Monday, March 31, 2008

Security Personnel at MRT Stations

Since the ‘911’ incident, security at key installations and public places in Singapore have been beefed up, one such place is the MRT stations sprouted throughout the island.

The ubiquitous stations have undergone a relative number of changes since the day that changed the world (to a certain extent).

Gone are the litterbins that dotted the stations; postage mailboxes became situated further from the stations. These measures are necessary and the inconveniences caused by these measures shall not detract from their important objectives.

However, some measures taken at MRT stations may become overbearing though the message contained in them to be disseminated is important.

Everyday, passengers boarding the trains are reminded to report anything or any person found behaving suspiciously via the public announcement broadcasts in the trains. The announcements are often quite loud (which serve their purposes) and the close frequency of such broadcasts, though good in serving to remind passengers constantly, may lose their significance gradually as passengers become accustomed to them in the same manner that they are accustomed to periodic loud music.

Security personnel at MRT stations, deployed to conduct random checks on baggage of passengers, especially the suspicious-looking ones is another good measure. However, often at times, I witness many of these personnel are quite old; will they be able to handle aggressors? (yes, the papers say so). Sometimes I see them carrying out their duties more as bored rather than looking alert with ‘smsing’ being carried out at times. It is understandable that these personnel are human beings, doing their jobs, contributing to the security of the country, though they can be bored and tired at times inevitably. Only in a real crisis, will Singapore’s security system be tested.

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