Mandatory treatment ordered for commuter seen pulling open doors on moving MRT train

SINGAPORE: A commuter who was filmed pulling open train doors late last year was sentenced to a 12-month mandatory treatment order on Wednesday (Jan 17).

The commuter, Vanessa Wang Zi Qi, 47, had been testing the doors for about two weeks and was suffering a relapse of bipolar disorder, which causes people to experience erratic mood swings.

Wang appeared in court after being remanded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for more than a month.

District Judge Kessler Soh noted that Wang was recommended to undergo a mandatory treatment order, which directs an offender suffering from certain treatable psychiatric conditions to undergo psychiatric treatment.

The judge told Wang to comply with psychiatrist appointments, take medication as prescribed and ensure he does not re-offend. The judge also arranged for him to speak to a court counsellor after the hearing.


Wang pleaded guilty on Jan 5 to two counts of public nuisance and a third charge of voluntarily causing hurt to a train employee, with a fourth charge taken into consideration.

He was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and bipolar disorder in 2019, but defaulted on his treatments and follow-ups for two years.

In January 2021, he returned to IMH for stress and was diagnosed with adjustment disorder but defaulted again.

He is currently on prescribed hormonal therapy for gender transitioning, and has been unemployed since 2021. He was married for 11 years before getting a divorce in 2017.

Around the time of his public nuisance offences, Wang was in a hypomanic relapse of his Bipolar II disorder, which was characterised by elevated and irritable mood, increased energy, a reduced need for sleep and excessive involvement in activities that had potential for painful consequences.

Wang was also suffering from borderline personality disorder at the time, which was characterised by disturbances in his self-image and sense of self, fears of abandonment, a pattern of short-lived, unstable relationships, chronic feelings of emptiness and difficulty controlling his temper.


On Nov 29 last year, Wang boarded a train on the North-South Line. At about 12.50pm between Khatib and Yio Chu Kang, he began pulling at the doors of the train to test if they could be opened while the train was moving.

He succeeded in forcing a gap between the doors, alarming other commuters who asked him to stop. One commuter approached Wang and asked him to wait for the next stop.

When the train got to Yio Chu Kang MRT Station, Wang continued to pull on the doors, this time to prevent them from closing.

An unidentified commuter pressed the emergency button in the train carriage, prompting senior station manager Mr Foo Jee Yong, 65, to check along with his colleagues.

When the SMRT employees got there, commuters told them that Wang had been pulling on the doors.

Mr Foo asked Wang to follow him out of the train, but he refused and began shouting at the SMRT staff not to touch him.

The SMRT employees then stayed on the train with Wang as the train resumed its journey towards Ang Mo Kio.

Wang continued swinging his elbows to avoid the train staff, and kicked Mr Foo’s leg multiple times, causing him soreness.

Wang was removed at the next station with the help of more train staff, as he was kicking violently and shouting. Wang then lay down on the platform and refused to move, calling the Singapore Civil Defence Force to say that he was very injured and required assistance.

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