This letter was published in the New Paper on Wednesday 10 June 2009.
I am totally disgusted to read of the alleged assault of 68-year-old Madam A Nyanamani by a young commuter, and the vulgarities that were hurled at her by his friend,(The New Paper, 6 June).
With crowd congestion on our roads and in public places, our environment is getting more and more stressful.
When people are unable to manage their anger and frustrations, innocent and helpless citizens become their victims.
Lately, there has been an increase in the number of crimes committed against the elderly.
The alleged physical and verbal attack on the helpless housewife clearly demonstrates that our senior citizens deserve better protection.
Stiffer penalties for crimes against the elderly will serve as a deterrent for those who want to bully our seniors.
Recently while travelling on the MRT during the peak hour rush, I saw its officers asking passengers to move to the centre of the car and advising those who take up seats for the needy to give it up to senior citizens, pregnant women and those who are weak.
This practice should be carried out on buses as well. Part-time bus wardens can be hired to help ease tensions on crowded buses during peak hours.
Such an initiative can also help to create jobs for retirees and those who have been retrenched.
As more people give up their cars and stop taking taxis, it is high time that our bus drivers are properly trained to handle tense situations that are likelty to occur.
It is imperative that our public transport operators take proactive measures to ensure that every citizen can enjoy a smooth and safe ride on our buses.
They should take the cue from what psychologist Arnold H Glasgow once said: “One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognise a problem before it becomes an emergency.”
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO