Fined for Sucking on a Sweet on the MRT

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Just an instance of how enforcement of the law is too stringent and does not look at intent. A bit crazy that you can’t have something if you’re suffering from nausea or a severe sore throat.

The main premise behind the no food policy is the littering and more attention should be paid to littering instead, for instance if someone eats a sweet and drops the wrapper on the floor. Sometimes our rules can be a tad stifling with no room for interpretation. It’s just blind enforcement no matter what the circumstance. But I do pity the officer as they are not given the room to practice their discretion so we can’t blame them.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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4 Responses to Fined for Sucking on a Sweet on the MRT

  1. Crystal says:

    I understand the no eating/drinking policy. I hate the wrappers and cans you see on other subway systems.

    However, I am equally guilty of sucking on a sour candy. As a nauseous pregnant woman, I suck on sour candy to relieve the nausea. I won’t stop.

    I’ve also given Elanor her milk on the MRT (when she was younger), and I wouldn’t hesitate to breastfeed or pull out a bottle if #2 needs one on the MRT.

    If they fine me, I’ll just pay it. It wouldn’t deter me. If it’s the difference between throwing up on my fellow passengers or not, I’ll suck the sour candy. If it means my hungry child is fed, it’s more than worth $30 to me.

    If there is something that really frustrates me about Singapore is how by the book places are. In many restaurants (Hard Rock Singapore, I’m looking at you) you can’t even substitute fries if you don’t want the veggies or mashed potatoes. A business that wouldn’t do that in the US wouldn’t stay in business.

    Yesterday I tried to get Ravi’s handphone fixed, and because it says the US name of the model (even though they had the EXACT same phone in front of me) they refused, even though it’s the same model and could easily have been fixed (and they could’ve just charged me an additional fee, especially as I said they could try and I wouldn’t hold them responsible if it further broke the phone). The manual said no, so they said no.

    In the case of the MRT, it’s clear that officers aren’t empowered to evaluate an individual case. Which is sad.

    This sort of institutionalized rigidity is a major pain in the ass.

    • bookjunkie says:

      I don’t like the inflexibility as well.

      You’re also so right that the MRT officers are not empowered. I experienced that lack of autonomy when I was working as well. So frustrating.

  2. kirsten says:

    It’s so stupid how it’s all by the word of the law, instead of in the spirit of the law. What is the point of it if it serves no purpose? It’s so incredibly stupid.

    I think a lot of it comes down to fear from the employees as well. They might not agree with the policy but they are too afraid to stray from it even a teeny-tiny bit. Singapore wants people to show initiative, and yet we have done a lot in our systems to crush it. And then we complain.

    • bookjunkie says:

      I can totally relate to that fear. I think it’s terrible in an office environment when everyone’s too afraid to tell the boss when they are clearly doing the wrong thing. I learnt that to my detriment.

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