“We wish to explain that by the time our staff arrived at the scene, the woman had already left,” SMRT said in its reply to a query by website TR Emeritus. “Nevertheless, we deployed cleaners immediately to clean up the affected area.”
The woman, believed to be a Chinese national, was first reported to have squatted and defecated on the floor besides Buona Vista MRT station.
A member of the public who saw the incident took photos of her and posted it online, where it has since gone viral.
One of the photos shows her wiping herself after she had finished defecating. (See here.)
“Please be assured that should any of our staff spot a member of the public committing such unlawful acts, they will most certainly approach the person and put a stop to it,” SMRT says. “He/ she is also likely to be issued with a Notice of Offence (NOO) and a summon from the National Environmental Agency (NEA).”
“However, this incident had occurred away from our staff’s line of sight. Whilst our staff would endeavour to ensure that our stations are looked after properly, they would also need to attend to other duties and passengers as well. Hence, constantly focusing on CCTV would be counterproductive for them. On that note, we seek the public’s assistance to report any unlawful acts upon sight, immediately to our station staffs so action could be taken to address such problems.”
Under the Environmental Public Health Act, Environmental Public Health (Public Cleansing) Regulations, it is an offence to “urinate or defecate in or upon any street, arcade, vacant land, river, canal, ditch, drain or watercourse or in any place to which the public has access except in any sanitary convenience provided for such purpose.”
The incident has been picked up the foreign media in Malaysia and Taiwan as well, along with online discussions forums in China.
In Singapore, the main broadsheet, The Straits Times, has kept silent on the incident.
It is unclear if the police is investigating the incident.