Delivery rider lashes out at LTA officer over smoking: He was just reminding him to wear mask, says LTA

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Netizens are slamming a food delivery rider who recorded his confrontation with a Land Transport Authority (LTA) officer about smoking outside an MRT station.

In the video, the man, who identifies himself as a GrabFood rider, is heard lashing out at the officer and challenging the officer about smoking.

He repeatedly asks: "Am I committing a crime right now?"

The officer assures him he is not committing a crime and tries to reason with him and continues to advise him on the proper way of wearing a mask.

The LTA said in a statement on its Facebook page on Friday night (Apr 17) that all the officer did was to gently remind the rider of the importance of masking up.

"There's no doubt that this circuit breaker period is challenging for many of us," the authority said.

"Like food delivery riders, our enforcement officers are out every day to carry out their essential duties in keeping everyone safe."

It added: "In tough times, it's all the more important to extend a little kindness to the people we meet."

Many netizens criticised the rider for being rude and commended the officer on maintaining his cool and staying professional.

However, the video also sparked questions on whether smoking is allowed during the current circuit breaker period.

LTA clarified in its post that people may take off their mask to eat, jog or smoke in permitted spaces but must put their masks back on after they are done.

The Ministry of Health said in its FAQ section on its website: "Everyone must wear a mask when outside of their homes. 

"If you are out doing essential tasks, and smoke in an area where smoking is not prohibited, you must immediately put your mask back on after smoking, just like what you must do after eating, drinking or cleaning your face. 

"Please strictly comply with the safe distancing measures while smoking."