overcrowding, removal of seats. Now we can't even take a sip of water or have a lozenge to sooth our throat. SMRT is determined to make our journey as uncomfortable as possible.

Anonymous said...

expect mrt fare increase. why? cos they now hire 500+ enforcers

Anonymous said...

Given the close proximity to others on the trains at most times, i usually have a mint in my mouth during the journeys. Just in case. I now learn that would be 'eating'.
Officer says ok for medication but not sweets. What if you eat a Hacks sweet like the lady mentioned? It is a sweet that is for medication purposes (cough, itchy throat). So how?

WL said...

Just because 2 people are caught per day eating/drinking, the Government decided to fine people without warning. And once the rule was laid down, the
rest became robots.

Anonymous said...

I eating my own saliva so I will been fine because it is still eating.

MRT go eat shit but it is okay because eating shit is not eating.

Anonymous said...

Last time I heard that Singapore SIA drop in ranking because the toilet service is not up to standard, now we know the true reason for such drop is due the moronic behavior of SIA staff ! Staff across the gov board that have no brain and common sense as even by police managing the case. Every staff working for gov has suddenly little LKY that is so paranoid and goondu getting as senile as the real old man.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan,
did you notice that some commentators giving some moron defensive support for the action that so ridiculous ? The gov's damage control has begun by sending troll to do their paid jobs.

Anonymous said...

The passengers are also robots - why didn't they challenge the fines?

If you are only taking a drink of plain water, or sucking on a mint, but the SMRT idiots want to fine you for eating, simply ignore these idiots and don't pass them your NRIC. What can they do to you?

Anonymous said...

This is really treating your customers like school children. The original intention of the regulation is to maintain cleanliness of the trains and stations. Rigorous enforcement of the regulation has taken this to a most absurd level. Does this mean that young children and the elderly who are more prone to heat stress in our hot and humid weather cannot sip plain water on long train journey ? It would seem that commonsense was lost when the original intention of the regulation was translated to rigorous enforcement by human robots. And this is the first world country we are talking about. This is more like a page from the Twilight Zone.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan,
let me share with you a true incident of mine that happen some time ago that show how moron Singaporean can be that just follow instruction blindly.

As you know there is air-con makan public area in Raffles Hospital. I go there to visit the toilet urgently for stomachache. However, I found that the toilet cubicle is locked, and so I want to use the toilet of the Raffle Hospital, and I ask the male guard in the information counter if there is convenient toilet I can used as the toilet cubicle is locked.

Guess what he say. He says that I cannot use the toilet in the hospital as it is a private property not public property. I say "What do you mean ? Isn't this hospital a public hospital ?" The next moment he ask another staff to check on the cubicle to confirm it is locked. After confirm it is locked, he insist I have no right to use the toilet in the hospital because it is the private hospital. Very soon we went into heated argument and the staff becoming very frustrated and up to the point of calling the police. Until about few minutes later, I say "Okay, sorry then about the argument, all I want now is just to use a toilet as I getting stomachache, that is all", suddenly the same staff tell me that there is a toilet nearly on the left side (which is the Raffles Clinic if I recall). I mock him "what didn't you tell me that long ago ? Why waste your time to tell that this is a private hospital ?" as I quickly rush to the toilet. By the way, this is before the H1N1 spread, and the Singapore hospital is not in any security measurement

Sad but true, and this show how stupid singaporean can be in becoming YES-MAN and even didn' tquestion his superior about policies a "his superior stupidity"

Anonymous said...

Big thieves they cannot catch, so they go for the small ones to show how good they are.

Just like Crime Watch, the police like to boast how good they are in solving crimes, even if the criminals like One Eye Dragon was caught by Malaysian police.

Anonymous said...

removing seats from trains should be made illegal.

Onlooker said...

Medical lozenge is not considered a sweet.It is medication.

Actually it is mind boggling why did they not go after the real culprits who eat on bus and MRT?and Are they really that ignorant? Being new and unable to integrate is not an excuse.

And the person being made example of is a Indian Muslim/Malay even the auntie beside her think the enforcer is picking bone from the egg is too much.

And that also did not address the problem of the lack of quality in our transport system it just prove the management of that system as an inept manager.

Anonymous said...

What stupid idiots. So SMRT would rather us cough our lungs out on thr MRT (oh how polittteeee and considerate) than take a sweet to sooth our throats?

Fucktards, them all. Brits have a beer on the tube and no one gets in trouble. If even public transport is so darn fucked here, why are people even sticking around?

Anonymous said...

maybe the government needs $$$ from mrt commuters to offset the losses by temasek.

so they ask to go on strict liability.

Anonymous said...

"It is disallowed in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taipei but permitted in Japan."

Japan is so much ahead, a more superior culture. As for Hong Kong, Singapore & Taipei, some common factor here and these countries still cannot really lock away the little devil of using the ancient stick even for harmless social behaviours and we will continue to perpetuate the need for stick in such situations for generations to come.

Burger & coke for anyone ?

Anonymous said...

"11:18 AM
even didn' tquestion his superior about policies a "his superior stupidity"

Our society has not been brought up to be questioning so we still have some cost to pay for the mistake & stupidity of not questioning superiors or authorities.

Foreigners are a different breed where I have seen much younger FT manager questioning and arguing with much senior & older VP, also an FT, without getting any "scar" after that.

Anonymous said...

"What is more important than rules are the reasons behind the rules. We will have better citizens and smarter workers if they are brought up to question the logic behind the rules they are asked to follow."

that should be part of school education.

turn them into...."citizen lawyers"

i predict, we are getting there.

Anonymous said...

The girl should have vomitted in the train and walk off - cos she could not get a sweet to ease her discomfort.

so eat sweet cannot, vomit can?

Anonymous said...

I think we all Singaporeans need to pray that our sovereign wealth funds don't make too many billions dollars losses.

The decisions makers don't have to pay for them but we have to pay for it like you see here.

I felt like they are going to take back the $100 millions care fund from us.

I mean it doesn't make sense that to hire 500+ people to catch when less than 100 bagala cleaners can solve the problem of cleaning the dirty trains caused by intentional or unintentional littering.

What is the cost of one enforcers compared to one bagala cleaner?

I don't know whether really got 500+ enforcers but it surely can be used as an excuse to increase MRT fare.

It is like the ERP, the problem of congestion can be easily solved by making a regulation requiring a 40% down payment for car purchases. Instead, now 100% of a car price can be paid by installments and need ERP to control congestion.

Everlearning said...

I don't think she deserves such a fine for sucking a sweet in her mouth. She should be given a warning by the SMRT enforcer/employee and that SMRT should display a sign/picture of "eating sweets not allowed" on trains.

Personally, I feel that the commuter was being bullied and sad to say this video shot was shown not only embarassing that lady but more so displaying how indiscreet the SMRT enforcer was on duties.

Anonymous said...

Actually, for this eating sweet incident, can just ignore this idiot MRT staff! What can he/she do?

Don't tell me he/she will detain the sweet eater and call police?

By the time police arrived, the eat sweet evidence (silly though) may be gone!

What a waste of Police resources if this can really happen! It's a joke!

Anonymous said...

i may be flamed for saying this is long overdue but my reason is:

at last there is fairness.

we singaporeans have been trained not to eat on mrt but these recent years you see ft openly flaunting the rule short of having steamboat on the mrt.
how do locals feel? some start to eat so as not to 'lugi'

the rule may be dumb but if the govt choose to proceed, at least enforce it so that locals won't feel stupid being the only one following.

Anonymous said...

SMRT has evolved into a mindless corporation with mindless employees due to the long term lack of competition.

Let's revisit the mindless acts they had forced down our throats:

- didn't build lifts into MRT stations. Eventually had to waste more money, and cause inconvenience to passengers as it is costlier and more difficult to fit lifts into existing stations.

- replaced LED screens that show train arrival times with LCD TVs. These TVs are used to force feed us with advertisements instead. Train arrival times are now shown every 30 seconds or so.

- wait for multiple suicides and fatal accidents to happen before they are willing to fork out the money to install doors on open platforms.

- removing seats so that they can pack us like cattle and reduce train frequencies.

- broadcasting irritating messages "stand behind yellow line, give way, etc." when the root problem is overcrowding. Do we need to stand near the yellow line, force out way into the train, etc if there is enough space?

- engaging inappropriate tv characters like Phua Chu Kang to sing irritating songs in the hope of getting us to be more civic minded.

- instead of catching the real culprits mainly students eating fast food, innocent people are fined for sucking on sweets and taking sips of plain water.

AS said...

when they have nothing in their brain, the best defense is to cite the rule book.

Anyone know what happen to the fuckup airport security officers in Lucky Tan's story?

Anonymous said...

I can not believe this. I think the so called enforcement office is doing it on purpose to give SMRT a bad name. I hope the management of SMRT is reading this and get rid of that idiot.

tiredman said...

This is what I call "any how fine commuter". Taking sweet or drinking plain water in the MRT does not mean having a meal in the MRT.
Totally, totally a crazy act.
This is totally, totally incomparable with the eating of hamburger or drinking of soft drink in the MRT.
This officer is conducting his duty BLINDLY.
Is MRT going to resort to this fine to earn more income?


Anonymous said...

this country is going down...

Anonymous said...

"Does this mean that young children and the elderly who are more prone to heat stress in our hot and humid weather cannot sip plain water on long train journey ?"

It is confirmed in newspaper that children and elderly are no exceptional.

If you are LKY and kins of his family, things may just be a little different.

Anonymous said...

So stupid law. What if someone coughing and having flu and eat vick sweet to reduce the cough and flu in The MRT ? Singaporean,next time cough, please cough loudly and spread your germs to the rest of commuters because the staff say that law is law and that is your problem.

How stupid can Singapore gov be ?

- Taxi in CBD
- Ticket need top up at $3 instead $0

Stupid asshole running the country.

Anonymous said...

What if I lipsynching and moving my mouth and talking to myself in MRT, will the staff accuse me of eating then ?

Anonymous said...

Can we screen the MRT driver and MRT staff and make sure that any MRT driver or those in information counter do not drink as well. There cannot be one law for citizen and another law for enforcer.

Anonymous said...

yes anon 5.32pm,
this country is going down for sure..
all these healthy young prople taking the priorty seats all the time.
no manners, no chivalry, no grace.

Anonymous said...

Well we are definitely well ahead in robotics

Anonymous said...

station manager is low level staff so can not think properly mah and also no discretion.

Anil said...

This lady could have been our Rosa Parks, but she blew it.

What an insult to common sense and to the human spirit.

This is emblematic of the way our system works.

k@Ye_ said...

I had a nasty incident with the SMRT staff on drinking last mth. I was so pissed off with her attitude that I emailed to feedback.

And the reply was, SMRT had spent N amt of $$ to educate the commuters blah blah on no eating. I was like... u spent N amt of $$ to educate the commuters is no use coz their campaign is JUST SO A WASTE OF $$!

Now, i m just waiting to see a REAL TRAGEDY to happen. If they re so anal abt sucking on a sweet, kids drinking milk or ppl taking medication on the train... And if any lives were lost (u never know)... I m VERY SURE, the next moment... there will be a BIG DISCLAIMER to say... It will be up to the discretion of the SMRT staff on this ruling.

I must admit this rules helps to keep the station clean.. especially after seeing those dirty tube or metro station in London & Paris. I appreciate this ruling but the way they executed this now is just SO A WASTE OF TAXPAYERS $$$!!!

Anonymous said...

i have a request....can u please put a number before every's easier to track the one u read last the day before.
thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

The food and drinks ban was first implemented so that the trains can be kept clean. It is easy to drop your food if you are having a burger or char kway tiow and a cup of coke. Moreover the train is an enclosed space, so the food ban will ensure passengers are not subjected to various food odors.

For a long time, everyone adhered to the rules. Any eating and drinking is restricted to sweets and plain water, and we only do so to quench our thirst or to stop that nagging cough.

That is until some kids with poor upbringing decide that they can do whatever they want including eating burger and fries on MRT trains, oblivious to the stares and annoyance of other passengers.

Instead of going after the real culprits, the mindless SMRT folks put a blanket ban on all items in your mouth and going down your throat. Going by their logic, why don't we ban swallowing of saliva too?

DanielXX said...

Go to big extent to catch people with sweets in their mouth but do nothing for years about people jumping off from their platforms?

Great sense of priorities, SRMT! This is what happens when you have a char bor at the helm!

pq said...

I agree with the fine - there are people who leave their sweet wrappers (intentionally or unintentionally) on the trains after consuming their candy. so how about this?

Anonymous said...

>>>...there are people who leave their sweet wrappers (intentionally or unintentionally)...after consuming their candy.

Hhmm..did the guy caught doing this in parliament also get a ticket?

Anonymous said...

Singapore is turning into a laughing stock!

Anonymous said...

Either they allow eating on the MRT or not, is the point and I highly commend the good work of these officials in catching the deliquents. House rules are just that, nobody is being forced to take tyhe trains.

Anonymous said...

To: Mr. SMRT

If you still think that your staff had done the right thing, you should say so and justify it. Otherwise update us if corrective action would be taken. If you choose to keep quiet and just swallow the $30 from that poor lady, you shall feel guilty for the rest of your life; and every time when you put a sweet in your mouth, you shall feel that it is chocking you to death!

Anonymous said...

These SMRT/NEL people are paid to follow orders. They don't use common sense. If they do use common sense and do not follow their order, they will lose their job.

The rule says "NO EATing" but the lady was sucking sweet and thus, not eating. Hence, she did not violated any rule. Those SMRT/NEL people are idiot and have no common sense.

Anonymous said...

" Last time I heard that Singapore SIA drop in ranking because the toilet service is not up to standard, now we know the true ..."

You are wrong, somebody need to be blame for the drop in ranking. Blaming the cleaning contractors was the most convenient. When things are lost, the cleaners are the first to be suspicious and blamed.

The next time you went to the airport, talk to the Cleaners working in the airport and you get lot of interesting stories.

Parka said...

There's no difference between eating a sweet, a fruit or a burger on the train. I just don't see any difference.

Just a few days ago while on a bus, I saw someone spill a cup of soft drink all over the floor. Surely it wasn't intentional. The no-eating rule is merely to prevent this sort of things from happening.

The basis of this rule is to provide basic comfort to passengers.

Yes you can be extremely careful not to spill but you cannot account for morons who push you or the bus suddenly stops.

If you want to eat, just don't board the transport. How hard is that?

Even if the person is fined $500 for a sweet, I won't have any sympathy. Those no-eating signs are everywhere.

I'm a very judgmental person.

If they are to fine people for blasting their radios too loud, I would support it as well.

Anonymous said...

She is not eating the sweet. She just storing the sweet in her mouth. How can they accuse of eating then ? She did not force the sweet to melt in her mouth. The sweet melt due to nature not her.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Parka.

If you are thirsty or coughing and want to eat a lozenge or have a sip of plain water, better get out of the train. Nowadays there are plenty of eating joints at MRT stations. You can have your drink there. People won't be offended if you have your drink at the MRT station eatery but once you cross the fare gates people will feel offended.

Don't ask why because this is how things works here. Just follow the rules and leave your brains at home.

Anonymous said...

The enforcers employed by SMRT are jobs prepared for overseas workers from China, Mynmmar, Laos etc, just like the thongs employed as SBS, SMRT drivers.

Anonymous said...

If Singaporean are cohesive enough to either PUKE on the trains or BOYCOTT SMRT on Saturdays and Sundays.

It will make the fines worthwhile.

BP said...

"Last time I heard that Singapore SIA drop in ranking because the toilet service is not up to standard, now we know the true reason for such drop is due the moronic behavior of SIA staff ! "

That would actually be the Sats police, SIA staff don't do security.

Anonymous said...

Last month, I am heading towards jb for a day off. I took MRT till Krangji Station to transfer to bus 170 that goes into jb.

Arriving at the station, I am thristy so i brought a peel fresh orange drink - small paper pack.

I finished the drink under 5min while waiting at the bus-stop.

After consuming the drink, I tried looking for a rubbish bin to disposed of the empty package. I realised that there are non in the visible vincinity. So i left the empty pac on a seat then continue to write the malaysian "Arrival/dept" card 1 seat away.

15secs later, a malay man in his late 20s approached me and ask me: "sir, r u sgean?", I replied "Yes". he said: "Do u know u just littered?", i said: "u mean that drink package?" he said: "yes." i said: "I can throw it away if u want." he said: "IT IS TOO LATE. I HAVE BEEN WATCHING U FOR QUITE SOMETIME ALREADY." And he proceed to give me a court summon.

As he is writing, his "colleague" joined him. I told him, I did litter intentionally, i left the pac there because there are no bins around.

the other colleague said: "yes sir, i understand, there are no bins around because of hygiene consideration. There are a bin the the end of the MRT station. (The irony is clear for those who had been to krangji station b4)

Conclusion: how come some bus-stop can have bins and are fine. and some cannot because of "Hygiene" considerations? is there no fixed standard??

Is this what people call entrapment??

A disillusioned Singaporean.

Anonymous said...


I told him, I did NOT litter intentionally,

Anonymous said...

I agree with Parka. There's no difference between eating a sweet, a fruit or a burger on the train. Why? Because I am an idiot who cannot tell the difference. I also cannot tell the difference between soft drinks and plain water. I also have no sympathy for anyone because I am a moron. It is too bad young children and the elderly suffer from heat stress as a result of this enforcement. I am also very judgmental and I believe everyone who eats or drinks or blast music too loudly should not only be fined but also be caned or hung. I also leave my pea-sized brain behind when I go to work just in case I have to think like normal human beings.

Anonymous said...

I support Parka and now I think people who try to swallow their saliva in the train should be beheaded before the saliva reach their throat!

Like Parka I'm judgmental too, seeing this pleasant looking lady having a lozenge to sooth her throat made me so MAD that I know I will end up in the Mental Hospital for good!

Ghost said...

Sorry but I can't see what's wrong with fining people who break the rules like this. Singapore is hardly the only country in the world who do this and there are signs all over the stations and trains telling people not to eat. People who eat on the stations and trains can hardly say they don't have warning

Anonymous said...


swemoe said...

A person surfer hypoglycaemia ( reduce sugar level ) when in MRT . That is very dangerous, that person must eat sweet or candy. How should that situation ?

Anonymous said...

The officers have a tough job; they have to be strict as people are known to find loopholes around any rules and regulations. I believe that more than just the issue of eating will leave behind food crumbs that attract cockroaches and ants, they also leave behind trash. Sad to say that I have seen some singaporeans who mindlessly throw their sweet wrappers on buses and MRT. Unfortunately us regular folks are unduly punished as a result of these selfish individuals.

Anonymous said...

Not long ago I saw someone holding a bottle of uncapped plain water on the MRT. An old man was standing next to him. Out of kindness, he stood up to offer the seat but oops, he accidentally spilled the water. The water flowed all over the floor, many commuters stepped on it, and the next moment, there were many dirty trails on the floor.

I support not allowing sipping of water, even if it is plain water!

Anonymous said...

Obviously you haven't been outside Singapore for a sufficiently long time.
Which country is as idiotic as Singapore?
Certainly not Hong Kong that Singapore is trying hard to copy things from.

Anonymous said...

SMRT officers should also fine those who move their mouths and swallow their saliva.

If not we won't know whether the person is chewing food or just moving his mouth. Swallowing should be banned too because we won't know whether he is swallowing food or saliva.

Anonymous said...

Food and beverages are sold on trains in many developed nations. E.g Taiwan, Japan, EU, etc...

Anywa, in singapore, I still see young punks drinking and eating quite brazenly. Perhaps the fines are for the the weak\meek only?

Anonymous said...

To Anon 20/7/09 12:00

"...the officer had a tough job":-
That's because he couldn't find anyone eating and resorted to go after that poor lady who happened to have a sweet in her mouth. You tell me where is the common sense? It is so RIDICULOUS! It is a display of arrogance to the extreme!

"They have to be strict as people are known to find loopholes":-
So are you suggesting that having a sweet to sooth your throat is taking advantage of loopholes? What loopholes are you talking about? You might as well ask people to stop breathing.

"...throw their sweet wrappers on buses and MRT.":-
You are mixing things up. That's littering! So should SMRT also ban use of tissue paper. Going by your logic people with running nose should just blow their nose into their hands because you think that they may drop the tissue.

"Unfortunately us regular folks are unduly punished as a result of these selfish individuals.":-
HOW ARE YOU UNDULY PUNISHED when all that the lady did was to have a sweet to sooth her throat? If anyone is selfish, IT IS YOU!!!

Anonymous said...

what a lousy excuse. Eat means eat lah. Giddy?? So if i need to shit or pee, do i do it on the spot?

Fine these people. Good for me too..hehe..i shareholders of SMRT although i dun take train..More dividends ! Hooray! So happy :-)

Anonymous said...

Cannot blame the officer la. All of us have to go thru NS. Dun question the rule. It's drilled into our minds...

Anonymous said...

good for shareholders like me too. cheers and please have more people eating in the trains.

One's lost is another's gain !

Anonymous said...

"what a lousy excuse. Eat means eat lah. Giddy?? So if i need to shit or pee, do i do it on the spot?"

Another person with brain in the backside not in the head.

Eat means eat ? Really ? You never eat your saliva in the train before ? Still eat, right ?

"So if i need to shit or pee, do i do it on the spot?"

Please do it if your brain grow on your backside and your photo might just end up in GutterUncensored and become world famous.

Anonymous said...

"A person surfer hypoglycaemia ( reduce sugar level ) when in MRT . That is very dangerous, that person must eat sweet or candy. How should that situation ?"

i'm so sorry. we have to let him collapse and die. we, smrt, will then inform LTA to send that person's family a letter to fine them for littering in the mrt train. coz the family should know he can faint anytime but let him wonder around. so there is intention to "litter"... sorry..

Anonymous said...

Those SMRT officers should be retrenched and replaced by FTs for lacking commonsense.

Anonymous said...

"i'm so sorry. we have to let him collapse and die. we, smrt, will then inform LTA to send that person's family a letter to fine them for littering in the mrt train. coz the family should know he can faint anytime but let him wonder around. so there is intention to "litter"... sorry.."

There is not only intention to litter. The corpse itself is the litter. The litter will be charged by $5 per kilogram for human litter. So if a human dies in the MRT, his family will be charge $5 x 50kg = $250 for littering. Don't blame SMRT because this is Singapore INC where making money counts not corpse litter.

Simon said...

Perhaps Singapore is somewhat an authoritarian state but why film her and upload on Straits Times website?

To promote fear? To gain obedience from the people?

Mr Tan, thanks for highlighting this.

Anonymous said...

To: Anon 21:02

Swallowing saliva is a natural occurrence without external intervention like putting a sweet in the mouth. One little sweet will not give you comfort if your really suffer from hypoglycaemia. Let's not kid ourselves and bash SMRT just because your felt otherwise. Take a cab lah.

SMRT is doing a good job.$30 dollars fine is too little. Should ban them from train at least for a week too. Inconsiderate selfish commuters.

sg boleh said...

Got comission catching ppl? I know there is for hdb carpark. Mayb if the mrt officer dun hit the quota, he would lose his job? Next time juz act tough, n said "I from china. No sinkie."He would let u go I think.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 22:19
Eating sweets is a sin against MRT. $30 dollars fine is too little. Maybe the authorities should also cane offenders. In Singapore, caning and hanging people is our way of life. If we find any problems too challenging to solve, we will ensure the most draconian measures are implemented to solve it. We are also very impartial in enforcing this regulation. We don't care whether it is the babies, the young children or the elderly who need to sip plain water to quench their thirst. We fined them all if they even dare to take one sip of plain water. This is why we are the first world country.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, this is how the 'culture' works in Singapore. Many workers just blindly follow rules, and either don't wish to question or are afraid to.

I don't wish to be pessimistic, but the more I read on this and other blogs, the more I think it's hopeless for Singaporeans to overcome our flaws and improve. Are we doomed?

Anonymous said...

yes. i think the offenders who eat and drink in the trains when they know they are not supposed to, shud be caned and shamed in public. or else MRT shud rescind the rules and let everyone party on the trains.

Anonymous said...

I think it is too rigid to fine a person $30 for eating sweet. But I would think the SMRT officer faced with the camera felt he had to show he was doing his job.

I have the feeling the whole thing was a setup by Straits Times to create a controversy to raise its popularity. Straits Times is a useless and irresponsible running dog of the PAP govt and goes around creating such controversial issues among the people.

That said, Singaporeans also cannot give excuses for eating food including packaged meals and soft drinks on the trains. Just like they feel no qualms to throw rubbish and spit around even though these are offences.

This is a minority, may be 10 to 20% of the population but that is enough to make a mess of our public places.

While we can complain against the authorities, as individuals we must do our part. A simple sensible etiquette as waiting for train passengers to alight first before boarding is still not followed by many.

At that rate, LKY will continue to give the excuse that Singaporeans have not grown up enough to take control of their lives, to go for real democracy as he had insisted numerous times in the past. And he has proofs such as those just mentioned to back up his arguments.

See the problem? It takes both hands to clap even though is just a minority of Singaporeans who are wayward.

upinthebum said...

penisinanal syndrome.

Anonymous said...

Even a "station master" follow rules like a robot.

No wonder employers prefer foreign workers all things being equal.

Singaporeans should just go extinct for the sake of mankind.

Anonymous said...

The other day, I saw a drunk chinaman threw up in the train, but no fine leh. Obviously, its not about keeping the train clean.

Anonymous said...

Did you say he threw up? He wasn't eating or drinking, was he? So, fine him for what? Actually, he should get a credit for it. What is important is not to swallow anything down the throat. I think saliva is a gray area but having a lozenge to sooth your throat is a big NO-NO -- the fine is $30 only. However, throwing out should be ok lah, no?

Anonymous said...

That enforcement officer should be fined for having comedy facial hair. What is it with people who think they have power and stupid moustaches?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Parka and I'm very judgemental too!

Just like what Vivian said, if some people eating, other people pass some remarks, then everyone starts to fight! Might as well ban the whole thing!

Anonymous said...

Dun even think of sleeping in the train, yr saliva may droop and you get fine!. I am going to save monies and buy myself a electric bicycle. Forgret about Mama T, Circus lie......

Anonymous said...

This is so outrageous! Why fine her for just a damn sweet.. and the presenter is saying "nothing escapes the eyes of the law, including a sweet"

I mean.. why are the Singapore authorities is soooo uptight. This is so stupid and sad.

I guess this is the kind of society that LKY wants anyyway, one that behaves itself based on fear, rather than actual goodwill.

Anonymous said...

Technically, she has not broken any part of the law. The word "eating" suggest the act of ingesting a product. It is arguable! If she ingest then it technically qualifies as eating.

From the video, she was basically sucking on the sweet. Its only arguable, because we can't be fine for putting things into our mouth and not ingesting. If a kid or adult has the habit of putting inedible objects into their mouth without ingesting it, will these people be fined as well?

So, unless you are literally having a burger and drink as the sign suggests. Its all arguable. Don't admit to anything thing that you don't feel comfortable with!

Anonymous said...

500 officers to catch and fine people, or should it have been hiring 500 cleaners to maintain the cleanliness of the trains?

while i dont condone dirty habits, i wonder what would have been the better decision?

another example - mark every cigarette sold in singapore with Duty Paid, or hire more officers to go out and catch people who smoke contraband cigarettes? What about going out and be more vigilant in catching the smugglers instead?

The solutions are always made at the expense of the people.

Very interesting insight to the mentality of our leaders. we are to be scolded and fined, and treated like children.

Anonymous said...

We the citizens of Singapore
Pledge ourselves as one against each other
Regardless of race,language and religion,
to build a resentful society
base on kia see-ism and stupidity
So as to achieve revulsion, ungraciousness
and decline of our nation
and screwing ourselves up the ass

Kumaran said...

well, i have an idea. Instead of fining people, why don't smrt, station some staff in each train to walk front cabin to the last cabin over and over again.(since they can so mindlessly perform their jobs, it shouldn't be a problem for these puppets) to supervise the consuming of items to hydrate,prevent fainting etc.
this would also be seen as going an extra mile for your customers, its good for business. so if we happen to spill or drop, you can automatically take out a cloth and a plastic bag to remove the unintentional litter(you fine the guilty and clean for the really innocent plus you keep the trains cleaner rather than uselessly walking around like some ceo). we are pro smrt, if we have to take the train, we only take smrt and nothing else. come on smrt wouldn't you do this for your faithful customers, despite the amount of time the prices have been raised we still come back and give you business.what we are doing is not wrong. its not like masturbating in public or something,
eating sweets and plain water is not a crime, please get some foreign talents to retrain your common sense. =) cheers

Kumaran said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kumaran said...

soon to prevent noise pollution all forms of sounds would be fined as well, that includes playing loud music, speaking on the phone, talking to commuters, whispering, sneezing, coughing, and even heavy breathing(which can be captured by a sound measuring device carried by the staff which would probably cost ard $800) would be subjected to fines. this is to ensure that all passengers would have a comfortable trip.
and one more thing even crying babies would be fined!!! Nothing escapes the law!!!

Autonym said...

London and Paris aren't the best comparisons since their metro systems happen to be a bit more than FOUR TIMES the age of this Republic. I'd like to see the MRT in 2180.

Are flawlessly photogenic transport systems more important than the paying commuters who use them? Is it appropriate to enforce the iron letter of the law with such ferocity that some addled foreign investor or politician might be impressed with a glossy brochure on our public transportation?

I was in Berlin fairly recently - guess what you can do on their metro?

1) You can bring your pets on. Huge, hulking dogs, even.
2) You can bring your bike on, and it doesn't need to be a pansy folding bike covered with some mud-proof tarp. Heaven forfend there should be a scrap of mud.
3) You can have a beer, or the tipple of your choice. It gets quite convivial.
4) You could probably eat, though I don't quite remember.

All this with (if I remember) cushioned seats that are heated in winter! And they have no fare gates! Just these little posts where you can stick your ticket in for validation! You could walk right in if you wanted to.

Given such SHOCKING liberties, what might one expect of their metro? Feral gangs of barely sentient hominids rampaging through smoky, crocodile-infested tunnels, joyously daubing their excrement on the crumbling walls as a sign of their tribal affiliation? Whole gangs of pale, grimy slaves under the vicious lash of some loin-clothed overseer, propelling garish, rusting engines of war, once trains, down corridors of ruin and despair? GUM ON THE SEATS?

Well, no. Their metro is almost as clean and certainly more efficient.

Lesson? Trust people to be sensible and, given time and a little adjustment chaos, they will. Treat people like worthless untrustworthy diarrhoeal infants with a vast entitlement complex, and they'll find every way they can to get around it. Or worse - they'll become exactly what you treat them like.

p.s. A lesson from the London Tube - think bombs could be stashed in trash cans? Clear garbage bags in metal frames.

Anonymous said...

This is against very basic common sense! I say we should boycott SMRT unless they refund the lady and review the rule. That officer is plain ridiculous. Look at his self-righteous authoritarian face and tone. Sack him! Can't believe those Singaporeans in the train did not speak up! Shame on you Singaporeans!

Anonymous said...

To Autonym 23:06

Yes, i was in Berlin last year too, and experienced their metro.

Even MORE interesting is that the Metro is govt-run. its not semi-private organisation. There is NO SHAREHOLDER to appease. on the contrary, the system is there to appease the commuter, and help bring people around the city.

Thats why the fare gates and system is so lax there. They will leave it to the civil mindedness of the people to pay their fares. i.e. they trust their commuters, and the metro will run, regardless if people pay or not.

BUT the flip side, Berliners pay 30-40% tax.

therein lies the difference, is public transport a business, or a public amenity/ utility?

Anonymous said...

Problem is: Singaporeans being Singaporeans will act on exploitation, not all, but quite a large proportion. Give them an opportunity not to pay and they will not pay. This mentality is base on the system we live in and the circumstances of this island. It is ingrain in our society and parents enforce this onto every child's brain.

Anonymous said...

next time they fine you for first timer because of sweet, write a cheque.

it will really prove how affluent we've become.

Anonymous said...


no fine on "no littering" what!

Anonymous said...

we should unite as one and boycott SMRT for implementing such a stupid,brainless barbaric law!

Anonymous said...

stupid people makes stupid law.the sign shows no eating of `sandwich,burgers and cup drink` sweets also cannot!!! Singapore goverment...hahaaaa...we will be a laughing stock for god!

Fred said...

Eating allowed on Japan's trains cos they are cultured? But their same polite culture also made them highly stressed out or even suicidal at their work.

Anyway the chances of sweets dropping on the floor is not zero. I guess you haven see people dropping sweets from their mouth.

trying to balance the biased-ness of the article here.

Anonymous said...

have they started to catch and fine people eating hor fun and fried rice on the trains?

I'd be mightily surprised if there's such a big hoohaa over the eating of a sweet, yet they're not catching people eating big ticket stuff.

Yes, I'm judgemental like Parka and do not like any possibility of BIASED-ness on the part of SMRT.

Anonymous said...

oh how about people clipping nails on the trains? Are the SMRT train marshalls doing something? That is littering, since things are dropping on the floor.

now, just like Fred, I don't want to see any BIASED-ness anywhere.

Anonymous said...

That is so sad though, it is such a nit-picky mentality. I don't think there's anything wrong with drinking water, or eating a small piece of candy/lozenges on the train. So i guess, you can't feed your child milk on the train too, cause like the guy said ' where is the line? We need to draw a line.' I've seen people eating peanuts, bag of chips or drinking a frappuchino on the train in the past, and i think tht's something we can find them for. Are we going to continue to be inflexible beyond rationality and common sense?

Anonymous said...

Gave an Oscar to all the casts in the video !

Anonymous said...

this is damn ridiculous! no wonder foreigners says that the service in singapore is dropping now. so we pay to get this kind of uncomfortable ride? i'd rather take a cab then

acocalci said...

Anonymous(25/7/09 12:28) said...
Gave an Oscar to all the casts in the video !

Your observation, I agree.

It's a cast to make us believe the fine is enforce-able. Just don't 'gong-gong' surrender the nric or even respond to smrt staff. At most in the next stop, one just get out of the train and depart our way, continuing enjoying and nursing our sweet for its rightful health purpose.

I would dare the smrt staff would be "aloofly gong" enough to manhandle any sweet-mouthing but silent passenger.

It's so ridiculously to fall into such ploy..a make-believe cast after all!

Anonymous said...

maybe next time they will fine people for sleeping in the train to boost their bottomline. think they are all hurt deeply by the financial crisis.

Anonymous said...

I find it crazy, i just watched tv they don't even allow drinking of plain water with medicine.
What if he or she is having a heart attack then consuming pills are required then will it also be disallowed? At the same time if this is allowed then how about flu or cough, does not mean the a person is on the verge of death then he or she is granted with prioritizes. We are all human, no matter life threatening or not we should have the rights to consume medicine.

Some times a mrt trip takes too long so drinking a sip should be reasonable. Or someone is having cough just taking a sip to feel better. So with this statements can i presume that SMRT is a transport service that is
"travelling with discomfort"

This is simply outrageous.

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Anonymous said...

You moron so long as she has not deprived anyone deserving the seat, what is wrong with that? Your thinking is as shitty as the James Fool guy so call station masterbator.
The only cure for people like you is birth control