Singapore MRT vs Bangkok MRT Security Measures

Travelling on our usually packed MRT these days, the unthinkable has often crossed my minds, and i have no doubt others’ as well. I’m talking about security on our trains which at present doesn’t inspire confidence.

Transport systems, trains and buses in particular, are soft targets as borne out by the terrorist strikes in Spain and London.

Singaporeans may be interested to know what other countries are doing to ensure safety for their commuters. 

Let’s start off with Bangkok. 

In Bangkok subway I had first to pass through a metal detector. A security officer then asked me to open my backpack for inspection. 

Whether you’re a Thai or foreigner, everyone had to go through the same process. Women even had to open their handbags. No one was exempted.

At the turnstiles, another security officer stands guard. 

When I returned late at night, the number of passengers had dwindled but I had to go through the same process all over again.

I didn’t hear a word of protest from passengers. I think everyone knew it was for their own good despite the inconvenience.  Even when  a man, a local from his looks, held up the queue, as he struggled to open his huge suitcase. But again no one demurred.

In the next post I’ll talk about Japan’s security measures on their commuter trains.

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8 Responses to “Singapore MRT vs Bangkok MRT Security Measures”

  1. I dont think the BKK subway measures are effective. If you think of why airport x-rays our luggage and for Singapore even the laptop must be taken out, you’d know why.

    Perhaps a better example would be Israel or Northern Ireland. I’m not sure the procedures there but I believe Israel security can differentiate terrorist and passenger better than BKK subway officers.

    • Anyone been to Israel or Northern Ireland would like to share their experience? Would be interesting.

  2. Actually it is quite easy to smuggle drugs or bombs past the custom checkpoint. Ever wonder why in Changi Airport, they don’t require every arrival passenger to have their luggage x-rayed? After I suay suay kena “selected” to have my luggage x-rayed a few times, I roughly know how the police pick people.

    The unseen security measure is *intelligence*. Didn’t ISD foil the Yishun MRT bombing without checking even a single bag at Yishun MRT?

  3. Yes,definitely due to intelligence. Just pray that they on top of things.

  4. What I also observed is that there is a security sweep when trains terminate at a terminus. Passengers won’t be allowed to board till the all-clear signal has been given.

  5. You mean security sweep at bkk?

    In Singapore, the folks board the train one stop before the terminus to be ahead of the folks at the terminus. If these kiasu folks are evicted for the sweep, it will be a musical chair game! Did you observe musical chairs at bkk?

  6. Yes at BKK. 

    I didn’t see any musical chairs. Once the train terminates say at Hualampong everyone gets out and heads for the exits. 

    BTW, for your info the Airport to city train is now in operation. Cheap and fast ride. Try it next time you head to BKK for R and R. 

  7. Thanks Roger, will try the airport train. But the unrest put me off somehow. Otherwise Bangkok is a fine city.


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