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
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.