Age no reason to cut the queue

Mr Tan Kim Hock was correct to say that FairPrice's priority queue for pioneers is not working well ("Priority queue for pioneers not enforced"; Jan 7).

But, even though I am a pioneer, I do not agree with the idea that senior citizens should automatically have priority.

Orderly queues are a sign of a civilised society. Waiting your turn is a matter of consideration and courtesy.

I remember when there were no queues. We all just crowded round and pushed to get on the bus at bus stops. Now, queues are a part of our way of life, and I am happy to wait in line with everyone else.

However, people with real needs or disabilities should have special provision. This is a sign of graciousness in our society.

Therefore, I urge FairPrice to consider replacing the pioneer generation queues with queues for the frail, disabled, pregnant women or needy, whatever their age.

Better yet, there should not be any special queues; just signs asking people to give way to anyone with obvious needs.

We should not institutionalise age as a basis for queue cutting, or promote the idea that people should have special queues just because they are old.

Instead, we should encourage courteous and considerate practices, voluntarily, in a context where everyone waits their turn.

John Elliott

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2017, with the headline 'Age no reason to cut the queue'. Print Edition | Subscribe