Three months ago, a man boarded the MRT train with a samurai sword. On Thursday, it was a man with a different kind of pointy object.
The MRT has rules for passengers. Some rules we are familiar with, like no eating and drinking on the train.
But some rules we were made aware of only in January, thanks to a Straits Times report about the Land Transport Authority (LTA) reviewing the rules.
These rules include a maximum penalty of a $500 fine for “entering or remaining in train when it is full”.
This rule is broken by practically every rush-hour train commuter every day. So we should be grateful to LTA for closing one eye and not fining us all these years.
LTA later explained that this rule is to provide “for an authorised person to direct passengers not to board a train if he determines that it is not safe for it to carry more people, and penalises non-compliance”.
So why am I bringing this up now, two months after the fact?
Because last week, a man took off all his clothes on the train and reportedly “performed a lewd act”, bringing a whole new meaning to “playing Flappy Bird”.
Like US singer Miley Cyrus in her revealing music video, he came in like a wrecking ball.
I’m curious to know, what is the maximum penalty for that, according MRT rules?
SMRT said that the man boarded the train on Thursday evening at Bukit Buttock – sorry, I mean Bukit Batok.
A witness said the man started stripping as the train passed Assmiralty station – sorry, I mean Admiralty station. I just can’t seem to get the image of the naked man on the train out of my mind.
Hey, that could be Samuel L. Jackson’s next movie, Naked Man On A Train.
“I have had it with this mother-fuckin’ naked man on this mother-fuckin’ train!”
Unfortunately, the star of Snakes On A Plane wasn’t on the North-South Line that Thursday evening.
This could be the only time Singaporeans wished the PSI was higher so that the haze could obscure the sight of the nude dude.
Most of the passengers understandably moved away from him.
What is perhaps less understandable is, why didn’t all the passengers move away from him?
Would I have moved away from the naked man?
I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.
Wait. That came out wrong.
I wouldn’t move away because I wouldn’t want anyone to think I was afraid of a naked man, including the naked man.
Showing fear would only embolden him.
Not that he needed much emboldening to perform the aforementioned lewd act. He then lay down in front of the train door when the train pulled into Sembawank station – sorry, I mean Sembawang.
We should be thankful that he didn’t sit on any of the train seats because any seat he sat on would’ve become very reserved and possibly very sticky.
You may ask, why didn’t anyone try to restrain the man?
Answer: Because no one wanted to touch him.
One of the passengers finally couldn’t take it any more and pressed the emergency communication button to inform SMRT staff of the nudity in their midst.
What do you say in a situation like this?
Perhaps “I have had it with this mother-fuckin’ naked man on this mother-fuckin’ train”?
SMRT staff members eventually boarded the train at Khatib and dragged the man out.
So they had to touch him. That’s what they’re paid for. And clearly, they’re not paid enough.
Surprisingly, this incident didn’t seem to cause any train delay.
If it did, would SMRT have tweeted “[NSL] Estimate 5 mins additional travel time from #BukitBatok towards #Khatib due to naked man fault”?
The man has since been arrested by police for committing an obscene act. Anyone found guilty of indecent behaviour in a public place can be fined up to $1,000 or jailed for up to a month.
I suppose under MRT rules, the man can be considered to be causing “a nuisance or annoyance to other passengers”, which carries a maximum penalty of a $500 fine.
In light of this incident, I suggest that in addition to the “no smoking”, “no eating and drinking”, “no flammable goods” and “no durians” signs on the trains, LTA should also put up “no Flappy Birds” signs.
I also hope that the train that the naked man was on has been properly disinfected.
Or just throw the whole damn train away.
LTA can fine us to pay for a new one.
- Published in The New Paper, 16 March 2014
Hi Mr. S M Ong,
I read with amusement your very interesting topic.
Since we are on this subject could you write in TNP to suggest that all train & bus commuters carry rubber bands.
That The Transport Minister appeal to Parliament to approve this bill :- use rubber bands to Aim & Shoot any flappy bird playing on the flappy BIRD before informing the authorities.
This rule must also apply to woman who flap their boobs or walk around naked!
Cheers & thanks,