Singaporeans need to behave better

Errant cyclists and the abuse of supermarket trolleys are two topics that have been hotly discussed in the Forum pages recently.

These two problems point to an underlying root cause which should be addressed, though, understandably, it may be easier said than done.

The root cause is the lack of graciousness, civility and consideration for others. Such lack of etiquette is certainly not befitting of a First World country like ours.

Using parking spaces reserved for the handicapped is another related problem.

If the underlying cause is not addressed, other problems may arise in the future even if the current ones are solved.

Legislation may work but it does not help to eradicate the irresponsible attitude among some, as noted by NTUC FairPrice corporate communications director Jonas Kor ("Tackling trolley abuse must be community effort"; Feb 16).

Education and other soft approaches are alternatives worth exploring.

In Singapore, irresponsible and mischievous ways of disposing chewing gum led to its import ban in 1992.

Now, I often see abandoned trolleys serving as dumping places for litter. They are different manifestations of the same irresponsible attitude.

The long-term solution to such ungracious behaviour lies in inculcating responsible attitudes, whether it be by parents, educators or even the mass media.

I wish that our behaviour can be above board at all times. Only then can we be a First World country in the true sense of the word.

Low Siew Hua (Ms)