Be more gracious and stop reserving tables

The spat at a Toa Payoh hawker centre over the reservation of seats led to readers writing to the Forum page calling for a ban on "choping". Here are some excerpts from the letters.

The incident highlights the need to address this anti-social behaviour.

I have no issue when a person sits at a table and reserves it for his friends or family. But I do find it inconsiderate when tissue packs, name cards, umbrellas and other objects are used to "chope" a table.

Many years ago, stall owners were prohibited from "reserving" tables near their stalls for their customers. It was made clear that customers are free to sit where they like in a hawker centre .

It is time a similar rule is passed to stop customers from reserving tables too.

Tan Jiann Ching

It is disturbing to watch the video of the young couple bullying the old man who was simply trying to find a seat to have his meal.

The couple's behaviour reveals their poor upbringing, which fortunately does not reflect on the majority of young Singaporeans.

Had this old man fallen from that intentional push and suffered serious injuries, that young man would be in more trouble than he already appears to be in.

Society should have a good social programme to train young adults in manners and how to be gracious.

There should be something similar to the Corrective Work Order for litterbugs, which takes a shaming approach for people like that man. Singapore has no place for such uncouth people.

Raymond Koh Bock Swi

My classmates and I were discussing the dispute and were very upset by how inconsiderate the young man was and also by the rudeness of the woman.

Singaporeans should be giving up their seats to the elderly if these older people have difficulty finding one. The bystanders should have helped the elderly man instead of just watching the argument.

We hope Singaporeans can be more respectful and gracious, especially to our elderly. We hope such an incident will never take place again.

Sophia Nadrah (Miss)

The police should charge that young man with assault, and the National Environment Agency should fine him for shoving all the plates off the table onto the floor and littering the place.

He should be slapped with a Corrective Work Order.

It is about time the authorities step in to terminate this "choping disease" before it gets out of hand.

If you need to reserve the table, you should designate a friend to sit there and tell anyone who wants to take the table that you are ordering food on his behalf and will be back soon.

Francis Yeow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2017, with the headline 'Be more gracious and stop reserving tables'. Print Edition | Subscribe