Time for the authorities to step in

The calls from Mr Pavithran Vidyadharan (Time to make choping an offence; Aug 23) and Ms Inderjit Kaur (Don't put up with 'choping'; Aug 26) to put an end to the "choping" practice are not new.

Several other readers have written in previously, which means that many see a need to eradicate it and bring some semblance of graciousness, civility and cultured behaviour into Singapore society.

The sight of people nonchalantly tossing packets of tissues, umbrellas, business cards and lanyards onto tables, like it is some kind of fashion statement, is disgusting, to say the least.

I have witnessed the bewildered looks of tourists, given that such behaviour is not seen anywhere else in the world. Yes, it is "uniquely Singapore", but negatively so.

What is disconcerting is the palpable silence from the National Environment Agency, which has jurisdiction over hawker centres, and people who have the power to change things for the better.

The choping practice has resulted in altercations between diners, and will escalate because not everyone condones or tolerates it.

If we are serious about cultivating a gracious, kind and cultured society, the authorities need to address this problem quickly.

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2017, with the headline 'Time for the authorities to step in'. Print Edition | Subscribe