Today | Voices | Over five years, 24,213 tickets issued for smoking in prohibited places (14/4/12)
WE REFER to the letter “Enforcement key to smokers‘ compliance” (March 29).
With the progressive extension of the smoking ban to more public places over the years, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has steadily stepped up patrols and enforcement at prohibited places as well as smoking hotspots.
A total of 24,213 tickets were issued from 2007 to last year. For the upcoming extension of the ban to housing estates, the NEA will continue to raise awareness of the new non-smoking areas and take action when necessary against those who flout the ban.
Smokers should be considerate to non-smokers to reduce the impact of second-hand smoke.
Smoking is prohibited in markets. Those who smoke in markets are liable to a maximum court fine of S$1,000.
Food handlers who smoke in their market or food stalls while selling or preparing food are liable to a maximum court fine of S$2,000 and would accumulate four demerit points.
The NEA has taken note of the feedback and has stepped up enforcement at Lorong Ah Soo and other hotspots where feedback was received.
Members of the public who spot people smoking in prohibited places can provide feedback via our 24-hour NEA Call Centre at 1800-CALL NEA (1800-2255 632) or NEA’s mobile app, myENV, for our investigation.
We thank the writer for the feedback.
This morning, I was at Blk 58 New Upp Changi Rd Food Centre. I was there for my usual morning breakfast. I used to have my meals there.
Usually there are few tables reserved for the smoking public. Now it’s banned. An interesting phenomenon is happening at this hawker centre and all others. I notice people at standing at the edge of the premises smoking even though the hawker centre is quite empty.
If you go to any hawker centre in the late afternoon or at night when it’s off peak meaning not many stalls are open, people are smoking at the perimeter of the premises even though it’s quite empty inside.
Those people smoking on the fringes of the hawker centre do not want to be summoned for smoking inside the premises. The fine could be from $200 to $1,000!
This morning I met the coffee stall owner. He was very pissed off. Like so many others, he was smoking at he edge of the hawker centre. He knows me cuz I’m his regular customer. He was relating how he got summoned by NEA officer.
Like today, he was smoking outside the hawker centre when someone ordered a cup of coffee. He left his cigarette on the edge of a pillar to take the order. This was followed by another order.
When he delivered the second cup of coffee to the customer, he was stopped by an NEA officer. That officer demanded his NRIC cuz he wanted to summon him for ‘littering!’ The hawker was accused of littering cigarette.
The coffee stall hawker explained that he left his cigarette there cuz he had customers. He left it there. He did not litter. He was not given a chance to pick his cigarette cuz it was blown away by the wind. It had landed on the floor. It’s his half smoked cigarette and not cigarette butt.
The NEA officer – typical of this regime – refused to listen to his explanation. He insisted that he had littered and a ticket was issued to him.
Then why didn’t he appeal to his MP or NEA office? He said he got to operate his stall from 6am to 8pm daily. He was not free to make the trip. It’s just pure bad luck and had no choice but to pay up via the conveniently located AXA machine nearby.
That guy is a Singaporean. He is just an honest hard working citizen like many others in the hawker centre working his butt out just to eke out a decent living. He told me there are few others like him smoking at the edge of the hawker centre also got book. It must be far away and not underneath any structure or covered walkway. He just like the others are treated like ‘criminals’ in our unforgiving society.
Those guys learnt it the hard expensive way. They got booked and paid hefty fines. They thought that not smoking inside the hawker centre was safe. They stood at the side and was still booked. They cursed and swear. They paid the fines contributing to the government coffers.
They dared not argue with NEA officers cuz they are worried of being marked. They say if NEA officers marked them then it would be difficult to do business. They would ‘disturb’ them by checking on their stalls for hygiene or any other reasons they could think of. Better not to offend those little ‘gods’ or their life would be miserable!
But those are citizens who vote. They have already made up their mind who to vote. Definitely not this government they say. They feel that it’s just a pretext to get more money out of them. That’s how they felt.
There are all kinds of people in a society. There are gays, lesbians, smokers, drinkers, gamblers etc. They deserve their rights and dignity just like all others. ‘Holy than thou’ attitude or policy won’t bode well with minorities.
I challenge you to do a survey on those minorities living a life of misery devoid of any rights or dignity when in fact they commit no crimes or harm anybody. They just want their little space. To ‘kill’ or obliterate them in a cold blooded manner as succinctly captured in the Chinese saying ‘对这些公民有必要这麽赶尽杀绝吗？’
Is it necessary? Is it over killed? Will it benefit the ruling regime? To rake in more fines and revenues out of the commoners?
This government is losing support from all groups of people ranging from the poor bottom 20% to car owners due to crazy COEs, bikers due to ERP parking system where it used to be $0.65 cts coupon for whole day, smokers, shark fins lovers, butt lovers etc etc
Truth be told that that it’s not a happy situation when the majority go all out to impose and obliterate others’ rights without giving the latter just a bit of space to stand and breathe. If animals are forced to the wall or the edge of a cliff what will happen? It will counter attack ferociously! People with common sense know that. But some just don’t get it.