Man who left baking flour at Woodleigh MRT station fined $1,000

Man who left baking flour at Woodleigh MRT station fined $1,000
A security scare was created at Woodleigh MRT station by a runner who left baking flour on the ground on 18 April 2017. (Photo: Wan Ting Koh / Yahoo News Singapore)

A man who used baking flour to mark a trail for a running route at Woodleigh MRT station and inadvertently created a security scare was fined $1,000 on Wednesday (29 November).

Tay Yong Kwang, 69, had pleaded guilty in the State Courts to committing public nuisance. The fine handed to Tay was the maximum amount for the offence.

The incident, which happened on 18 April this year, saw the MRT station closed temporarily after a station master called the police to report a suspicious substance. The station master had spotted the white powdery substance on the ground and subsequently checked CCTV footage, which showed Tay pouring it.

Tay, who was part of a running group called the “Seletar Hash House Harriers”, was using the flour at multiple locations at the MRT station to mark out a running trail for the rest of the runners from the group.

A total of 107 police officers, 20 Singapore Civil Defence Force and 15 SBS Transit personnel were deployed to deal with the incident, according to court documents.

The train station was closed for three hours and 15 minutes, which affected more than 1200 commuters. Tay was eventually arrested on the same day.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tang Shangjun said that a strong message was needed to deter the public from leaving items unattended, or items viewed as suspicious around public transport networks or other public places where there is significant human traffic, according to a report by The Straits Times.

District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt agreed that the case was one of the worst in terms of resources used and the inconvenience caused to the public, the report said. While DJ Chay accepted that Tay did not intentionally seek to cause a security scare, he said Tay should have known what or what not to do.