Raymond comes out in support of the lady. - Here is my reply- published in MediaCorp's TODAY newspaer- Sat 19 March 2011.
I refer to reader Joanne Yeo Swee Tiangs' letter, "Pregnant commuter ask for a seat- and gets scolded" (March 16). I am shocked, saddened and ashamed. I agree with Ms Yeo that public transport operators should work closely with the Government to promote social graciousness.
It looks like all the efforts to promote civic mindedness and courtesy on public transport are not working. Punishing a person with fines or stiffer penalties could cause resentment and bitterness. I propose that the Land Transport Authority, in collaboration with SMRT and SBS Transit, introduce a "role model commuters" scheme in which gracious commuters who willingly offer their seats to the elderly, pregnant women, the disabled and the sick, and even help them get off the buses and trains, can be rewarded.
An annual lucky draw can be held, in which these role models can stand a chance to win sponsored prizes and free travel on board MRT trains and buses. Commuters can nominate those who have acted graciously on board public transport systems, and they too can stand to win prizes.
Photographs of winners can be put up at MRT stations and bus interchanges. The publicity material can read: "Act graciously and stand a chance to win attractive prizes." With this in place, I have every confidence that in time, more graciousness will be displayed on board MRT trains and buses, leaving reserved seats to be set aside for those who need it most, like Ms Yeo.
Raymond Anthony Fernando