Singapore – A concerned individual took to social media to share an encounter with a bus captain who allegedly told her to wear her face mask outside her niqab.
On Saturday (Jan 30), Maizura As’ari posted on Facebook regarding her experience that morning with Bus 12’s bus captain. Ms As’ari had boarded the bus along Pasir Ris Drive 6 at about 11:47 am.
“Bus driver must have thought that I replaced face mask with niqab,” wrote Ms As’ari. She noted that the bus captain had allegedly shouted, “This one cannot wear!” at her.
“I pull aside my niqab to show her that I am wearing a face mask inside. That’s what I usually do when approached by Social Distancing Ambassadors or when asked during safe entry,” she explained.
Ms As’ari added a photo of her face mask under her black niqab.
“After showing the face mask, she (bus captain) further shouted at me in front of the other passengers, ‘put outside! Put inside who can see?'”
After Ms As’ari told the bus captain that inside or not, she was still wearing a face mask; the latter told her once more to place the mask outside and not inside.
“I asked her, who say cannot wear face mask inside? She kept quiet. Note that she was shouting at me in front of my children,” added Ms As’ari.
“Go-Ahead Singapore, your bus driver humiliated me in public. I demand an apology,” wrote the concerned individual.
In an update, Ms As’ari informed the public that a Go-Ahead representative had called her to apologise for the incident.
The bus captain’s defence was that “she usually sees people wearing face mask outside of niqab and it’s the first time she saw me wearing a mask underneath my niqab,” said Ms As’ari.
She informed the representative to confirm with the bus’ CCTV footage because the bus captain shouted at the passenger, which was uncalled for.
“Representative told me that she had informed the bus captain that my way of wearing the face mask is considered proper.”
“Is the bus captain’s defence satisfactory?” she asked.
“I hope no other niqabis go through the same humiliation as I did today.”
The Independent Singapore has reached out to Go-Ahead Singapore for a statement. They confirmed awareness of the incident. “The bus captain concerned has been identified and she has explained that in ensuring mask-wearing on the bus, she wanted to verify with the commuter on the use of a face mask upon boarding. She understands that the requirement was met when the commuter displayed her face mask on and no further communication was necessary,” said a Go-Ahead Singapore representative.
“We acknowledge that the message delivery and approach taken by the bus captain in this instance must be improved and regret the upset caused. We are making every effort to ensure that there will not be a recurrence of this incident.”/TISG
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