Singapore—A photo that lawyer and opposition politician Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss posted on social media of men in a van padlocked from the outside has outraged netizens, who are drawing attention to the danger faced by the passengers of the lorry.
Ms Chong-Aruldoss herself could not understand the whole situation.
She wrote, “Why padlock from the outside? I cannot work out why. This lorry carrying passengers inside caught my eye. I won’t find fault with its cage-like appearance, but then I saw that it was padlocked from the outside. If it were me, I would never want to be inside a vehicle or anywhere which has been padlocked from the outside. Perhaps that’s just me.”
Why padlock from the outside? I cannot work out why. This lorry carrying passengers inside caught my eye. I won't find…
Her post has been shared over a 100 times since she put it up last Sunday, Oct 4. She wrote that her photo had been taken the previous day, Saturday, at 1:55 pm at Rochor Road.
Activist Kirsten Han commented on Ms Chong-Aruldoss’ photo, underlining the danger the men inside were in. ‘That is so incredibly dangerous — if there were an accident these men wouldn’t even be able to get out of the truck themselves!’
Ms Chong-Aruldoss sought to present the scenario fairly, suggesting that the space between the bars was wide enough for the occupants inside the lorry to get their hands around the back of the vehicle to open the truck themselves.
However, one netizen answered her by saying that every second counts “in case of accident.”
In another comment, Ms Chong-Aruldoss said she wanted to “keep an open mind” and that perhaps the vehicle had a side entrance invisible to her.
On the other hand, she lamented that seeing passengers treated “like cargo” would be “normalised if we see this without batting an eye.”
She then brought up additional safety concerns for the passengers of the lorry.
“Leaving the cage-like appearance aside, there is also the issue of having proper seats (L-shaped) with seatbelts for lorries designated to carry passengers. This lorry bears the signage ’23 pax’ but does it look equipped to carry passengers? There is currently no regulation mandating passenger carrying lorries to be installed with proper seats let alone seatbelts. Is the cost of installing such safety equipment an issue? Should safety to be sacrificed for the sake of not increasing operating costs?”
Other netizens encouraged her to report the incident to the traffic police and to the Ministry of Manpower.
Some netizens called it “a disaster waiting to happen,” and suggested several dangerous scenarios should an accident occur.