Poles spell trouble for MTR rider

Local | Staff reporter 2 Sep 2016

Activist Sally Tang Mei-ching from Socialist Action who brought three banner poles into an MTR station told the court yesterday that at Stockholm Metro, which is operated by MTR Corp Limited, luggage of up to two meters is allowed.

Tang, 26, faced two summons for bringing prohibited items of luggage and failure to give particulars of name, address or telephone number or to produce proof of identity when she appeared at Tuen Mun Magistrates' Court.

She was accused of bringing poles of about 160 centimeters long, violating the 130cm restriction at Kowloon Tong station and refusing to show her identity card despite a request by MTR staff on September 25 last year. Defending herself, Tang submitted a document in Swedish to the court without translation on Wednesday, but did not submit it to the prosecutor.

Yesterday Tang told deputy magistrate Joseph Lee Jo-ey the document was about the standard of luggage of Stockholm Metro, which is operated by the MTR Corp, and stated that the restriction is two meters.

The poles according to Socialist Action's Facebook were for promoting the concept of the Occupy movement.

An officer from the MTR's rapid response unit, Ho Yan-yee, yesterday testified that she approached Tang and said she would like to measure the poles as she saw Tang carrying the three white plastic poles taller than her. But Tang did not cooperate.

Ho said: "Miss please cooperate or else I will prosecute you."

A man with Tang took the poles from her and said: "No need to pay attention to these staff."

The staff members eventually got a measurement of 160 cm and requested them to show their identity cards.

Tang was heard saying: "I won't give it to you, let's wait until the police arrive," and she kept on saying: "Shame on MTR bullying small citizens" with a loudspeaker until the arrival of police before she showed them her identity card.

A MTR legal staff member, Wong Wing-fai, told the court notices on carriage of luggage were posted near the ticket vending places, it was stated in the notices MTR urban line passengers can only carry luggage of which the total dimensions, the length, width and height do not exceed 170cm and the length of any one side of the luggage does not exceed 130cm.

Wong said even though the MTRC relaxed the restriction to 145cm in August, it only applies to musical instruments or sports equipment and application is required. Wong said normal objects including the sticks in the case are subject to the 130cm restriction.

The trial will continue today.

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