Former professional snooker player Ivan Chan Kwok-ming is said to have been issued a warning letter by MTR Corp. (00066.HK) on Tuesday for carrying a snooker cue on a local train.
A spokesperson for the rail operator said he won’t comment or provide information on individual cases, but said that passengers who have oversize or overweight baggage or other belongings should take other modes of transport, Apple Daily reported.
Chan, who has now retired from professional snooker, wrote in a Facebook post that MTR should consider relaxing its rules to enable sportspersons to carry their equipment.
The rail firm, however, says that it cannot offer any preferential rules and that it will treat athletes carrying sports equipment as any other citizens traveling on the MTR.
The MTR spokesperson also pointed to a section in MTR’s rulebook which stipulates that “no person shall bring into or upon the railway premises any luggage, article or other thing which cannot be carried or otherwise accommodated on the railway without risk of injury to any person or damage to any railway property or without causing a nuisance or inconvenience to other persons using the railway”.
Anyone found violating the rule could be fined up to HK$2,000.
According to MTR’s regulations on luggage, the sum of the length, width and height of a passenger’s belonging should not exceed 170 centimeters, while the length of any one side of the item should not exceed 130 cm.
Now, pool and snooker cues average around 150 cm in length, which is why Chan is deemed to have carried an oversized item.
Chan, who is now a snooker coach at the Hong Kong Billiards Sports Control Council, represented Hong Kong at Asian Games in the past and won two gold medals and two bronze medals for the city.
Following the reports of the warning letter given to him, MTR has come in for criticism in online forums.
Several netizens said the rail operator should have been more considerate toward the former champion.
MTR staff should focus more on preventing parallel-goods traders from carrying bulky goods on trains, rather than stopping locals going about their business, some commentators said.
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