Absence of help shows lack of community spirit

I refer to the report on the suspected molestation (Man held on suspicion of molesting woman; Sept 19).

I am flabbergasted to learn that the SMRT service staff in the control room did nothing when the victim pointed out the suspect who had allegedly molested her. He thus had the chance of tapping out of the station and getting away.

The least the service staff could have done was to get out of the control room and detain the suspect, as a crime was alleged to have been committed.

This leads to the question: Are our SMRT staff adequately trained to handle such an incident?

It is also disheartening to learn that other commuters just "stared and did nothing".

Feeling helpless and exasperated despite being surrounded by a sea of people is something I thought happens only to those in foreign shores, and should not happen here.

Although the suspect was apprehended much later by the police, the incident just goes to show the disappointing lack of community spirit and worrying mind-my-own-business attitude among Singaporeans.

If Singapore were to depend on everyone as the eyes and ears on the ground to counter threats such as terrorism, then pretending to see and hear nothing when a victim of alleged crime is in distress and crying out for help is certainly disturbing.

When such a thing happens in a First World country like ours, it is a big step back for our people and community as a whole.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2018, with the headline 'Absence of help shows lack of community spirit'. Print Edition | Subscribe