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Diner shocked by the need to wipe table on top of having to clear food tray and litter

In a recent viral video, a diner confronted NEA officers over a seemingly overlooked aspect of the public dining cleanliness regulation, sparking widespread astonishment and debate among citizens about the necessity to wipe tables in addition to returning trays and clearing litter after meals.



SINGAPORE: A viral video emerging from Tekka Hawker Centre has sparked widespread public discussion regarding the regulations imposed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) concerning cleanliness in public dining areas.

The TikTok video, which was posted on Friday, 13 October, features a diner, identified as Pankaj, challenging two supposed NEA enforcement officers on the specifics of new public dining cleaning regulations.

In May 2021, the NEA mandated that diners at public places must clear their tables of used trays, crockery, and litter after meals, in line with Section 17(1) of the Environmental Public Health Act (EPHA).

Offences under this section could invite a range of penalties, including fines up to S$2,000.

As of 1 June 2023, first-time offenders who don’t return their used items will receive a written warning, second-time offenders will be slapped with a S$300 composition fine, and further offences could incur court fines.

However, the recently surfaced video has unveiled a potential discrepancy or misinterpretation in these rules.

Pankaj is seen questioning the NEA officers about the extent of the diner’s responsibility in cleaning the table, particularly concerning food or drink spillages.

While Pankaj and several netizens believed the mandate only required diners to clear solid waste and return trays and utensils, the officers insisted that diners should also wipe the table clean of any spills.

The heated exchange between Pankaj and the officers revolves around the clarification and perhaps the ambiguity of the guidelines, “Are you saying to me that if I dirty the table, I am supposed to wipe the table?”

Pankaj was recorded saying. The officers affirmed, adding that it is indeed the responsibility of diners to ensure the table is clear and clean after their meal.

The viral footage has ignited a flurry of reactions online, with numerous netizens expressing astonishment and confusion over the cleaning requirements.

Many were under the impression that the NEA’s regulations simply required them to return trays and dispose of litter, not to clean spillages.

Several comments pointed out practical issues, such as a lack of cleaning materials available to diners, “What happens if we don’t have any tissues especially usually don’t have tissues w to clean?” queried one user.

Others used sarcasm to vent their frustrations and disbelief, “Normally at the hawker centre after I eat I will sweep, mop the floor and wash the dishes,” a netizen quipped.

Interestingly, a review of previous NEA announcements and news reports, including a joint press release on 30 August 2021, reveals no explicit mention of the obligation for diners to wipe tables clean of spillages, indicating a possible miscommunication or misinterpretation of the regulations in place.

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Dunno what masak masak law is this. Firstly the Ah Soh pass this law now must clean also?
Better da bao and bring home more song to eat and clean.

Debate what debate. Your lineage are dogs, so go fuck a dog. the Government and elites do not engage with dogs like your kind

After years of education and civilization amid the kampung ways, Singaporeans are still living like dogs, eat like dogs, and wag like dogs, including fucking each other like dogs.

What next? Diner expected to prepare and cook his own meal also?

i guess … that’s how they are trained.


any statement from NEA to response this case?
(un)surprisingly NO, and that means …

(1) they validate their officers requests.
(2) or perhaps the officers acted on their SOP!

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Tissues are not ideal for cleaning table, next times must bring detergent and proper cloth to wipe the table. It really a challenge to eat in Hawker centres and coffeeshops. So must look for alternatives liao.

Tact your fcuking CB lah, come come for my black CB waiting for your licking

The INDIAN officer talk very cocky and horny, He wanted to lick and fuck my old black CB, come come I wait.

Aiya, give NEA Director go for Cordon Blue cooking class again with family per person $25K. How????
We must each pay fine, if accidental water evaporation on the table also what????

Why the fuss? If you mess up, clean it up. Why would you want someone else to clean your mess? However, a little basket with wet wipes could be provided at every table.

As predicted, sinkie are always balless and can be pushed around.
First , clear trays then clear cups,
Next clean table ,then wipe table with clean tissue or clean cloth.
Finally , clean floor by taking off their pants or skirt to do so!😆😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

“What happens if we don’t have any tissues especially usually don’t have tissues w to clean?” queried one user.” That is a rather sexist remark. I am a man and I carry tissues and alcohol wipes wherever I go. I also don’t eat like a pig, so the table is clean after I use it. Personally, I think the need to enforce this rule through penalties is ridiculous. Why doesn’t a “world-class” education system teach the importance of keeping public spaces clean to children and teenagers? Also why not have useful CCAs that involve community work that will… Read more »

Let Damn ROT!
Eat Out Only, When Absolutely Neccessary.
Yes, We Are Consumers, The Primary Source Of Commerce.
We Are Not Slave. Even The Animals In The Zoo NEED NOT CLEAN OUT AFTER EATING.

Perhaps this will be addressed if enough Singaporeans feedback to Minister Amy Khor. If water price increase is to teach Singaporeans to use water sparingly, then Singaporeans should flood the NEA help desk with comments to teach NEA scholars and the Minister to act faster.

Last edited 9 months ago by OneSingapore

This is called abusing of power!

Next time they will ask you to wash the utensils and return to the hawkers before leaving. So wait for it!

The city state is going to the dogs licking the balls of all high and low masters, did anyone see the doing of another office too a chinese lady that was a victim first, then fall short of the the all saying laws? you’ve asked for it so live with it@!

This is getting sick from the scholars sitting high up in their opulent Ivory Tower collecting untold fat salaries. I don’t mean those on the foot troopers wearing tags having to face difficult customers. I think they only earn a decent liveable salary.

So one day NEA may require us to bring our own ingredients, wash and cook, eat and then clean the utensils and table clean clean? And pay a high meal price due to inflation also?