Youths Take Up More MRT Priority Seats, Seniors Claim
Following a viral altercation between two MRT passengers over whether younger people should give up their priority seat for older folks, many have chimed in to give their own thoughts.
Among them are seniors who agree that youths are occupying priority seats more often, especially during peak hours.
They claim that these young or able-bodied people either pretend to sleep or are on their mobile phones.
Seniors agree youths should give up MRT priority seats to those in need
Speaking to MS News, Dave Lau, 73, said most — if not all — priority seats are usually occupied by young or able-bodied people, especially during the morning rush hour.
“These people will either pretend to sleep or have their eyes glued to their mobile phones, ignoring the elderly and even pregnant women standing in front of them,” Mr Lau claimed.
He continued, “You won’t see this in Japan or Korea — they are very civilised and respectful, unlike here in so-called first-world Singapore.”
“Surely something must be very wrong here and needs to be addressed right away.”
Pakirisamy Sam concurred, saying, “I have been to other countries. Priority seats are automatically given to the elderly.”
Helen Ong, also 73, agreed that many youths don’t give up their seats.
“There have been many times where I had to stand all the way to the end of my journey because the young ones — both male and female — will pretend they can’t see you, pretend to sleep or just concentrate on using their phones to play games,” she said.
“If they don’t respond, I will normally just leave them alone.”
“However, I must also say there are still some who will automatically respond and give up their seats to the elderly without being asked,” she added.
As for Ronnie Lim, 68, he personally thinks that a younger person can sit in a priority seat. However, in the event that there’s a senior standing nearby, then it would be more appropriate and considerate to vacate it.
“I make it a habit to give up my seat whenever I see an elderly who looks feeble, regardless of age,” he shared.
Like Mr Lau, Mr Lim “strongly suggests” that something be done — in this case, to make it mandatory to reserve these seats for the handicapped as well as passengers aged 60 and above.
All seats, not just priority seats, should be given up to seniors when needed
Foong Swee Fai argues that all seats should be given up — not just the priority ones.
However, he doesn’t believe it’s mandatory to do so.
“Should anyone want to give up their seat for the needy, it should rightfully be all seats . . . but the designated seat policy has set the scene for narrow corners to become ugly heated scenes,” he pointed out.
So if the seats are meant for priority, then make it mandatory. If not, remove the policy and instead open up all seats to give ourselves a chance to grow our social graciousness.
The choices, then, are to either make seats a priority by law or encourage more social graciousness by giving up all seats to those who need them more.
To prevent altercations, avoid confrontations
Anson Chow thinks it wasn’t wrong for the elderly man in the video to indicate that the priority seats are meant for older passengers.
“In Korea, youths are not allowed on the priority seats and will be scolded by senior citizens to give up their seats,” he said.
“I hope the authorities can do something to make seniors happy with no arguments or quarrels over this issue.”
Let senior folks have a comfortable and enjoyable trip.
On the other hand, Elizabeth Abigail Tay said the elderly man should not have argued with or reprimanded anyone who was in the priority seat as it would lead to altercations.
“You are old and not energetic enough to shout, so just walk away . . . surely, there will be others who will give up the seat for you,” she said.
She did, however, note that the younger man was inconsiderate to take the seat and that it reflected badly on his upbringing.
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