Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2009 13:40:49 GMT
Local: Wed, Jul 22 2009 9:40 pm
Subject: Ridiculus city - fined for consuming medicine
Written by Ng E-Jay
22 July 2009
A lady commuter was recently fined $30 for eating a sweet during an MRT
train ride to relieve motion sickness (see embedded video below).
Eating and drinking in the MRT carries a maximum fine of $500. However in
this case, common sense has been completely thrown out of the window in what
is apparently a silly over-reaction by the authorities.
This is typically what happens in the civil service, Government departments,
statutory boards, and Government-linked Corporations and service providers
when unthinking subordinates blindly enforce regulations without regard to
common sense due to intense pressure from their superiors to keep up
This shameful episode was recently captured on video by Felicia Low,
Multimedia Reporter at Straits Times Razor TV. She was accompanied by SMRT
Enforcement Officer and Yishuan Station Master Roger Foo who spotted
commuter Zaina eating a sweet while aboard an MRT train.
Zaina explained that she ate sweets because she sometimes felt thirsty or
giddy aboard the MRT train. She clearly knew that eating and drinking was
not allowed in the MRT and she was obviously trying to be as discreet as
possible. The sweet was only used to relieve her motion sickness.
Enforcement Officer Roger Foo responded by saying: "But if everyone is going
to tell us that they have to take sweets because they are thirsty or feel
giddy, and if everyone were to start doing that, then where are we going to
put a line on that?"
I will tell Roger Foo this: We draw a line based on basic common sense and
Obviously, the risk of polluting the MRT train by eating sweets is
completely non-existent as long as the commuter throws the sweet wrappers
away properly in rubbish bins. There is absolutely no reason why commuters
should be forbidden from eating sweets to relieve motion sickness.
Have we lost all sense of compassion in a bid to follow the letter of the
law, never mind the spirit of the law?
The reporter ended her video presentation on the note: "Nothing escapes the
eyes of the law, including a sweet."
But clearly, common sense has.