Online posts shaming foreigners for eating on public transport divide Singapore netizens

Eating and drinking on public transport in Singapore doesn't just attract dirty looks and the possibility of getting Stomp-ed — you could also get fined. But are the rules more lax for foreigners?

Recent posts on All Singapore Stuff, a Facebook page where Singaporeans gather to complain about all and sundry, have stirred up a debate after two Caucasians were caught chowing down on public transport.

One video posted to All Singapore Stuff on Oct 11 showed a Caucasian man sipping from a bottle of beer at Chinatown MRT station.

While he got the side-eye from a few commuters, many remained oblivious or turned a blind eye.

According to the video caption, staff at the station, which is operated by SBS Transit, did not stop the man.

<Reader's Contribution by Mohamed> AMDK so special sia...can even drink beer in MRT and no staff even stop him.

Posted by All Singapore Stuff on Thursday, October 10, 2019

On the same day, All Singapore Stuff also posted a photograph of a Caucasian woman eating cup noodles onboard a public bus.

However, the photograph has now been removed from the page.

Photo: Facebook/allsgstuff

While the SBS Transit website specifies that passengers should not "smoke, eat, drink or litter in the bus", there is no penalty for eating and drinking.

But commuters who get the munchies in MRT stations are not as lucky — eating or drinking in MRT stations and trains carries a maximum fine of $500 under the Rapid Transit Systems Act.

The incidents incited a divided response from netizens, with some flaming SBS Transit staff.

Photos: Screengrab/allsgstuff

Others were also upset about a perceived double standard and felt that foreigners were given more leeway while Singaporeans were expected to follow the rules to a T.

Photos: Screengrab/allsgstuff

On the other side of the debate, some netizens slammed the contributor for taking a video and posting it online instead of approaching the subjects in person.

Photos: Screengrab/allsgstuff

SBS Transit did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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kimberlylim@asiaone.com