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Thursday, September 29, 2022
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S’porean was fined for smoking outdoors at Genting Highlands by people who claim to be government officials

A Singaporean man who recently visited Genting Highlands was fined for smoking by people he believed to be posing as government officials.

The Singaporean, who prefers to be known as Tan, was at the tourist attraction on June 4.

The 47-year-old said he was smoking on the fourth floor at an area outside SkyAvenue, a shopping mall in Resorts World Genting, when he was approached by a group of people who claimed to be officers from the Ministry of Health Malaysia.

The group issued Tan a summons for smoking there, despite the fact that there was no sign stating it was illegal to do so. He pointed out that in a video he filmed of the area, the “No Smoking” sign was only displayed on the wall near the toilets.

Tan said that the people were not dressed in uniform or provided any form of identification to show they worked for the government, so he thought they might not have been actual officials.

He believes the entire group of them to be Malaysian. He was then told he would be fined RM250 for smoking. He was also informed he could pay off the fine on the spot by handing them RM150 in cash. Despite feeling uncertain about the situation, Tan decided to simply pay the fine on the spot, but he filled in the form given to him with fake information and contact details.

After Tan paid the fine, he noticed the group of ‘officers’ immediately move on to others in the same area. He observed two other men with e-cigarettes were also issued summons even though they had yet to use the devices. He presumed these men were also Singaporeans. Although the men tried to challenge the ‘officers’ about the fine, the group insisted on the men’s supposed indiscretion.

Tan shared photos and a video of the people who claimed to be officers sitting down at an outdoor seating area with those who were fined to record the alleged offences and collect cash.

Although the ‘officers’ were not rude when approaching smokers, Tan noted that when others tried to avoid being issued the summons, the ‘officers’ would “stick with” them and insisted that it was “the law”. While the other smokers tried arguing back, they eventually paid the RM150 fine as well.

Tan compared his experience at Genting Highlands with what he noticed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Smokers were also fined but he noticed that these officers provided identification and smokers were not asked to pay the fine upfront in cash. These people, he believed, were “genuine” officials. Following his experience at Genting Highlands, Tan shared that he felt “scammed”.

“It’s not a nice experience at all to be fine[d] at outdoor area,” he said, and speculated that the people he believed to be posing as officers could have collected thousands of cash in a day from unsuspecting smokers like him.

By sharing this, he simply wishes to warn Singaporean smokers heading to the area to be wary of such people.

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