Help! The 'choping' disease is spreading

There has been much talk about the "chope" culture at hawker centres.

It is clear this practice has to go, as it has now spread to other places, in particular, our public libraries.

It is hard to miss the notebooks, worksheets, pens and highlighters strewn messily on the table by absent individuals claiming the space. Sometimes, a jumper is tossed over the chair for good measure.

There needs to be a discussion on why this happens and why it should be discouraged.

I believe most of these seats are occupied by individuals who have left the library to run an errand, or by individuals reserving seats for their friends who have not arrived yet.

It is disappointing to watch people being denied a seat because of these "phantoms".

I do not begrudge the space to an individual who returns within 20 minutes. But it is selfish if the individual claims the seat then disappears for hours.

Can libraries do more to stop this?

Ang Zyn Yee (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2017, with the headline 'Help! The 'choping' disease is spreading'. Print Edition | Subscribe