Voices Of Youth

Change self-centred nature of S’poreans

Imposing a fine on those who “chope” seats, as suggested by Mr Wee Gim Leong, is not the solution (Fine those who reserve tables; April 28).

In the light of the altercation at a Toa Payoh hawker centre, many can see that the choping culture in Singapore is one that is not only unrefined but also unkind.

Choping in Singapore is common. In a society where everything is fast-paced, people will naturally have the desire to get a seat quickly and not have to wait for other patrons to finish their food.

Many have to rush to head back to work, as their lunch break is only an hour long or they may have errands to run.

Understanding both the perspectives of those who need to reserve tables with personal items and those who are in favour of a more gracious society is important before making a decision.

With hefty fines serving as a deterrent, the results may be immediate, but the root of the problem is not solved.

Education is the key to change this, although it may take a longer time. We should inculcate in everyone, the children especially, the values of graciousness and selflessness, because good habits start from a young age.

It is the self-centred nature of Singaporeans that has to be changed.

Ginnie Wee Ai Lee, 14, Secondary 2 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2017, with the headline 'Change self-centred nature of S’poreans'. Subscribe