Singapore—A netizen known as Apiz Mikaelson on Facebook said that the National Environment Agency (NEA) fined him S$200 on Sunday, April 7, even though he was within the designated smoking area along Orchard Road, and that only his foot was outside the line.
However, upon NEA’s inspection of the video footage from that time, the Agency claims that the man was actually outside the smoking area.
Apiz Mikaelson said on Facebook that he was unaware that he would be fined, as he claimed he still had one foot within the area allotted for smoking. When approached by the NEA, he said he would go inside the box designed for smokers. However, he was still given a S$200 fine.
Mr Apiz’ seems to have changed the settings on his Facebook account as of April 10, but the text of his post has been put up on the page Lion City Feed.
On the confrontation with the NEA officer, he wrote, “Told the clown okay I’ll move inside cause I legitly didn’t know, but the a**hat didn’t wanna take no for an answer. Probably didn’t hit the quota today.”
He also asked that his post be shared to others, as can be seen from the full text. “Share this post, dont give more money to those a*******. So I barely go to Orchard road. Maybe once or twice a year or less. I just Ord-ed bout a month+ ago, I know theres this new law, the no smoking implementation whereby youve to smoke in designated areas blah3. That I know. But what I DIDNT know was that you could be fined for having the other foot out of the yellow box. Told the clown okay Ill move inside cause I legitly didnt know, but the a**hat didnt wanna take no for an answer. Probably didnt hit the quota today. What a joke. Do share this around, dont give any more money to these fools and be really careful where you smoke, theyre everywhere”
The NEA says that it has carried out an investigation on the matter and that it believes that the officer did what is appropriate according to the Agency’s SOPs.
A spokesman told The Straits Times, “Our officers observed the male subject smoking outside of the designated smoking area and approached him, and he was cooperative throughout the engagement.”
The NEA’s new ruling concerning smoking
Save for 40 designated smoking areas along one of Singapore’s most popular shopping areas, the pedestrian walkways along Orchard Road has been completely smoke-free from the first day of 2019. NEA enforcers started issuing tickets and fines on April 1, since the first three months was a time period given for citizens to get used to the new ruling, and only verbal warnings were issued.
From April 1, 2019, for anyone smoking along Orchard Road aside from the specifically assigned areas, there will be a ticket and a fine that could go as high as S$1,000.
There have been abundant reminders posted for everyone that the walkways for pedestrians along Orchard Road must be completely smoke-free, by way of posters and advertisements along train stations, bus stops, even garbage cans and lamp posts, flyers in shopping centers and retail outlets and finally, helpful volunteers from the community.
Tourists visiting the country will be informed of this in their hotels as well as at Changi Airport itself, along with the Singapore Cruise Centre and the Marina Bay Cruise Centre.
As for the 40 designated smoking areas, they are between 100 to 200 meters apart, making sure that there are still plenty of places for people who wish to smoke.
Here is the list of the designated areas for smoking on Orchard Road:
Behind Somerset MRT Station
Cathay Cineleisure Orchard (2)
Concorde Hotel and Shopping Mall (2)
Far East Plaza
Far East Shopping Centre
Forum The Shopping Mall
Four Seasons Hotel (2)
Goodwood Park Hotel (3)
Grand Hyatt Singapore
Holiday Inn Express Singapore Orchard Road (2)
Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre (2)
Ngee Ann City (2)
Orchard Rendezvous Hotel (2)
Orchard Towers (2)
Tanglin Shopping Centre
The Quincy Hotel
The Regent Singapore (2)
York Hotel (2)/ TISG
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