What’s your take on people abusing the MRT reserved seats?
Bad manners– MRT reserved seats
Apparently not every one is willing to give up their seats for the less-able. Yesterday I went on the MRT with my 73-year-old mother, we stood right in front of two reserved seats for about a minute. One girl pretended to be in deep sleep, while the other avoided any form of eye contact and buried her face in her phone—furiously punching the keypad the very moment we stood in front of her.
They were both young and able-bodied. I tapped the one who was not pretending to be asleep and said: “Excuse me, could you give up the reserved seat for my elderly mother?” She looked up reluctantly and glared at me for about 3 seconds before vacating the seat.
You would think that’s the end of the story, but it wasn’t. This passenger was “vindictive”. We alighted at the same stop and when on the platform, she went out of the way and made it a point to elbow my side before walking away. I just shook my head in disgust.
What’s wrong with these people?
So, this is not the only incident where passengers refuse to let elderly folk have reserved seats that are rightfully theirs. Posted on “I don’t like to squeeze on the MRT” Facebook page was a passenger experience—one that is much like what we witness on the MRT sometimes.
I boarded the Circle Line MRT at Bishan on 10 June and stood in front of the reserved seat where this guy was sitting. Although the train was crowded there were no elderly in sight so it’s not a big deal. However at around Lorong Chuan an old man boarded and asked for his seat, to which this man replied in the basest manner possible. Here is their general conversation:
The rude man in question
Old Man: Excuse me, can I have the seat?
This Guy: (after 10 sec) No, I paid for my ticket, why must give you??
Old Man: But it’s a reserved seat.
This Guy: Wlao eh your brain got problem issit??? I am not giving you the seat!!!
*the lady next to him gets up and offers her seat*
This Guy: You sit there lah!! People give you seat alr why must sit here???
The other side of the story: Why must I give up my seat?
Just a week ago, a chatty cab driver was giving his opinion on MRT reserved seats. His take was one that was similar to the selfish man in the above incident. He said: “We pay for tickets too, why are the elderly special? Since they are not working, they should travel at times when the train is not packed—and not hog seats. Young people are tired too, school going kids have heavy bags and they should be able to sit.”
We have yet another passenger giving her side of the story of the not-so deserving folk:
“It’s only right that we give up our seats to the elderly. But not when a middle-aged uncle or auntie comes up to you, looks at you and looks at the seat you just sat down on less than 5 seconds ago, expecting you to give up the seat to him, as if you owe him one.”
WATCH: Top 10 MRT videos
Defending older folk who are more deserving
It’s a given — Some older folk might be rude and overbearing but there is a reason why MRT reserved seats should NOT be made vacant for the elderly. They are weak and feeble. They have brittle bones and their vision is less than perfect with aches and pains that you’ll never begin to understand. Offering up your seat is the least you can do.
Once a senior citizen breaks a bone or a hip from falling, that’s pretty much the end of the line for them. A very healthy family member of mine was 80—he was capable and independent– got his own groceries and went about daily activities with no issue. One night he fell off his bed and broke his hip. He never recovered from the fall. His health deteriorated and he died six months later.
MRT reserved seats taken up by a young and healthy woman who is conveniently asleep!
MRT reserved seats for pregnant women
Here is yet another episode from a passenger who wishes to remain anonymous. This is her observation of the MRT reserved seats—or rather the abuse of it from non-deserving folk.
“When I took the MRT to work this morning, I was both angry and disappointed with what I saw. There was 1 foreign worker sitting in the reserved seat, while his friend in the next seat was enjoying his morning paper. In walked a heavily pregnant woman who stood in front of the reserved seat; she tried to steady herself by holding on to the bar.
The guy in reserved seat immediately fell ‘asleep’ upon seeing the pregnant woman, while his friend continued reading his newspaper. Thank goodness a kind passenger from the other side walked up to the woman to tell her that there was a seat available at the other side.
Makes me wonder what the reserved seat signage is for, if some people just cannot be bothered to give up their seat for others who need it more. Guess what? Man in reserved seat magically ‘woke up’ after the pregnant woman walked over to the seat at the other side!”
WATCH: Uncle fighting on MRT