A Mother, extremely disappointed at local etiquette
Hi, I am not local but fairly local. I come from Malaysia, lived around Asia half my life, and in Australia the other half.
I find public transport etiquette here appalling compared to anywhere else I’ve been or lived.
I moved here a few years back and remember being shocked at how people had to be educated through cartoons to observe compassion, kindness and conscientiousness when commuting on trains and buses (e.g. “Stand up Stacey”). Yet, it does not seem to have penetrated the society.
I have a young baby under one. I use public transports nearly everyday to run errands and take my baby out.
I noticed that in either situation, most people just don’t bother to help or give their seat away on public transports.
- When I was visibly pregnant, many times I had to just stand in buses and trains because people in priority seats would look away, look down, look at their phones/read, or have their eyes shut, pretending not to have noticed me even when I walk up and stand right in front of them.
- When I get on buses with my stroller, people would casually stand around in the handicapped area chatting, until I go up to them and request them to clear the area for my stroller.
- Multiple times I’ve had to stand with my baby in his carrier on trains and buses, and no one would offer their seats – often times, people in priority seats would pretend not to have seen me or look away.
- Once on a train ride, I had to take my baby out of the stroller because he was crying and refusing to sit in it. I was carrying baby precariously in one arm and had to park my stroller at a corner in the train using the other arm. I looked around for a seat in the crowded train and even stood in front of the priority seats, and again, people were avoiding looking at me. I had to walk up to someone in a priority seat and tell him that I needed the seat.
Singaporeans, did you know you did not have to be seated in a priority seat to stand up and give away your seat to someone more in need than yourself?
Maybe Stand up Stacey is sending out the wrong message- obligating those only in priority seats, and even that message seems to have failed to reach its audience.
Globally there is a movement driving change to work towards a more compassionate and kind society.
Stand up Singapore, before its too late.