'Unsafe to sew on train' letter amuses Singaporeans

Artist's impression Image copyright Goh Wei Choon

Singaporeans have been in stitches this weekend over a newspaper letter about the dangers of sewing on trains.

Tan Lay Hoon described her encounter with a fellow passenger she saw cross-stitching on the MRT network.

"The embroidery floss running through her needle was about 45cm long, so I suggested to the woman that it could be dangerous to sew inside the confines of a moving train. There were commuters seated on both sides of her," the letter read.

"She replied that she had been sewing while riding in trains for a long time and returned to her task."

'A sudden staggering of the train'

The letter was posted on an online forum for Singapore's state-linked newspaper The Straits Times.

"If the woman is pulling the needle in an upward movement and is caught unexpectedly by a sudden staggering of the train, an involuntary jerk of the hand holding the needle may cause the needle to jab at a fellow commuter sitting or standing close by," Ms Tan continued.

"There will be very serious consequences if the needle impales an eye or other body part of a nearby commuter who could not move away in time."

Singapore's Land Transport Authority, which operates its public trains, has not yet commented on the situation - but Singapore's vocal online community has.

Image caption Many commuters made light of the letter

One of the most popular comments came from actor Tushar Ismail. It drew close to 2,000 likes.

"I saw a guy swaying to music once. And I thought this was very dangerous. The trains lurch sometimes and if he sways in the direction of the lurch he could be propelled forward into another commuter who would then be rammed into one of the poles, breaking his neck, or back, or even cracking his skull," he said in jest.

'Mind the gap'

Other users like Singaporean Ian Chionh also poked fun at the situation.

"I saw a man wearing a tie with a clip that was not secured to his shirt. I worry that if the train jerks and lurches, as trains normally do, the tie may be flung left or right of that inconsiderate man," he said in a comment, drawing more than 1,000 likes.

Image copyright ST

"Whatever you choose to do on the MRT, be sure to always mind the gap," another user said.

Other users questioned what this letter said about Singapore society.

"Was this a joke I read? To think it was published in our national paper as something to be taken seriously," commented account executive Delia Goh.

Another user Sylvia Lam said: "This only shows how easily Singaporeans turn to complaining, we've become such a self-entitled society. By the way, where is the button for us to push to eject annoying complainers?"

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