Cannot Take Photos Inside MRT Stations

You know, as much as I like Singapore and its people, there are things about the city state that I find annoying. Like how anal some MRT officials are.

See, I’ve been travelling a lot lately, and when I travel, I take a lot of photos.
I don’t usually get into trouble for doing that. While I tend to push my limits a little, I do have my own set of principles when it comes to photography. If people were to get upset at me if I took photos of them without permission, I can understand. What I don’t understand is why people would get upset at me for taking photos of something as innocuous as an empty MRT station.
What happened was this.
It was early Sunday morning. I was just about to get back to my hotel after pretty much partying my whole Saturday night away, which included hanging out with the former Miss Malaysia and having cold milk poured onto me by the Incredible Hulk.
The City Hall MRT station at 6am in the morning was hauntingly quiet, a huge contrast to the way it was during peak hours.

I found the scene strangely beautiful, so I primed my camera and took two shots at the almost empty MRT station.
Just as I finished my second shot, a middle-aged SMRT officer sauntered out from his booth with a pissed-off look on his face and slowly walked towards me, cowboy style.
SMRTO: What are you doing?
Kenny: Taking photos?
SMRTO: Why are you taking photos here?
Kenny: For artistic reasons.
SMRTO: You cannot take pictures in here!
Kenny: Oh ok. Sorry I didn’t realise that.
SMRTO: You have to delete the photos.
Kenny: Err… no, I’m not deleting my photos.
SMRTO: No… you have to delete them or I will have to take action.
Kenny: Well, there’s no signage around the place saying I cannot take photos in here, so I’m not deleting them. And it’s just two photos anyway.
SMRTO: We don’t put it on the signage, but it is against the regulation to take photos in here.
Kenny: Alright then, may I see the regulation?
SMRTO: Do you want me to call the police?
Kenny: No, I’m asking you to show me the regulation saying I can’t take photos in here.
SMRTO: We don’t have the regulation book in here. Our regulations you can find on our website.
Kenny: Don’t you have a hard copy of it?
SMRTO: No, there’s so many of them so we cannot list out every single thing in our book.
Kenny: Do you have Internet access?
SMRTO: No, sorry you cannot go into our booth!
Kenny: Then I’m keeping my photos.
SMRTO: If you want to do that, I have no choice but to call the police now.

With that, the SMRT Officer pulled out this big ass walkie talkie from his belt and paged someone, presumably not the police but his tai kor. As he stood aside, hundreds of thoughts went through my head simulteanously.
Kenny Kenny Kenny, what have you done? All these trouble just for those two pathetic photos? What if the police came for you? What if you went to jail for this? What if they locked you away with all hardcore rape criminals? What if those criminals got desperate and decided to poke your backside deep deep?
Your bright future ahead of you, gone, just like that.
Imagine if I went to jail. I’m gonna sit beside my cellmate and asked him “Hey buddy, what are you here for?”
“I killed me wife” he’d reply with a grunt. “And what are you here for?”
What am I gonna say?
“Oh uhh… I took some photos at the MRT station?”

Anyway, a few moments later the officer got off his walkie talkie. His superior (or the phantom “police force” or whoever it was that he’s paging) obviously thought he’s damn bo liao to bring this up and basically told him to sod off and play with his Barbie, because when he came back the horns had disappeared from his head and his voice had turned helluva lot softer.
SMRTO: I still advise you not to take any photos inside the MRT station.
Kenny: Look, you still haven’t answered my question. And all I’m asking for is a question. Not a threat, not a challenge, but a question. “May I see the regulation saying I cannot take photos in the MRT station?”
SMRTO: No… that’s why I said our regulation is on the website.
Kenny: I don’t have Internet access right now. And you have no hardcopy of the regulations, you cannot show me the regulations on screen. In other words, if myself or anyone else want to take photos in the MRT station you can do nothing about it because you cannot show them that it’s against the regulations.
SMRTO: That’s why I told you. The regulation is like whatever law in the country, there’s so many law, you don’t expect the government to put up everything you know?
Kenny: In other words, I assume the regulation do not exist and I get to keep whatever photos that I took.
SMRTO: Can you just show it to me? Fine, let’s say I find that it’s nothing then OK.
Kenny: Alright I’ll show you the photos but I refuse to delete it unless you show me the regulation.
Listen to part of the conversation (WMA, 1m56s, 297KB)

So I showed him the two bloody photos I took that started this whole brouhaha. Only then did I convince him that I’m no terrorist and I don’t plan to use the photos to plan where to hide my bombs.
When I flew back to Kuching that night, the first thing I did was logged on to the SMRT website to check if their mysterious anti-photography regulation exists. Even up till this day, I find nothing of that sort.
Thinking back, it’s kinda stupid to argue with the authority over two useless photos. But hey, I don’t like to be told what I cannot do and I guess the deadly combination of alcohol and fatigue has made me bolder that morning.
Somehow, I’m just glad I wasn’t sent to jail for taking photos. Would be interesting though. I wonder if Singaporean police also make detainees do naked ear squats like in Malaysia?


Dear Sondra, may you rest in peace. I had the privilege of meeting you briefly at the Bloggercon. My only regret is not knowing you better.

150 Replies to “Cannot Take Photos Inside MRT Stations”

  1. Haha.. well done Kenny. Too many Singaporeans would’ve just apologised profusely and offer to delete the photos themselves…
    There you go. Welcome to Singapore. =)

  2. yeah when u are drunk you’re gettin bolder. otherwise u would be the old kenny kknccb.(is my spelling right?hahahaha)jk. haaaa maybe you should be careful of what you’re saying bout singapore authority in here, who know they might ban you from coming to spore?haha

  3. Keep ’em coming Kenny. Kick the ass of those authoritarian motherfuckers, Singapore needs people like you!

  4. Won’t do earsquats lah. Maybe strip you naked and body search you. But no fear! You can brush them off (pun unintended) with your powerful leg hair. =D

  5. Never get to post comments so early before, meaning me the first 10 to comment.
    aya, the SMRTO sibei bo-liao one, i took some many foto in HK MRT stations and neber get warned.
    the SMRTO didn’t have a nice night with his wife last night so find you to waste his time off and anger!!!
    would it be a male officer to strip check u instead of a female????

  6. They even have a ban now on photography in KLCC anywhere above the ground floor. Understandable, but just a bloody pain in the ass.
    Well done Kenny, for standing up for what seemed to be (only) a display/show of arrogance by the officers!

  7. HAHAHAH! yah, right, english used in a Malay newspaper!
    i think they didn’t allow you to take pictures of the station because of safety purposes. like, they are afraid terrorists will use these pics to know where to plant the bomb or what. dont know.

  8. AHHAHAhahah HOOOOOOOOYAH!!!!!!!!!! give it to the man!!!
    you should have just showed him the finger and asked him to talk a walk!! god damn Rent-A-Cop

  9. Cool. Now I’m going to that station and start taking photographs. And i’ll just tell that smart-alec officer that Kenny says can take one.

  10. GOOD JOB!!!!!!!!! HUAH! ure a hero! lolz!!!!!!! sometimes officers are a moron. u should take a photo of his and post it up. so tat we can glare at him whenever we saw him. then he’ll wonder why everyone hates him. muahahahaha

  11. Well done Kenny, I hope this sends a message to singaporeans that not everything someone tells you is to be taken at face value…
    There’s this strange phenomenon with middle aged staff generally in Singapore (no offense to middle aged people out there, its just an opinion) be it government staff, private sector, etc… They are just too bloody: ‘kiasee’, ignorant of facts, ‘gey kiang'(smart aleck), superficial age imposed ‘im older than u young punk why u so kwai lan’ mentality, stubborn to admit ts their fault, and a whole list of other irritating traits that I’ve come across while working with this category of people. Of course, I’ve met good ones who actually became my mentors, but majority of this age group (strangely, mostly singaporeans) behave like shit. Squeezing into trains, not queuing up, chances are, its a middle aged auntie doing it as well….
    And having young entrepreneur friends facing problems again with this age group further confirms my opinions that these baby boomers are sure a bigoted and egoistic lot. Im quite sad for the younger generation of singaporeans, who take all the brunt of blame as well for being stupid, uncreative, not street wise etc. Many thanks to the older supportive generation who moulded us this way.

  12. malaysia’s cops are a shameful bag of people for making those china citizens do ear squats..NAKED. Hopefully the public would be more aware now that cops would still get punished for disobeying the law they serve under. Luckily some courageous woman reported it to the authority and called media attention..if not, it would be swept under the rug as usual. ‘Dirty’ cops exist and its high time they’re exposed. And don’t you malaysians deny that malaysia has corruption issues, such as the taxi post below this.
    And yet, 17 year olds like me are forced to learn MORAL studies for the government exams.

  13. hi kenny,
    I actually had a similar experience in Singapore but this time in a food court inside a mall (coz I like to take pictures of my food hehe). I was pissed coz I was just staying for a couple of days and want to have something to show. Well anyway, they made me delete all of it so I just deleted a couple to get them off my back.

  14. well,when I was at the expo MRT,and changi MRT station, I took lots of pics.NO one caught me !
    But i switched of my flash and took the pics to avoid being caught.
    I enquired with a smrt staff at expo mrt,and he said no problem in takin pics UNLESS WE KEEP IT TO OUR SELF.
    You are brave to argue with a smrt staff!

  15. why not put things into perspective and think again?
    given the heavy traffic of city hall station, and the potential damage if seemingly innocuous pictures were taken and used by terrorists, would you still take them?
    hundreds of seemingly innocuous pictures taken by hundreds of innocent people, all add up to a complete picture
    imagine the damage if a bomb were to go off in city hall at 8:30am on a Monday
    and your little picture played a little part in it

  16. these auThoRitiEs tend to forget that they r just the “law enforcers” & not the “law” itself. salute to u, Kenny!

  17. I guess it’s to play safe. Anti-terrorist everything nowadays. Still, I think if they wanted to catch you for this offence, the least they could do was have the book/file of regulations in the office that states so. Like that no regulation – how to catch anyone for anything?!

  18. *Pat on back*
    So proud of you Kenny!
    (though it would be quite interesting to have kennysia’s naked squat video circulating on the internet instead LOL! :P)

  19. SG people are very weird.
    I can’t take any photos in hans(a bakery shop)too and the people were so rude. So much for improving servicing line in Singapore.

  20. why not put things into perspective and think again?
    given the heavy traffic of city hall station, and the potential damage if seemingly innocuous pictures were taken and used by terrorists, would you still take them?
    hundreds of seemingly innocuous pictures taken by hundreds of innocent people, all add up to a complete picture
    imagine the damage if a bomb were to go off in city hall at 8:30am on a Monday
    and your little picture played a little part in it
    Posted by: Writetome at December 1, 2005 12:06 PM
    Hmm… you do have a point there 🙂

  21. Writetome, if I’m Jemaah Islamiyah and I wanna bomb City Hall MRT. The last thing I would do is Google for photos of the station when I could simply send one of my many suicide bombers to survey the station and bomb them all.

  22. Singapore’s policy is Ask First Then Do, No Ask Then Die. Seems like different MRT stations have different policy whether photography is allowed, since Rahul was allowed to take pics. As for food, I think they were scared that you will “copied” their delicacy or something, since S’poreans are known to the 2K (Kiasee & Kiasu). I tried to take pics of some cute toys also cannot. Take pics of people safest, next time you people can just act like you are doing a project and take pic of both food and the stallholder, then later cut off the face, sure no prob one. LOL

  23. I’ve seen worse. There was some guy on the train itself FILMING the surroundings ok. I was at the end of teh train, and there were some cisco officers there. All of a sudden they walked to him. Dunno what they said, but is it that serious? haha

  24. Man, you should just ignore him and worst, call the police. They have to let you off because there is no sign with a camera and a big red cross over it or any signs no camera allowed!!!
    Laws are for everyone, and it is simply understood without the need to display. But rules are only tied to you if you are at that specific place and it should be shown (Non-smoking at a non-smoking place etc.).
    If they don’t display it (Such as non-smoking sign…), HOW THE HELL WOULD YOU KNOW!!! It should be displayed. It is their fault (Somemore you didn’t find anything about it…)!!!
    For all i know, i don’t know Singapore lar, but if there was no indication or anything, usually you are in the right.
    Hope you understand, i myself also confuse with what i have to say @.@…

  25. no doubt your coconut is big. it’s good that you challenge them, we really need a role model here. i admit i wouldn’t go through all the fuss challenging them but you’re truely a good attitude that everyone needs to learn, including me.

  26. I would have done the same. Singaporeans are too obedient, and that has only allowed the authorities and the sad sods working under it to throw their weight around. It’s like with CNB officers. Just because he says he suspects you doesn’t mean he can detain you. The law says he must have reasonable suspicion. I dare say that this is seldom ever applied and most people blindly follow, not knowing what their legal rights are.

  27. If i were you, i will properly do the same too!!!
    It’s funny in SG, people like to argue for no solid reasons.
    If you say, every single thing goes by the book, then freaking show us your stuffs.
    Bulletin board with rules & regulations are everywhere in MRT stations but it is a waste that they did not update their rules in there. I knew that cost involved are quite high… imagining that they have to change the bulletin board whenever they create a new rule every 2 weeks…
    but what’s the freaking point for us to obey to the rules governed by them if it is not shown to us…
    There are 1000001 damm rules in Singapore, don’t tell me that SMRTO guy never break one before? Not even one?

  28. RE: The pic of the poster asking to REPORT IT.
    If you come across a suspicious looking bag lying around, you should IMMEDIATELY call the authorities, and continue to stand next to the bag and point at it, just in case it explodes and rips everything within a 5 mile radius, making it hard for officers to locate.

  29. Hehe, way to go Kenny!
    Actually, it would have been quite dumb of them to assume that you were taking photos of the mrt station for terrorist type reasons – esp when you’re not exactly doing it covertly.
    Fair enough, if you were hiding behind a pillar and wearing a mickey mouse mask so no one can see your face. But you obviously weren’t (unless there’s something you’re not telling us?)
    Also, imagine during peak hour, how are they going to stop people who could happily go snap snap with their camera phone while getting caught up in the crowd?

  30. Singapore is like.. been here for 1.5 years, everything also cant take photo, they think u are terrorist. crazy country. MRT also cant drink drinks except water(unless u get caught), they think coloured water is those bombs where when mix blow up!!. siao ppl lah.

  31. Well, as a Singaporean myself, I don’t even know I can’t take pictures in the station. I took plenty of pictures with my friends in the train though.
    The only thing I know is that photography is not allowed in shopping malls.
    =(

  32. Kudos for challenging the authority on such a questionable regulation. Many of us sgreans would have done the same, or at least wanted to do the same…… only having to succumb and squirm to the threats of a police officer 2 minutes later, “Sorly sir, sorly”
    *press delete photos*
    While one cannot show cause and/or cannot present concrete documentation against the doubtful ‘illegal act’, then it is absurd to plainly state that ‘you cant do this cos its against the law and its not shown in the signs bcos its too troublesome but its written in the books somewhere’
    While most of sg’s greying population are stuck with the older generation’s mentality of ‘STFU and listen to me cos im older than you’ and ‘dont you question my authority cos Im older than you’ and thereby doing whatever they are told (esp by the govt), the new generation will uncharacteristically tend to bear a similiar mindset like yours. But whether to bring these thoughts to action would be a totally different subject.
    Growing up in sg, in such a society, in such a traditional family, with such a government that overseas the well-being of the nation and its people using methods that are favoured and unfavoured, many of us simply do what we’re told and thus, would routinely follow the herd, reason being :”Its for your own good” (Case in point, the fat mother who always wore WHITE in the local movie I Not Stupid). This fat lady perfectly portrays the ways which the superior authority ‘convinces’ its minions to be obedient and law abiding.
    What I mean to say is, more often than not, it would take an outsider, an orang puteh or probably a fellow sgrean who lived overseas in a more liberal country (speaking with an american/british accent) to question the walkie-talkie officer in a pink Tee.
    Oh yeah, all you guys, better ask permission from mata before u take pictures of Christmas deco in Orchard Road, Hotels, Sentosa, SBS bus, Esplanade, shopping centres and even the bloody squirting merlion
    -Merry ‘cannot take picture’ Xmas to you all.

  33. I am surprised of how patient you are. If I was in your position, I would’ve gone as far as to talk to his superior and threaten to have him lose his job (of course its just a threat) but don’t you think it’s an insult? He actually thinks people are dumb enough to do whatever the damn security guard tells you.
    Let him call the damn cops. At the same time, look around for the MRT toll free number and call their hotline. He obviously doesn’t know what he is doing.
    Take a picture of him too and make him stop you. Dumb ass security guards. I’m goign to singapore tomorrow. Going to try the same thing.

  34. I thought that the officer did the right thing. How was he to know what you had taken the photo for. What if it wasn’t you who have taken it but someone else who have something else on his mind? There’s a reason why Singapore streets are one of the safest of the world.

  35. i was at one of singapore’s shopping complex
    (the one with the huge robinson department store)
    taking a picture of my sister inside the complex,
    not inside any shop
    a guard came all angry and started scolding me..
    no i am not even allowed to take pic of my own sister……..
    more no brainers

  36. Kenny, you can squat? Aren’t your coconuts restraining your ability to squat? You can even sit on it like bean bags.. Haha. Very funny.. I often take photos with my phone in the MRT station too.. No biggie

  37. Kenny, don’t be so dismissive of possibilities, however remote.
    As of today, nobody really knows how the terrorists operate…not even the terrorists themselves
    It would be arrogant to sweep away possibilities with a wave of the hand and simply say “it’ll never happen”

  38. Hahaha. I took so many photographs in SMRT’s stations before, so yea I think maybe cause it was still early and the officer had not much to do so he targeted you. Tough luck!

  39. LOLZ LMAO!!!
    Kenny, i must say you have the unique way of observing + writing, from somethg ordinary to somethg extraordinary!
    TWO THUMBS UP FOR METRO AHA etc!

  40. I wldnt ve dared to confront the guy thou…haha…
    but tats a good one…thou I can understand why they dun wan ppl take photo here n there…

  41. KENNY YOU ARE THE MAN! Ironic that it takes a Malaysian with balls to show Singaporeans how to stand up for themselves!

  42. KENNY YOU ARE THE MAN! Ironic that it takes a Malaysian with balls to show Singaporeans how to stand up for themselves!

  43. The same thing happened to me when I was at Capital Tower this year. I was taking pictures in front of the waterfountain area when this jaga (security guard) came up to me and told me I cannot take any photos. I asked him why and he said it’s private property. I continued taking another photo, and walked off. So what next, are we only allowed to take photos in “public” toilets? Oh wait, that’s out of bounds too. Where exactly is that line? Can anyone in the law field shed light on this?

  44. Dont be so fucking irresponsible on our land. We are fucking friendly with the US of A, of course, we are sensitive to any seemingly innocent act that may turn out threatening. If this were to happen in US of A, I am sure you would gwai gwai delete those photos. You really need to get out of your shell more often and see what is happening out there in the real world.

  45. [quote=”kennysia”] Writetome, if I’m Jemaah Islamiyah and I wanna bomb City Hall MRT. The last thing I would do is Google for photos of the station when I could simply send one of my many suicide bombers to survey the station and bomb them all.[/quote]
    What if YOU’RE the suicide bomber?
    Bombing s’pore with your deadly, hairy coconuts.
    Girls would love it though.
    *ihatehtml*

  46. its the same in melbourne yah, they get all freaked out when u take out a phone with a camera cause they think ur taking photos of the thing.
    only i think now if u give them cheek they reserve the right to arrest you and throw you in jail.

  47. Writetome, if I’m Jemaah Islamiyah and I wanna bomb City Hall MRT. The last thing I would do is Google for photos of the station when I could simply send one of my many suicide bombers to survey the station and bomb them all.
    Posted by: kennysia at December 1, 2005 12:54 PM

    hmm? i thought JI was a militant group, how is it possible for you to be a group..? and don’t you think that google-ing for pictures would be much easier than sending a suicide bomber down? with so many cctvs in the station, everyone who walked into city hall station would have been filmed. so wouldn’t google-ing be much safer and more effective?
    anyway, assuming that singapore is a safe country and there are no suicide bombers in our midst, the travelling time and costs would be a consideration. so i think google-ing would be more effective. as compared to trusting one or two suicide bombers who are sent down.
    and i know that there are that many cctvs in the station cause if i wanted to eat in the station and tried to turn away from all the cctvs as far as possible, it was virtually impossible. yes, so every movement would be captured.
    besides, didn’t you hear about the problems with Google Earth? that’s using google too! authoritives were afraid that there might be a threat to security, and this is a very real issue…

  48. man, that’s a crazy regulation. If it even does exist, in the first place … O_o
    hehe, at least you didn’t budge and delete your pictures!

  49. kenny u dun kesi kesi ok? I know u wanna open train station in kuching soon that’s why u go singapore took the empty mrt station photos, u wanna copy the idea how they built the tiang, interior design etc issit!!

  50. I bet Mr. Kenny cant do the squat more than 3 times. His coconut too heavy liow. Once squat down, very hard to stand up straight.
    He’s a man wit heavy ‘responsibility’!!

  51. Writetome: you sir, are an idiot.
    While I was in NY, I had similar fears about taking pictures in the subways and people did warn me about it. The difference between Singapore and NY is, a lot of NYC citizens (including many influential people) are campaigning against the stupid paranoia that results in harassing of people who take pictures in subways. That being said, I wouldn’t dare to do what Kenny did if I were approached by the NYC police. I’m absolutely sure they will not think twice about confiscating my shiny big ass DSLR (I’ve also been warned about this, even from a stranger on street who told me to becareful, when I was photographing near a powerplant) if I did that.

  52. hi kenny, my 1st time leaving a comment here. but i just cant help but wondering. u took more than 2 photos lei.. and one captured the legs of the officer… i was just wondering how u did that? heh.. while he was toking to u or while toking on his walkie talkie or after the whole incident?? 🙂

  53. Talk about big balls.
    I just wonder what would’ve happened if this was in Malaysia. As much as I love my country, statistics have proven that our cops are much more corrupted compared to the Singaporean cops.
    Might’ve even caused an uproar just like the Zouk abuse case and the Soda club raid case.
    Would you still have confronted the officer if this was in Malaysia?

  54. quote=”How Now Brown Cow ”
    Writetome: you sir, are an idiot.
    While I was in NY, I had similar fears about taking pictures in the subways and people did warn me about it. The difference between Singapore and NY is, a lot of NYC citizens (including many influential people) are campaigning against the stupid paranoia that results in harassing of people who take pictures in subways.
    Well then you, my friend, are a even bigger idiot if you think just because the AMERICANS are doing it, it must be right.
    Think of the terrorist acts in UK recently. Most of them are your average joes, ur neighbours even. What makes you think that this friendly looking tourist here is just that? A friendly looking tourist? He could be the divison head of bombing south-east asia area for all you know.
    We should be prepared and not give the “i wont happen to me/us” attitude. They should know, after experiencing the horror that is 911.

  55. I would also like to apologise to Kenny for “arguing” in your comments section. :I would also like to apologise to Kenny for “arguing” in your comments section. :

  56. Hey! Well done! haha. We have had enough of anal SMRT officers! Shame on them! Pui!
    and i am a singaporean… woo.. haha.

  57. Excellent post Kenny I’ve got to admit. This is what you call a classic post. You’ve sure got balls eh? Just a really funny situation here, and you even got an audio recording, awsome! Just cracked me up seeing this know it all, 40-something-year old being proved wrong then eating his words hahaha. Don’t mess with Kenny mr SMRTO man okaY?
    😉 🙂 !!!

  58. Forgot to also mention how funny it was mocking the bad journalism in sixthseal’s current situation. Lame web dajal for taking pictures!!!, lolol, love it.

  59. Hey Kenny. I enjoyed reading your blog now and then. Well, regarding the SMRT photo-taking scene, I ain’t taking any sides.
    SMRT officer was just carrying out his duties. Meanwhile, you did the right thing by trying to reason out with him. Myyy… people just loves to bitch about each other, don’t they?..LoL
    And hey Kenny, good blog.. I must say.
    Till then.

  60. I hope most of the people who supported what you did are not from Singapore.
    Look here, there is a reason for the rules in Singapore. I’m not sure about people up north, over here, we think carefully when doing something. We all know that the “No photo-taking in the MRT” is part of the measures against terrorism. So why do you want to challenge that? Why make his job difficult? Or are you telling me that Kenny Sia the great-blogger-from-kuching-who-thinks-he-has-the-biggest-coconut-in-the-world, is beyond the lowly rules and regulation in any establishment? Seems to me, you are not unlike the Australians who think they can be exempted from laws in other country. Oh, I forgot you ARE from Australia…
    And to that idiot who said he was freed to take pictures in HK, why dun you said you were free to carry suspicious-looking backpacks and loiter around train stations in Bali, London, India or Pakistan – if we could all do that, would life be great hor?
    Anyway, Kenny, your line of argument with the SMRTO is already a reflection of how arrogant you are. I assume in Malaysia, all the policemen and law enforcers carry with them, the entire copy of the law and constitutuency around whereever they go so that in the event that they need to make an arrest, they can show the criminal?
    Polis-man: What are you doing?
    Pickpocket: Picking pocket? duh~
    Polis-man: You cannot pick-pocket here!
    Pickpocket: Oh ok. Sorry I didn’t realise that.
    Polis-man: You have to return the wallet or I will have to take action.
    Pickpocket: Well, there’s no signage around the place saying I cannot pickpocket here, so I’m not returning the wallet. And it’s just ONE wallet anyway.
    Polis-man: We don’t put it on the signage, but it is against the law to pick pocket here.
    Pickpocket: Alright then, may I see the regulation?
    Polis-man: I don’t have the book of law with me but you can find on our website.
    Pickpocket: Don’t you have a hard copy of it?
    Polis-manSMRTO: No, there’s so many of them so we cannot list out every single thing in our book.
    Pickpocket: Do you have Internet access?
    Polis-man: Err…No, I don’t
    Pickpocket: Then I’m keeping the wallet.
    Polis-man: I advise you not to do that.
    Pickpocket: Look, you still haven’t answered my question. And all I’m asking for is a question. Not a threat, not a challenge, but a question. “May I see the law saying I cannot pick pocket here?”
    Polis-man: No… that’s why I said the law is on the website.
    Pickpocket: I don’t have Internet access right now. And you have no hardcopy of the law, you cannot show me the law on screen. In other words, if myself or anyone else want to pickpocket here, rape someone or rob a bank, you can do nothing about it because you cannot show them that it’s against the law?
    Polis-man: That’s why I told you. There’s so many law, you don’t expect the government to put up everything you know?
    Pickpocket: In other words, I assume the law does not exist and I get to keep whatever wallets that I pick.
    Anyway, in case anyone is interested. Part two of the story ends quite uninterestingly and expectedly with the pickpocket sharing part of the spoilts with the Polis-man, and both parties lived happily thereafter.

  61. if I’m a terrosist, I will surely exploit this security weakness, since SMRT staff will be worried to approach me because I will threaten them with my rights and my blogs and all, and so I will have nobody stopping me from doing my bad things
    I hope to blow-up your family someday. After that, please start blogging and write complaints about why the authorities never saw such a thing, bla bla bla. I win both ways, dont you see? So please, stop the authorities with your rights and blogs, its a macho and proud thing to do. Please start today

  62. if I’m a terrosist, I will surely exploit this security weakness, since SMRT staff will be worried to approach me because I will threaten them with my rights and my blogs and all, and so I will have nobody stopping me from doing my bad things
    I hope to blow-up your family someday. After that, please start blogging and write complaints about why the authorities never saw such a thing, bla bla bla. I win both ways, dont you see? So please, stop the authorities with your rights and blogs, its a macho and proud thing to do. Please start today

  63. Sondra is a blogger I met briefly at the Singapore Blogger Convention, and one of the bloggers I read occasionally and vice versa. She passed away recently due to a rare blood disease after disappearing in the online world for almost a month.
    Read more at Tomorrow.sg, and my tribute to her at Cowboy Caleb.

  64. I ama Singaporean myself and I find this ridiculous!
    WHAT? cannot take pictures meh?
    I take pictures in the train sometimes though hahahaha..
    Anyway, the last picture was hilarious. But why only show the back? =X

  65. Hey buddy, its laws that collatively make us one of the safest nation in the world. Of course we do have the intention to present our remarkable system we build while other nations are mocking us – building a mass-transit network while the island is merely 600+m².
    Its just that, terrorism is beyond what one may predict. And terrorism must root from something simple, and that simple task is presumably espionage.
    If you insist in stepping on the foot of justice, how are we going to maintain such a system for our citizens, let alone for you and the northerners?

  66. Putting “gadis lokap” and “sixthseal vilified” together in a completely unrelated subject.. BRAVO.
    Hasn’t anyone noted how kinky that last pic was?

  67. Kenny, I used to enjoy reading your blog but your latest post just shows how arrogant and disrespectful you are. You may not be a terrorist, yes, but there are regulations installed for a reason and that is to keep the peace of the land. If every tom, dick or harry (or hairy dick; of which you probably have one along with your coconut balls) were to snap pictures in every public building and kick up a bloody big fuss like you (in which you sounded v much like a 9-year-old fighting with his mommy, btw) then there would be no way for a poor guard, just doing his job and earning his money to feed his family, to discern between the “real” and “fake” threats. Do you think that SMRTO was internet-savvy enough to know who you, Kenny Sia the blogger, are? Not everyone in Singapore knows who you are, so don’t expect an old man like him to treat you like a celebrity (unless you look as beautiful as Dawn Yang of course).

  68. I am amazed at your level of idiocy, Kenny Sia. Are you jealous that your tiny neighbour actually takes the security of its people seriously? That you can’t just push some money into the hands of a singaporean official and get away with your pictures?
    The issue isn’t whether terrorists google for pictures of stations, but whether picture-takers are in fact data gatherers. I see you expect terrorists to declare honestly that they are taking pictures for terrorist purposes.
    If you can’t even grasp this SIMPLE IDEA then…

  69. neo: Don’t be a fool. Did I say that because the Americans are doing it then it’s right? I’m saying even though the world thinks a lot of the Americans are idiots, there’s still people with basic common sense.
    The ordinary people that bombed the London Underground, did they take pictures beforehand? They surveyed it themselves before doing it. Use your kepala hotak a bit.
    There’s probably millions of photos taken at MRT stations before this, what to do then? Launch a campaign to recover them all? Burn all the books that have photos in them? Kill all the people who have knowledge about the designs of the stations?
    Remember to put on your tin hat and bomb-proof underwear when you go out today. Kiasi.
    Have a nice day.
    Greets to stupid KS and kissgal who lack common sense too.

  70. I’m singaporean, and I throw in my support for kenny.
    good job man!
    Look, it’s not as if kenny wasn’t respecting the regulation right? it’s just that there wasn’t any regulation.heh.
    and frankly, it’s abit sickening to have every tom dick and harry company post up whatever regulation they want.
    Next thing you know they’ll want a strip search everytime you use the MRT, and we’ll all say how it’s all for the sake of rooting out those damn terrorists! yes curse you terrorists!haha.

  71. lovely… just lovely
    reinforces what I already inclined to believe(and this i gather from the comments rather than kenny’s post)
    tsk tsk tsk

  72. neo: Don’t be a fool. Did I say that because the Americans are doing it then it’s right? I’m saying even though the world thinks a lot of the Americans are idiots, there’s still people with basic common sense.
    You brought up the example of New Yorkers as if its a good thing, as if we should follow them did you not?
    The ordinary people that bombed the London Underground, did they take pictures beforehand? They surveyed it themselves before doing it. Use your kepala hotak a bit.
    So how did they survey it? How do you know they didnt take any photos? If I’m a terrorist, I would of course “survey” it and also take photos of crucial areas isnt it?

    There’s probably millions of photos taken at MRT stations before this, what to do then? Launch a campaign to recover them all? Burn all the books that have photos in them? Kill all the people who have knowledge about the designs of the stations?

    Example of what you’re implying:
    What about those who died during the interrogations of the Malaysian police force? Heck them lah, since they die already, we cannot do anything about the past cases mah. So we dont care about future cases lor.
    So whats that? We should never start doing the right things because we didnt in the past?
    Remember to put on your tin hat and bomb-proof underwear when you go out today. Kiasi.
    Have a nice day.
    Greets to stupid KS and kissgal who lack common sense too.

    And a nice day to you too. Hope you enjoy the day when terrorist bomb your family members thanks to slack rules.

  73. I think it was a reasonable and responsible action for the SMRT officer to take espescially with the rising fears of terrorism. After all they did find terrorists doing similar things in Yishun MRT while planning to attack

  74. >> Wunderbarr: if you think that having the MRT is laughable, then walk.
    Posted by: stupid KS. at December 3, 2005 12:29 AM
    Hey sKS, refer back to my post and read entirely. If you can’t comprehen my words, perhaps you should ask your Primary school English teacher what I am talking about. I am supporting the MRT & SMRT Corp muet.
    I said when other nations are mocking that we are building the system even our nation is that tiny, we persisted and operates a remarkable system.
    Get your facts right before you flame.

  75. Alright, I’ll admit I misread your post.
    If you’re referring to the jealousy that people from huge countries feel about us, then you are right. Coming from a land where even the policemen need to be bribed, they must seethe to see that our SMRT officers take their jobs seriously.

  76. Kudos for standing up for your rights.
    No offence, but Singapore practices benevolent dictatorship. Fantastic at command and control, but not the best place for independent thinking.
    The MRT officer was just doing what he was paid to do (without thinking) – precisely because most citizens would gladly oblige (theres plenty of other places to take pics, anyways) without questioning the rationale of their orders. After all, unquestioning authority has worked out very well (especially compared to S’pore’s neighbours)
    Its just the way things are in the lion state.

  77. I love reading your blog…
    However, I suggest that you consider removing the pics of The City Hall MRT Station Control in view of the safety of the thousands of people who commute on the MRT in Singapore.
    City Hall Station is one of the busiest stations in Singapore so I do not wish potential terrorists to take advantage of the innocuous pictures you put up here for their unlawful and inhumane acts.
    This seems to be a battle between your rights and the many lives in Singapore. I applaud you for standing up for your rights but please also consider the potential risks, which you may be subjecting us to. I do not wish to see that Singapore becoming a victim of terroism.
    For your consideration before you regret. 🙂

  78. I see, fruitopia, you’re so independent and smart that you can’t see that countries all over the world are becoming wary of the use of cameras and video recorders to collect information. Don’t you ever read the papers?
    It all boils down to two things, as all the singapore-related entries do around here: The Selfishness of some, and Envy.

  79. Fruitopia, just to bring to your attention that it’s not that the officer was incapable of independent thought, it’s that when you have a rule you have to apply it without discrimination. KS may be a guy with a “great” blog and loads of Kidiot fans, but the rules still apply to him.

  80. Exactly my sentiments. I think alot of pp are confusing the issue of fighting terrorism with the “independent thinking v blindly following the mass/govt” debate. To me, these are 2 separate issues. I may be a creative artist or film director who doesn’t agree with everything the government dishes out but when it comes to national security (and my own family’s security), I would rather cooperate with the authorities and help make their job easier than act like a BIG jack-ass and argue with the SMRTO over 2 stupid photos. Just becos I’m nice enough to follow his instructions doesn’t mean that I don’t have a mind of my own. It’s called respect, man. Also, talking about this independent freedom crap, why don’t you guys take a plane to the USA where, even if you look like a 15-year-old chinese girl, you’ll still get ordered to stand in the corner and have your shoes removed, amongst other things, to get checked for bombs! TRY arguing with the officers there with Kenny’s “show me your regulations” line and see where YOU end up!

  81. heehee, awesome! I took so many photos at mrt stations before but never get caught. discretion is the watchword!

  82. “me” said:
    “I see, fruitopia, you’re so independent and smart … countries all over the world are becoming wary of the use of cameras…Don’t you ever read the papers?”
    Hmm. I wonder if this is getting personal =) Funny you should ask. Actually, I’ve personally travelled on some of the most frequently used mass transit systems like that of Tokyo, London, and some in the States in the last few months. Haven’t been asked to put my camera away so far. The point is not to encourage blind rebeliousness, but instead to exercise some discretion and common sense in carrying out your duties, as well as realizing your rights.
    “It all boils down to…Selfishness of some, and Envy.” “KS may be a guy with a “great” blog and loads of Kidiot fans”
    Err…the most I envy of S’pore is probably Mee Pok. And maybe Hokien Mee. No offence.
    From your comments, you’re obviously prejudiced against the blog – you’re attacking people but not the issues at hand. No dice, buddy. I’m here primarily to enjoy the humour and chillax.

  83. and why is singapore safe against terrorists?
    dun be so shallow la malaysia kia, u think our mrt stations would be fine if we allowed everyone to take photos as and when they wanted
    this is called preventive strategising

  84. Among the Singaporeans who commented and are in support of the kiasi no-photograph-taking rule, there seems to be some sort of a resounding ‘trend’. It’s like the same kind of tone. Hmm.. Singaporeans.. Hmm.
    Singaporeans. Sigh.

  85. I do not see how a few photos on the MRT station will be a threat to security. The MRT station is a public place. Anyone can go there anytime. If a terrorist really want to bomb that place, he/she/they don’t need to take any photos. All they need is to go there, do some recce themselves and go back to the drawing board and plan an attack.
    There is currently a exhibition at the National Library on terrorism. Ironically, the slogan for the exhibition is “Don’t let terrorism change our way of life”

  86. The equation’s simple… Singapore being a careful country, yet not having regulations in busy city hall? Or even on the website? Thats silly. Claiming to have regulations could very well land that poor man in alot of nonsense with the law as well.
    As for the police man post… It may be true but I’m very sure a regulation book could be found somewhere in the police station unlike that mrt regulation which cannot be even produced or found on the website at one of the busiest MRT station in singapore.
    How sad. I’m singaporean by the way.

  87. Fruitopia, as a Singaporean, who lives in Yishun, I understand why people would feel edgy about people taking pictures of the train station. A video tape of Yishun was found for potentially terrorist purposes. Having said that, if Kenny Sia were a teenage girl snapping pics with a bunch of friends, the officer may not have felt compelled to stop it. But he is a grown man who’s taking a pic of the place at 6am, for goodness sakes.
    If you want to see pictures of our MRT, Kenny, go to their website. I can imagine how creepy you look with your camera, snapping away.
    I have no doubt as to your true sentiments, Fruitopia. I stand by what I say. The level of “intelligence” demonstrated by some commenters here convinces me that the outlook for our fight against terrorism seems bleak.

  88. Someone also mentioned a good point.. the US customs are a lot more edgy. Why don’t you go there and make some of your jokey jokes and smart-assed remarks?

  89. The comparison of taking photos with pickpocketing is simply wrong.
    Reason: Pickpocketing is already against the regulations *everywhere*, while taking photo is not. Heck, it is an illegal activity. Since when is taking photos considered illegal *in general*?
    He’s just asking for the regulation. And SMRT should at least have a copy in their control station.

  90. I have taken may pictures of MRT station, in fact I have it on my Flickr. With today digital camera one could take pictures without SMRT staff knowing what.
    If I am a terrorist I could easily hide a video cam and take video shots of whatever I want, what is there to talk about security.
    Banning photogrphy is not going to help at all.

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