Young girl receives support over middle-aged woman in MRT priority seat squabble
Text: Shah Salimat
The online community has been up in arms over a video of a young girl and an old woman caught fighting on the train over a priority seat, typically given to commuters who need it. The video shows the girl and woman engaging in a small squabble before beginning to hurl vulgarities and point fingers at one another.
A witness said to a local Chinese daily that the fight started when the old lady boarded the train at Outram Park station with her foot in a bandage. The girl, who was seated at the priority seat, did not give it up to the woman who began to mumble words of disapproval towards the girl. After noticing, the girl gave up the seat for the old lady, who began complaining aloud of the girl's disrespect towards her.
YouTuber Darren Ong noticed some of the quips from the old lady in the video, especially a comment about the girl probably being a Chinese national. He opined, "Aren't our ancestors are from China? How is that even an insult? Grow up." Janine Christine, another YouTuber, said in her vlog that it is not a crime to occupy the priority seat and calls the old woman a "grumpy grouchbag" for her actions.
Many Singaporeans online have sided the young girl, with Facebook group 9GAG Singapore even giving her the Most Polite Ah Lian award in a macro image that has gotten over 6,000 shares. Facebook users largely commended the girl's restraint in handling the situation, with user Chua VenomCaster finding it "really cute" that the girl used the word "please" before hurling vulgarities at the old woman.
Twitter user @iSingaporeans commented that old women like the one in the video are "too much" and noted that the priority seat is "a privilege (sic) not a right". @longadin called the woman a "massive xenophobic douchebag" over her nationalistic comment but @haagendars likened it to a "clash of generations". @steppedonacat and @carelock_ admitted that both were at fault for their misdemeanours.
However, a blogpost by Luke Ng attempted to place the matter into context. He noted that the video only recorded part of the quarrel and did not establish the cause of the conflict that supposedly happened before the video was shot. He said: "Usually, our minds are automatically programmed to divide the absolutely right party and the absolutely wrong party... should we be more considerate?"
This is the latest in a string of cases of unruly behaviour on public transport. A few weeks ago, Alex Ong was caught on film pushing an elderly lady off a bus in a heated quarrel. The tables were turned in a case that happened on May 18, 2011, when a young lady refused to give up her seat to an elderly commuter. After an onlooker tried to take pictures of the lady, she retaliated by taking pictures of the onlooker and hurling defiant statements at her.
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Giving up your seat to the elderly or handicapped or pregnant or whatever is an act of kindness. Acts of kindness are not obligatory. They are a privilege. SMRT should just remove that idiotic "prority" seat notice and leave that up to it's commuters.
Nobody owes you a seat. So be greatful when someone offers you one, smile, say thank you and shut the hell up.
Although I have no idea how the whole story is goes about, but I believe that it is NOT a LAW in Singapore to give up the priority seat. Even if the SMRT staff were to come, I suppose they could only suggest people with seats to give up their seats out of kindness. In this case, the young lady has already given up the seat out of goodwill, what more can be expected? She could have just occupied the seat and ignored the Auntie. Instead, she did something really nice. Isn't it said that " Kindness begets kindness"? Instead of being thankful and appreciative, the Auntie is being utterly unreasonable, making a big commotion out of something that has already been solved. Besides, she implied that the young lady is from China. So what if she's from China? So what if she's not from China? And taking someone's photo without his/her consent is extremely rude. The young lady only blew her top off when the Auntie took things too far. Hence, I would like to commend her for her tolerance.
看了录像，我觉得年轻小姐已经很客气了。 她不是说了吗，她没看见妇女的脚有伤！看到之后她不也是马上就让位了吗？ 她静下来好几次，为什么妇女还要故意找事？我想告诉那位妇女，我们搭的是公车，你付车资那位小姐也一样付车资，如果人家不让位你也无话可说的。后面的告示牌只是一个告示，没有法律规定 ，要不要让完全在于别人的想法。而且妇女连一声谢谢也没有，好像让位给你是理所当然的！唉，悲哀！以老卖老在现今的社会是行不通的。
I personally do sit at priority seats but when i see elderly coming in i would automatically offer the seat to them. Ain't that the meaning of PRIORITY? So when they are not around, why can't we take the seat first? The young lady did give up her seat without complaining. What i dont understand is why the old lady had to keep ranting. I believe im not the only person in the whole Singapore who sits at the priority seat. BOTTOM LINE, she offered her seat immediately when she noticed the lady.
Remove the priority seats.
As a gracious society, offering your seat to an elderly or anyone in need comes naturally. I have seen such gracious acts oftentimes on HKG MTR and they have no priority seats.
Educating our young is key to becoming a gracious society.
IS THE OLDER AUNTIE "OLD" ENOUGH TO ASK FOR THE SEAT??
ALSO AFTER GETTING THE SEAT, MUST SHE MAKE A SCENE LIKE THIS??
UNGRATEFUL "OLD" AUNTIE
IS "OLD" AUNTIE DISTURBING THE REST OF THE COMUTERS? YES!!! OF COURSE.
WHAT IF AH BENG IS IN THE SEAT??
WILL "OLD" AUNTIE BEHAVES LIKE THIS??
I'm more than middle-aged but as far as possible I would try to avoid taking the reserved seats, in case there is one more deserving than me to take the seat. I noticed a lot of commuters practising this too ie leaving the reserved seat vacant. If one so desires to take the reserved seat, he / she should be alert enough to give it up once a more needy person steps in. In fact, I observed such acts of civility regularly, including one towards me. Whilst it is definitely not an entitlement, I believe most, if not all, will appreciate such acts of thoughtfulness.
In this case, the older lady should not have continued with her grumbling after claiming her seat ie if she grumbled only once and since the younger lady did not respond, the episode should have ended. It is really unfortunate that the scene have unfolded in such an unpleasant manner. I hope both have learnt to practise restraint in future.
Is this auntie really that old?? i pity this young girl who give up the seat and kena all this ****...haiz
PRIORITY SEATS IS NOT A GIVEN WILL SO IS UP TO US TO GIVE UP OR NOT. NOT ONLY PRIORITY SEATS MUST BE GIVEN TO NEEDY PEOPLE, OTHER SEATS ALSO CAN, SO WHY NOT OTHERS GIVE UP THE SEATS THEN? WE ALL PAY THE FARES SO IS FAIR. IF THEY ARE OLD THEN DON'T TAKE MRT LA
the noisy lady does not belong to any of the 4 categories, I dun see the need to offer her a seat in the first place.