Do read my article on the above subject, here on The Malayan Chronicles. As in many of my press letters and articles, I analyze the issues carefully and then provide CONSTRUCTIVE and WORKABLE SOLUTIONS.
NEA and her volunteers can help promote graciousness at hawker centres
Public pressure on the police to take action on the abuse has resulted in the couple being arrested “Police arrest two for Toa Payoh hawker centre dispute” (The New Paper, April 27)
Often people will resort to airing abuses through the internet and social media to ensure swift action is taken against what they deem as unfair treatment and bullying tactics.
I have observed time and again that patience and graciousness is sadly lacking among many of us – be it on the roads and in the community. Like thousands who viewed the video of the young couple allegedly abusing the elderly man who wanted to have his meal at a table, I am also shocked at the alleged offensive language and force against the elderly man.
Those who ill-treat the elderly must be made aware that sooner or later we will all get old and would we be happy if we are abused or shown disrespect when age catches up on us?
These days some people so easily lose patience and this will likely become more intense as the population rises in the years ahead. Filming an ugly incident such as this one that has gone viral does not help to promote our society as a gracious and caring one. What will the tourists think of us?
Perhaps, the video could have first be routed to government agencies like the police, the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the National Environment Agency for investigation.
Clearly, discipline, graciousness and showing kindness to one another must be stepped up.
The Singapore Mass Transit Authority (SMRT) has been proactive and have deployed their staff at all MRT stations during peak hours to ensure that passengers line up in an orderly manner, and they constantly remind everyone to give way to alighting passengers. Thus, queuing up at stations has been ingrained in all passengers.
I have witnessed some younger passengers tapping the shoulders of the elderly to offer their seats when they see seniors standing in crowed trains. I have been fortunate to experience such kindness, although there will still be youthful passengers who will ‘pretend’ to sleep when they see an elderly person right in front of them who could well do with a seat. At the end of the day, it all boils down to attitude and upbringing.
So why not emulate the work of the SMRT? To this end, the National Environment Agency (NEA) could bring in their staff and her volunteers to promote graciousness at popular hawker centres during peak periods so that gradually fine dining, even if it is with strangers makes it a pleasure to have a meal at these food centres.
While the NEA has stepped up enforcement on littering and fined people for throwing cigarette butts, it also a bigger role to play – in ensuring that diners stop this bad habit of reserving seats, and making sure our seniors are not bullied or abused in any way.
Bottom line: Let’s dine with graciousness so as to allow our manners to shine.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO