There's no double standard. It's just that most of the time, the staff are too busy to enforce their rules. And the one time they tried to enforce it strictly, they kena complain in ST forum. Ha ha.
Last edited by waileong; 1st September 2007 at 09:36 PM.
Anyway, let me post one of my favourite "street" photos, shot inside an SMRT train.
Last edited by vince123123; 2nd September 2007 at 12:03 AM.
This is lame, but if CS-ers feel strongly enough, we should all bring our DSLR's to an MRT station and shoot photos together. It would be to make a statement about photography in public, similar to what the breastfeeding support group did in 2004 when the Esplanade security guards tried to stop a woman doctor from breastfeeding there during a performance on the grounds of "indecency". She wrote to the ST Forum too, and there was prominent media coverage of the 50+ women who turned up to do the mass breastfeeding, and eventually the Esplanade management had to back down and issued a statement saying that they supported breastfeeding and that it was all a misunderstanding.
Last edited by waileong; 2nd September 2007 at 09:34 AM.
SMRT replied today quoting "security reasons" - vague without proper explanation. At least Changi Airport had a better explanation although that would need some checking up.
Published in the ST today:
Why no photos at MRT stations...
I REFER to the letter, 'Can't one take photos in MRT stations?' by Mr Soh Oon Teck (ST, Aug 30).
As part of our security measures, we do not allow people to take pictures within our MRT stations or of our MRT stations without prior permission. People who wish to take pictures or videos of our MRT stations or who are taking pictures or videos from the MRT station are required to inform our station staff.
Due to security reasons, our station staff had to take down Mr Soh's particulars as we keep records of people who take pictures from the MRT station.
We seek Mr Soh's understanding on this matter, and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Karen Chow (Ms)
Executive, Corporate Marketing and Communications
...or some parts of Changi Airport
I WOULD like to inform Ms Upasna Kapoor ('Why ban photo-taking at Budget Terminal?'; ST, Aug 24) that certain operational areas of Changi Airport are gazetted as protected places under the Protected Areas and Protected Places Act. Unauthorised photo-taking of these areas, which include the aircraft parking bays and airfield roadways at the tarmac area of the Budget Terminal, is prohibited for security reasons.
In addition, for the safety of passengers, they should not linger at the tarmac area where airport operations are under way. We thank Ms Upasna for her feedback and will consider installing signs at the Budget Terminal to increase awareness among passengers.
Toh Boon Ngee
Assistant Director Media Relations (covering)
Singapore Police Force
MRT: They have not relied on any legislation which empowers them to stop people taking photographs or taking down people's particulars, much less detain or arrest anyone. They have relied on the motherhood statement "security reasons" as once any agency states "security reasons", Singaporeans would usually capitulate without asking further questions.
Changi: They have relied on the Protected Places Act as justification.
A review of the Protected Areas and Protected Places Act shows only this relevant Section:
Defensive measures at protected areas and protected places.
10. —(1) It shall be lawful for the Minister to authorise the taking of such steps as he may consider necessary for the protection of any protected area or protected place, and such steps may extend to the taking of defensive measures which involve or may involve danger to the life of any person entering or attempting to enter a protected area or protected place.
(2) Where any measures such as are referred to in subsection (1) are adopted, the Commissioner of Police or any person so authorised by the Minister in that behalf shall cause such precautions to be taken, including the prominent display of warning notices, as he considers reasonably necessary to prevent inadvertent or accidental entry into any such protected area or protected place; and where such precautions have been duly taken, no person shall be entitled to compensation or damages in respect of any injuries received or death caused as a result of any unauthorised entry into any such protected area or protected place.
Whilst this section is worded arguably broad enough to cover everything, it is still questionable whether it extends to prohibiting photographs taken from far. From the "inclusive" (though not limited to) examples, it seems that the measures are aimed at preventing people from going into these places, including authorising the use of deadly force.
Even if we can read the section broadly enough to cover photography taking, I suggest that the most they can do is to stop you from taking the photographs (ie under the taking of such steps necessary to protect the place). However, that does not in itself, make it an offence to take those photographs, and unless they can find some other provision in some other law making this an offence, they would not be able to prosecute the person.
A review of the subsidiary legislation issued under the Protected Places Act doesn't seem to yield anything useful, they only talk about declaring which areas or places are covered by the Act.
Finally, a search for reported case law interpreting the Protected Places Act, and in particular, Section 11, yields only one case in 1999 which is totally irrelevant to this discussion.
Last edited by vince123123; 4th September 2007 at 09:46 AM. Reason: Formatting issues
good info can reply thru ST? not many ppl read CS kpt forum.
“How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler
I've already sent a reply to ST on the SMRT position. I have not sent it on the Changi position as it is only an legal argument and it is probably not newsworthy enough for print for the general population. I'm not even sure that most lay people reading the papers can appreciate the legal arguments presented.
Besides, in the moral eyes of the Singaporean, they probably have not much objections to prohibitions of shooting in "protected places" as it sounds really official and they will think "ah security reasons,....terrorists, wah got Act some more, okay lah dont protest". That is why the Changi letter is better written than the SMRT one.
great! I hope your reply gets published! I really want to see what SMRT will say.. anyway, I was shooting inside Little India station with my DSLR w/grip and flash. I would say it's quite a big setup but didnt' get stopped. I just felt that Mr Soh was just suay
“How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler
I must say, however, that legislation in S'pore is often broadly worded enough to empower the govt for many arbitrary actions. In this case, under the Protected Places Act, the Minister is empowered to do anything he feels is necessary. If he says no photos, who can challenge him? Even if the taking of photos itself is not illegal, he is empowered to stop you from doing it, and if you defy this order, good luck to you. We don't have the equivalent of an ACLU to fight for us ordinary citizens. Which man in the street will want to stand up for such a principle, when fighting the case in court will cost so much? And even if we win, there's no recovering all the legal expenses.
You guys rock!
i got shoot from mrt station before, was at kranji shooting the horse racing course. an mrt staff came up to peek at what i was doing, then left without saying anything. probably i don't look like a 'terror risk'. lol.