Ever heard of Bag-Down Benny? Well, it is a fictional character invented by the SMRT back in 2014. It encourage passengers – via stickers and posters – to make public transport more pleasant.
Who is Bag-Down Benny? It basically serves as a reminder to all commuters to remove their big backpacks from their shoulders and place it on the floor.
Winner Lee Wei Seng, 52, created Bag-Down Benny with his 17-year-old daughter. He sometimes takes the train to and from work. “If we have larger bags, we should place them on the ground so we don’t block other people’s way,” said the purchasing manager.
That is quite true. So what kind of people are guilty of it? Army personnel come to mind. But they don’t usually appear during peak hours. What about school children? Yes, some of them have school bags that are more suited for a trekking trip.
So imagine the impact when your face gets whacked hard when they swing their backpack! Or even worse, the iPhone you’re holding onto gets a hard landing after getting a swatting from the backpack.
I once saw an old auntie getting this very treatment. She was reading the newspapers when a teenager, listening to some heavy metal music on his headphones, swiped his backpack to the left. And yup, it hit the old auntie’s wristwatch. That was a Cartier. It hurt the old auntie so much that she threw the newspaper at the teenager! And naturally a quarrel match took place. It went on for quite some time until the teenager numbled sorry sorry and alighted from the station.
So then, it’s not an offence not to put down the backpack inside a MRT cabin. But what happens when the government impose a fine? Will it work in this ‘fine city’? Let’s hear some comments on what would be a good punishment for these offenders.
JGU89: “I think hor, a patrol officer need to come in every now and then. If they find a backpack, hang the backpack onto the pole for 3 minutes! Haha, just kidding. Just give them a verbal warning on the spot. Repeat offenders maybe kena $20 fine.”
Scholley: “The patrol officer should just use a knife and slash the backpack, just let the contents pour out. And all the commuters can be entitled to it!”
Lianne: “Aiya, install a counter lah, maybe in the last cabin. Hand over your backpack to the auntie. Make it a free service.”