Maskless man on MRT holding cigarette & swigging soda goes on 15-second coughing spree

Social irresponsibility.

Jane Zhang | September 07, 2021, 05:42 PM

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[UPDATED on Tuesday, Sep. 7 at 6:50pm: This article has been updated with a statement from SMRT Corporation's Chief Communications Officer Margaret Teo.]

A commuter on the MRT East-West Line was caught on camera not wearing a mask, holding a cigarette in his hand and mouth, and drinking from a bottle of soda.

While maskless, he also coughed openly for nearly 15 seconds.

Holds cigarette in his hand

Two videos of the man were posted in the Facebook group SG Covidiots by Facebook user Tim Tim.

They appear to have been taken by another commuter in the same train carriage as the maskless man.

According to the Facebook post, the incident occurred around 9:50am on Apr. 1, 2021.

In one video, the man sits with his right foot perched on his left knee, looking a bit dazed. The seat to his left is empty.

He has a face mask stretched over his forehead, but does not pull it down to wear properly over his nose and mouth throughout the course of both videos.

Photo via Facebook / Tim Tim.

In his hand, he holds what appears to be a cigarette between his pointer and middle fingers. It is not clear from the video whether the cigarette is lit.

Gif via Facebook / Tim Tim.

He then nonchalantly takes a long, slow swig from his bottled soft drink.

Gif via Facebook / Tim Tim.

Coughing fit

After taking another drink from the bottle, he swallows the gulp and begins to cough lightly, without covering his mouth.

Gif via Facebook / Tim Tim.

As he begins to cough more violently, he brings a slightly opened fist to his mouth. A man wearing a blue shirt who is sitting two seats to his left glances over at him but does not move.

Gif via Facebook / Tim Tim.

The maskless man then turns toward the direction of the empty seat next to him as he finishes his coughing spell.

Gif via Facebook / Tim Tim.

Puts cigarette in his mouth

In a second video, the man is seen in the same dazed state as the train pulls into Buona Vista MRT station. In this video, he is seen putting the cigarette in his mouth.

Again, it is not clear whether the cigarette is lit.

Gif via Facebook / Tim Tim.

SMRT do not condone "socially irresponsible behaviour"

Responding to Mothership's queries, Margaret Teo, Chief Communications Officer at SMRT Corporation, said:

"Last evening, we were alerted to an undated video showing an unmasked man drinking and smoking in a train on the East-West line. We have referred the incident to the authorities.

SMRT does not condone socially irresponsible behaviour that affects the safety of others, and strongly encourages our commuters to keep their masks on at all times and to observe safe commuting guidelines."

Possible penalties for his behaviour

Under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020, individuals found not wearing a mask or not wearing a mask properly outside of their place of residence could face a fine of up to S$10,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both.

If an individual is caught smoking in a prohibited place, they are liable for a composition sum of S$200, or up to S$1,000 if convicted in court.

Smokers are liable to a composition sum of S$200 if caught smoking in prohibited places, or up to S$1,000 if convicted in court.

Under the Rapid Transit Systems Act, no food and drink may be consumed in MRT trains and stations. Individuals who do so are liable for a fine of up to S$500.

Top photos via Facebook / Tim Tim.

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