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A little consideration please? Passenger allegedly scolds woman for breaking fast on train

A little consideration please? Passenger allegedly scolds woman for breaking fast on train
PHOTO: Screengrab/Instagram/sgfollowsall, GoogleMaps


In response to AsiaOne's queries, SMRT Trains said that the consumption of food and drinks is not allowed on trains, based on Rapid Transit System regulations.

"Commuters who are feeling unwell or need to take medication can approach SMRT station staff for assistance. Our staff can make special arrangements within the station premises," said Lam Sheau Kai, president of SMRT Trains.

He added that WeCare rooms, located at selected SMRT stations and bus interchanges, have facilities to serve commuters who are feeling unwell or parents with babies.

When it comes to eating or drinking in MRT trains and stations, most of us know that it's a strict no-no where one can get fined up to $500 for doing so.

For 20-year-old Maryam, she decided to do so anyway when she had to break her fast by eating a chocolate bar while she was on board an MRT train heading towards Changi Airport.

Unfortunately, she encountered a fellow passenger who objected to her eating on the train. 

Upset, Maryam took to SGFollowsAll Instagram on Wednesday (April 11) to share about her experience.

She told AsiaOne that she took the train at Dover MRT station at around 6.40pm, and was heading towards her home in Bedok. 

"During my journey, I fell asleep as I was super drained after a tiring day at work, and I woke up exactly at 7.10pm at Eunos which was the time to break fast."

She explained that she couldn't exit the train station to break fast as she was rushing home to attend an online class at 8pm. She also said she needed to assist her parents in cleaning up after their Iftar (fast-breaking evening meal). 


Thinking that it was more convenient for her to break fast in the train, Maryam then unwrapped a bar of Snickers which was the only thing that she had at that time.

She said she then discreetly unwrapped the chocolate so as not to attract the attention of nearby passengers, fully aware that no food or drink are to be consumed in MRT trains and stations.

"I slowly munched on the Snickers when a Chinese lady beside me, who appeared to be in her mid 30s, remarked that I was not supposed to eat in a train while pointing at the 'No-eating' sign."

Maryam shared with AsiaOne that she told the lady that she was aware of the regulations, but she was fasting for Ramadan and it was important for her to break fast as soon as possible.

She said she then stopped eating and asked the lady "what if someone is low on sugar in the middle of a long journey and needed something to eat?"

To which the lady allegedly responded: "This is different, you still cannot eat on MRT."

Complainant should have been discreet: Netizen

As soon as Maryam reached Bedok MRT station, she said she approached a MRT staff asking if it's okay for her to break fast in the train she was unable to exit the station. 

She added that she also showed the remaining chocolate bar to the MRT staff, asking if such snacks are acceptable for one to eat to break fast. 

She said the MRT staff smiled and replied: "Yes, that is ok! Make sure you don't drop your wrapper, ok already."

Even though it was a relief for Maryam to hear that, she said she was still upset over the incident, and that it was the first time that has happened to her. 

"Just last week, I consumed a packet of gummy bears onboard a train and the passenger beside me noticed but they smiled at me."

She said that her purpose in highlighting her experience was to urge others to "please be considerate when someone is consuming candies or food that doesn't soil the place on public transport". 

After sharing her experience online, many netizens empathised with her, happy that this was brought to light. 

On the other hand, there were those who felt that Maryam should have been more discreet, and perhaps consume a date or have a drink instead of having a whole chocolate bar. 

Generally, food or drinks are not to be consumed in MRT trains and stations, but if one wants to take their medication within the station, SMRT can make special arrangements for them to do so

Over in Jakarta, it was previously reported that passengers observing Ramadan were allowed to consume water and dates to break fast inside trains.

“Water has less potential to cause a mess compared to coffee or other flavored drinks, which can leave stains and a sticky floor,” PT MRT Jakarta corporate secretary division head M Kamaluddin told The Jakarta Post in 2019. 

He said in the report that MRT Jakarta would announced to passengers when it was time to break fast while reminding them that only the consumption of water and dates was permitted inside the trains. 

ALSO READ: Free Ramadan treats at FairPrice 'not for Indians'? Supermarket chain apologises after couple share encounter

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