Dog on board MRT train stirs netizens

By Gwendolyn Ng

WHEN a commuter boarded a north-bound train at Orchard MRT station on Sunday evening, she was shocked to see a seated woman cradling a dog. The dog, which appeared to be a poodle, was on the woman's lap, half its body covered by a bag.

She took a photograph of the woman and her pet and posted it on citizen-journalism website Stomp.

She posted: "How did this woman get into the train station without the staff noticing?"

The photograph has caused a buzz among netizens, many of whom cried foul over SMRT's lack of vigilance.

An SMRT spokesman explained that only guide dogs are allowed on board trains. Those found in breach of this rule are liable to a fine of up to $500.

The spokesman said: "Members of the public are encouraged to approach station staff for assistance immediately, should they spot someone carrying an animal onto the trains."

Teacher Rose Lim, 56, said: "I know it's hard for them (SMRT staff) to check all bags, but what if the dog was something more dangerous, like a bomb?"

She added: "They should really look into their security system and identify the loophole."

Technical officer Bernadette Ong, 41, said: "If people want more stringent checks involving guard dogs or metal detectors, they have to be prepared that it will take up more of their time."

The SMRT spokesman assured the public that their staff and security personnel look out for suspicious people and items.

The spokesman said: "We seek the cooperation of commuters, who play an important role by being the 'eyes and ears', to help report suspicious-looking persons or articles to our staff when the need arises."

Some, like Ms Kristie Tan, 27, say this incident was not the first time they had heard or seen someone taking a pet on board an MRT train.

The administrative manager said: "I've seen small dogs taken onto the train in bags before."

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