Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fined $30 for eating sweet on Singapore MRT

A woman was fined $30 for having a piece of sweet in her mouth by an MRT officer. She apparently broke the rule that disallows eating and drinking on the MRT. The video presenter ends saying, "Nothing escapes the eyes of the law, including a sweet."

Please watch the depressing video produced by Razor TV (Straits Times):




Comments from another local blogger:

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 will they 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: http://spawnily.livejournal.com/413020.html

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.

20 comments:

Ping said...

what a joke! Singapore needs to loosen up, be more flexible but strict within reason. A sweet?!

Nigel said...

I think this fine is really ridiculous! Officers who have to carry out such fines should not be too robotic! They have to also be human enough to weigh the consequences if it's really necessary to carry out the fines! How can they detain a family for the bomb word when a child is asking the question? Are we supposed to ignore the child or are we supposed to get the officers in charge to explain to the child?
Sweets in the mouth ... PLEASE!!! This is more ridiculous than anything else! What about if a child has sweet in his/her mouth? Do they fine the kid as well?
Don't get me wrong ... I like a clean city too ... but this is getting too far!!!
HS

Nigel said...

Just watched the video clip. I know what I should do the next time i have a bad cough. Instead of soothing my throat with a cough pestilles, i should just cough my lungs out and scare the other passengers. Or, when i feel motion sickness, i should just throw up on the train instead of eating a sweet!!!

Syz said...

GREAT i just got fined today for having a lolipop in my mouth... how much am i gonna get fined...

Josh said...

What a Joke. The MRT staff used the If everyone start doing it den how guilt trip. Like everyone will do it at the same time!! Pls la. That catch line is so passe. If she is motion sick would u rather she suck on a sweet or throw up on the floor. Wads next, Fine for swallowing saliva? Geez!

Rachel said...

Its just blatantly slapping everyone just to get to the people who really break the law.

greeteast said...

Rules can be bent depending on the merits of each case. One instance is a diabetic person who has to have insulin injection. 30 to 40 minutes after an injection in the morning, that person must regulate back his/her blood sugar by sucking sweets otherwise that person will feel giddy and faint. Diabetics mentioned above should be able to appeal and SMRT should consider such cases when proven, as I believe the diabetic population is increasing.

Loving Moomooz said...

Ya.. I think we should just cough our lungs out. Hehe.. But we are all advised not to go to work or to school if we are feeling unwell. Especially during these days where everyone is scared of the H1N2 virus. Who knows in future, coughing or sneezing is fine-able also. :)

No Coughing & Sneezing. Fine $500. Oops. Will I be fined for making a joke?

Brinda said...

WTH! Yes I totaly agree, I think we should all just puke on the train instead of chewing on sweets. Gosh, ridiculous..

Ganga said...


A few questions after watching the video:
a) What is with the reality journalism? (it's extremely cheesy and unnecessary - low ratings for RazorTV and/or easier way for SMRT to frighten the masses?)
b) could the exchange have been staged? (though this is unlikely, I feel - anyone know aunty Zaina Bibi, the victim?)
c) was only the footage of the most docile commuter reaction used? (most people would have been "WTF, for a sweet?" and argued in that situation - if so, we should look for those who argued with uncle Foo and get their reactions)

Ganga said...


...and yes, you can fined for making a joke - it's called defamation, hehehe!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to divert:

What happen to Gopalan Nair's Blog- unable to open???

Seelan any idea?? Hope it is not "deliberately done"

Can you advise pls??

Anonymous said...

this is a joke :(

Would one rather have her puke on the train instead?! I get carsick so I can understand... but this is ironic.

Cannot drink water as well?!
OMG this is sad... later what happen if you collapse on the train because of dehydration then how arh?

Now imagine this!

500 dollar fine for...

- Talking
- Not letting others alight first
- Putting the iPod volume too loud
- Occupying the Priority seat
- Standing to the right of the escalator
- Putting hands on the platform screen door
- Using the lift if not handicapped

etc etc etc etc

'Just Follow Law' is a classic example of the rigidity of Singaporeans. A recommended viewing

Anonymous said...

Sweet will not drop but wrapper will drop.

Not saying they're right in their rigidity but sometimes regulations like these are brought upon by other inconsiderate people who litter and flout rules.

Anonymous said...

Some regulations are fine and well.. but look in this case they are really being ridiculous

Anonymous said...

I know it's not right but on the other hand when they just issue warnings/reminders without implementing it some people will just ignore. Like during rush hour you still see people blocking the escalator or not giving way to alighting passengers. IMO SMRT is being strict in the beginning to "scare" people into obeying the regulations.


This is only the beginning maybe they'll grow more lenient with the rules as time goes on--which is usually the case :D

Seelan Palay said...

It good if they become more lenient along the way. Unfortunately thats not been the case with political expression Singapore :) (But that's another matter)

Anyway I don't think we are circus animals to be frightened into submission.

SimpleSandra said...

Consider this.

You can carry a wet, dripping umbrella from station to train. But you can't have a sip of water from your water bottle, even if you're not likely to spill a drop.

That's how silly laws are becoming in Singapore. What is sillier is how the transport minister, Raymond Lim, can even be defending it when he should be looking into making it more flexible.

And to ask permission from the station manager just to have a sip of water (without guarantee you'll get a nod)? Are well-informed adults to behave like schoolkids the moment they step into an MRT station?

Go after those who litter and make a mess of our public transport, but whatever happened to discretion?

Cherith said...

my friend dropped her cup of sweet talk on the floor and ran away on 6th dec 2009. Singapore's too unreasonable.

Mantai Xp said...

@Anonymous (the one talking about all the crappy fines): so does that means if I am listening to songs like heavy metal ones they are going to fine me?

(WTF is with that verification? Giving me sessual?)