A video of a man caught smoking in an HDB void deck and focusing on the race of the National Environment Agency (NEA) officers putting him to task is circulating online.
The man appeared to be clueless about the law prohibiting smoking at void decks as he repeatedly asked the officers for an explanation even though he kept cutting them off.
The video uploaded by Instagram page @wadsial.sg began with the man filming the two officers. “Anyway, got one Singaporean, got one Indian, India from India, NEA officer, want to catch people,” he said.
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“The Indian guy want to catch Singaporean; it’s okay, no worry,” he added.
As one of the officers tried informing the man that he could not post the video he was taking, the man cuts him off to ask, “Why we cannot smoke under the block?”
The officer replied that it is the law. He tried explaining again, but the man retorted, “Excuse me, sir, my reason is because this (void deck) is for everybody.”
The man then points the camera to the other NEA officer, saying, “India, right?”
The officer corrects him and says he was from Malaysia.
“Now, tell me. You Malaysian right… you want to catch Singaporean…”, he commented, before asking the same question why he couldn’t smoke at the void deck.
The other officer tries to get the man’s attention, but he responds, “Quiet, I’m talking to (the) Malaysian.”
The video ends with the man repeating his question to the officer.
According to MustShare News, NEA was aware of the incident, clarifying it took place at Block 908 Jurong West Street 91 on June 22.
“Our enforcement officers had observed the subject smoking in a prohibited place at the HDB void deck, and proceeded to engage the subject by identifying themselves and informing him of the offence he had committed,” said NEA.
“During the engagement, the subject used vulgarities on our officers. The incident has been reported to the police for the abusive language used on the officers.”
The man has been charged with a smoking offence, and his case is currently pending in court.
Under the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Regulations, smoking is prohibited at HDB void decks and common areas such as corridors and staircases.
“We are mindful that smoking facilities at these locations may result in void decks and common areas becoming congregation points for smokers and affecting residents adversely,” said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu in a Parliamentary reply last year February.
“Moreover, the proliferation of smoking facilities at void decks and common areas may inadvertently normalise smoking and give our young the impression that smoking is an acceptable habit.” /TISG
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