Reserved Seats for you?

I ended up reading yahoo news in intervals of my working time in office when I wanna take a break from my work, or when I just feel like slacking. Especially when the time is closing to lunch break, or closing to knock off time. I chanced upon this article :

http://sg.yfittopostblog.com/2010/09/27/woman-dishes-out-profanities-to-commuters-on-mrt-train/

which involves this particular woman who started screaming at commuters in the MRT train. I’ve seen the video yesterday on Oi Shan’s friend’s blog. The lady was seen shouting and shouting in the train (for I don’t know what reason), and then this Indian guy beside her moved from his seat to stand somewhere further from her (since it’s obvious there’s something wrong with her), and then this woman saw this guy sitting on a reserved seat and started scolding again.

This video of course sparked off a lot of comments from viewers. Debating whether or not the guy should have sat in the reserved seat or not, debating that the woman is crazy and all this.

I have always wanted to blog about this but did not find the mood and motivation to. Apparently a lot of people think that the “Reserved Seats” in MRT meant that only pregnant, elderly and people with physical disabilities can sit on it. I never thought it this way until some people started taking pictures of these people who sit on the reserved seats and post them up on STOMP.

In my opinion, I still think that these seats could be taken by able-bodied people, just that it’s a reminder to us people that when needy people come in, we will have the courtesy of standing up and letting them have the seats. At least I think that is what the government intended anyway. A lot of people thought that they should not sit on the priority seats, thus if they sit on the normal seats, and they see needy people come along, they can just continue sitting. Either that, or they will think that people who are sitting on the “Reserved Seats” OUGHT to stand up and make the seats free for the needy people. The point however, is that no matter who, as long as they’re able-bodied and sitting on the seats and they saw needy people, they SHOULD let out their seats, it’s not a matter of whether the “Reserved Seats” exist or not, it just serves as a reminder, but people nowadays twisted the meaning and changed it somehow to another selfish way.

I still don’t understand how come a lot of people keep saying that people who sit on the “Reserved Seats” should be chased away.

Second thing is, though the sister of the lady in the video is stepping out and told viewers to stop criticizing her and that’s treating her unfairly because we don’t know what she has been through. However, everybody in Singapore is stressed up, even primary school students have a lot on their hands to worry about, of course we don’t know what she has been through, because just as we don’t understand hers, nobody understands each other’s plight, life still goes on.

It’s not moral to keep her locked at home, and hire people to look after her like she’s a serial killer. However, it also might not be safe to let her go out on her own. Who knows if she acts up again and the victim might also be someone like her who has problems coping with her stress too? Must we wait till a tragedy happen, either that somebody is injured or killed before we know that something should be taken precaution against?

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6 thoughts on “Reserved Seats for you?

  1. i emphatize with the pain the sister is going through.
    schizophrenia doesnt equate homicidal tendencies. true, the woman behaved extremely badly in public and it’s not fair to expect people to have to endure that. but at the same time, it should be obvious at some point that this woman isn’t well, and it’s just like how you sometimes see mentally disabled children on a train, alone. they behave strangely, but ultimately, they’re just as normal as anybody else.
    people with mental disorders or difficulties are just as human as anybody else, and as far as possible, as a society we have to try and let them be as “normal” as possible, so that they might recover, adjust, or at the very least, still feel as though they are being treated as human beings.
    it doesn’t mean of course that i condone the behavior of that woman on the mrt – i just think that she needs more help, and maybe for the next few weeks or months, she will need company with her on public transport.
    it’s most likely that the family just hasnt had the time and resources to follow that woman to and fro from work.
    my point is – schizophrenia doesnt necessitate special treatment all the time. many of the greatest geniuses, a few of them even professors at prestigous universities, have been schizophrenic.
    Experts estimate that you are highly likely to have at least know one person suffering from a mental disorder in your immediate circle within your lifetime.
    it’s not strange. afterall life is stressful, especially on our increasingly urbanized planet.
    what that means is that as a society, just like with ageing populations, we have to learn to accept these people, make accomodations for them and help them lead normal lives.
    okay, so the woman acted out of line on a train.
    but she was sick.
    so what should we be doing?
    what about public education – to help people, even children, learn how to deal with situations like this?
    isn’t that what civilised society is about?

    not fear and discrimination and definitely, of course, not youtube.

  2. mooyalty : because just like you reserve seats in restaurant, people think that reserved seats are onli meant to be used by the people that’s on the labels. and whoever that does not fall in to the category will be able to sit in those seats.

    hantu : did you not realise that people are getting more and more unforgiving these days. i don’ think, however that it’s right to let the woman to come out alone on her own. as her sister also know that her “condition is triggered on and off”, what if there is one time that her condition is triggered on again and she might do things worst than just scolding and shouting in public, and in the end ended up taking something to hit the public instead? the idea of allowing somebody to accompany her for the first few months to see how is it like would be a better idea though. but, she’s definitely not in a condition to be out on the streets like in this condition now.
    not saying that people with mental disorders are to be kept in the hospital and not see the daylight outside again, but we have to make sure that they would not cause any harm to any innocent people and then allow them to be out on their own.
    it’s a wonder how come after so much education that us kids have gone through, and people cannot learn to treat everybody else equally, but instead step on the tails of others.

  3. yeah the public is in the wrong for being so unforgiving of someone who needs help and youre right to say that she needs somebody with her.
    but at the same time i think we have to qualify that blame as well. after all just because she’s sick doesnt mean she will passively accept people’s judgements just like that. it’s also possible that she refused to have people escort her. after all, she’s an adult – it’s quite insulting.

    there are very old grandmothers who suffer from diabetes and do everything they can to eat sweet things and their children cant stop them. when they try, they’re scolded and insulted for like say, trying to steal from them or something.
    so i think sometimes a sensitive issue like this can be emotionally very trying on a family so i guess what they need most now is just help, counselling, etc.
    and i guess the biggest issue here is that why is it that the first response of the public wasn’t to offer that help, debate about how that help can best be provided, but to grill the probably already suffering family over, without bothering to ask for details?

    so yes, of course i agree with you that we have to make sure the woman doesn’t hurt anybody, especially considered how extreme her behavior can be.

    and yeah, education often means nothing. it teaches people how to count, how to not litter, but not how to be a human being.

    1. hm yeah i think you’re right in the sense that the whole family would need counselling. since she might really refuse the accompany of an adult as of course she would think that it’s not necessary and insulting.
      uh uh, the education does not teach people to give up seats to elderly, does not teach people how to litter – because there’s still a lot of people who do this, it mainly teaches people to strive for the best, compete with each other and get the best results just so that they can have a better education certificate, and then a better salary. it’s slowly teaching the people to become more self-centered.
      i onli know that the public now is getting more and more unforgiving, a small simple mistake that you do which will get posted online will result in a lot of painful comments from the public.

  4. yeah, i think i’d be quite happy if i could have zero humiliating youtube videos of myself up by the time i die.
    that is like, a goal of mine now.
    it’s almost horrific, the voyeuristic way people flock to videos of other people behaving badly or ridiculously.
    somehow, i never could see the humourous side of this kind of thing.

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