Don't tolerate decline of civility and disrespect of the aged

The shameful incident at the Toa Payoh hawker centre highlights a very disturbing phenomenon that is, sadly, gaining traction in Singapore.

Call it whatever you like - the "chope culture", the Generation X sense of entitlement, or the kiasu syndrome. You can witness it not only in hawker centres but also in many public arenas, including MRT trains, buses, shops and restaurants.

Young people brazenly occupy seats reserved for the infirm, pregnant women and elderly citizens.

Previously, the transgressors pretended to sleep, but these days, they can get away with being preoccupied with texting.

Although I am a senior citizen, I will give my seat up to the more needy.

Not long ago, I got up from my non-reserved seat, intending to give it to an older senior citizen with a shopping cart who had just boarded the MRT. However, a more nimble young woman moved ahead of her to grab the seat.

How could this happen?

Those decent citizens out there who relinquish seats (even non-reserved seats) embody the best of our Republic.

Let us be kind to old uncles and aunties and let them have a well-deserved rest.

John Driscoll

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2017, with the headline 'Don't tolerate decline of civility and disrespect of the aged'. Print Edition | Subscribe