A Singaporean was fined for smoking at SkyAvenue, a shopping mall in Resorts World Genting, by people who said they were from Malaysia’s Ministry of Health. The man, a Mr Tan, however, appeared to find the fine to be sketchy for a number of reasons.
He told Mothership that there was no sign indicating that smoking was not allowed when he was approached by the “officers”, which were on the fourth floor in an area outside SkyAvenue. He added that a “No Smoking” sign had only been put close to the bathrooms. Furthermore, he seemed to take issue with the fact that the “officers” who approached him were not in uniform, and neither did they have IDs to prove they were government officials.
The man was given an RM250 (S$78.31) fine for smoking but was told he could settle this right then and there with RM150 (S$46.98) in cash, which he paid, although he provided fake information and contact details about himself in the form he was asked to fill.
Other people in the vicinity who had e-cigarettes, whom Tan assumed to be Singaporeans, were fined RM150 as well, even if they were not using them.
Tan told Mothership that when he was at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, what he witnessed was different. There, smokers were not asked to pay on the spot, and officers identified themselves as well.
He added that he felt “scammed,” saying, “It’s not a nice experience at all to be fine[d] at outdoor area” and adding that he was sharing his story to warn Singaporeans.
Many netizens commenting on the story, however, underlined Malaysia’s smoking policies.
One commenter called the incident “shameful.”
Some advised that the best way to avoid such incidents is to simply stop smoking.
Others, however, wrote that if Mr Tan really felt “scammed” by being made to pay on the spot, he could have accepted the summons instead.
Others said that there are no “on-the-spot” official payments in Malaysia.
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