t Double Yellow's Musings: Train Services vs Human Life
The warped mind of Double Yellow craves for humor everyday. His daily dose comes from The Straits Times, The Sunday Times, Today, Channelnewsasia, etc. He also thinks that because of this preamble, this blog will never get featured in the local media. And of course, please read the Disclaimer before embarking on the journey.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Train Services vs Human Life

A cabby once told me that there is no value for human life in Singapore. I asked him to elaborate and he said that it was better to die in Singapore than to go to the hospital. While his reasoning was more financial than anything else, this article in our local paper reminded me of what the cabby said about human life. And these are the kind of reports that make me distressed.



The headline screamed, “Train services hit after man's death”. It began by saying that “The 32-year-old Indian man is believed to have jumped off the platform…” as if the race of the victim mattered but that’s another story. It continued that the person jumped

“right next to a sign that said: "Do not step beyond the Yellow Line until the train stops" and "Danger: Do not go down to the tracks”. Further down along the tracks, another sign read: "Value Life. Act Responsibly”.”

Interesting. So where exactly the victim jumped to take his life was very important. Did it even occur to the journalist to ask the question that given Singapore is such a rule-based society, how is it that a person dared to take his life right in front of those hoardings? Aren't we missing something?

The article continued giving statistics on the number of ‘train deaths’, spoke at length about how train services being disrupted, how people were delayed and how a bus ferried passengers to the next station. Did it even occur to our journalist to focus on the victim itself? As to why he would want to take his life, given that his family will not get to see a cent of insurance money? The report made no mention of suicide rates in Singapore and the societal factors that push people to take their own lives. Is the victim just a statistic? Are train services in Singapore really valued more than human life?

Anyways, I won’t be surprised if some fart writes to the paper and says that we should charge the victim posthumously for crossing the yellow line and make his family pay the fine. Or if some other ass writes in saying that people who want to kill themselves should do so such that it causes least hardship to rest of society. Hell yeah, lets distribute ropes to everyone at the next National Day parade and clear our conscience.

Here is the full article....

Train services hit after man's death
Thursday • December 29, 2005

A Singaporean died when he was hit by an approaching train at Kallang MRT station yesterday afternoon, bringing the westbound train services between Aljunied and Bugis to a standstill for almost an hour.

The 32-year-old Indian man is believed to have jumped off the platform just as a train pulled into the station at 3pm, right next to a sign that said: "Do not step beyond the Yellow Line until the train stops" and "Danger: Do not go down to the tracks".

Further down along the tracks, another sign read: "Value Life. Act Responsibly".

More than five Singapore Civil Defence Force rescuers and a paramedic worked to retrieve the body under the second carriage of the train, which had pulled to a stop halfway into the station.

The entire incident was recorded by the station's closed circuit TV system and the footage is to be handed over to the police who have classified the case as "unnatural death".

This is the second incident this year in which a person got hit by a train. Last year, there were five such incidents.

Madam Marianna, who was heading for Outram station with her daughter at the time of the incident, told Today: "The train came to a sudden stop near Kallang. We were stuck on the train for about 15 minutes, then the lights went off and we were told to get off the train at the front."

She was one of 4,000 west-bound passengers who were affected by the incident. Train services resumed at 3.49pm.

During the disruption, a one-way bus bridging service — which involved 11 buses — was deployed to ferry passengers from Aljunied to Bugis. Train service on the east-bound and north-south lines were not affected. — JASMINE YIN

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