Singapore—We don’t know someone’s story until we hear it. And until we do, it’s sometimes easier to be judgmental than to extend the benefit of the doubt.
Photos of a woman who had driven her rather big Personal Mobility Aid (PMA), complete with a roof, were posted on the Facebook page SG Road Vigilante on September 13, Friday.
Unfortunately, people were less than kind with their comments, asking why such a large and unwieldy vehicle should be allowed on the MRT, to everyone else’s inconvenience.
Netizens asked why the woman was even let in, that her mobility aid should just be towed behind the train. People suggested that she was “lazy to walk,” that she should just “share the train track,” that she was “just asking to be mocked at…”
Until the woman came forward to defend herself. She clarified that she is a a holder of a disability card and possessed the relevant documents to support why she’s using a mobility scooter.
The woman, Priscilla Ong, wrote a response explaining why she had the mobility device, and saying that she had brought it out that day in order to help feed the needy.
However, she lamented that so many had rushed to judgment about her and her mobility aid, writing in one comment, “Thanks for your insensitive comments. You all have proven humanity has died. Bring a measuring tape and meet me before judging.”
Ms Ong had been in a serious automobile accident three years ago, which left her left side weak. She can no longer use her dominant hand, and asked netizens, “From 100% to 15% have you walked in my shoes?”
Point blank she declared, “I am now declared permanently disabled.”
And although she did not need to, she even explained her heavyset frame, saying that she had been on steroids, which made her gain weight, and that now she was working on losing the extra weight she gained.
She wrote, “I am not using the vehicle out of convenience, I am using it to try to lead my life.”
Ms Ong explained that her PMA seemed big because of its cover, but that she did not block the way in trains, since she fits ‘directly’ in the wheelchair slot.
More importantly, she explained why the vehicle has not only been beneficial to her but to many others as well.
“This vehicle has help ferried 25 bags of 5 kg rice.
100 pack of Maggie a few times.
And today it’s used to ferry 35 mooncakes. All this benefits needy families.”
Ms Ong made a parting shot in her comment, “So what have you done with your able life?”
In fairness, the people behind the SG Road Vigilante page amended their post and explained Ms Ong’s condition.
“With permission from Priscilla Ong, who is the cofounder of Project Love Lunch 仁爱之盒, she was doing here deliveries at multiple locations today.
She started this project before she got into the an (sic) accident that caused her to require the use of PMA. After her accident, she suffered whiplash resulting in her master hand not able to carry more than 2kgs, and walk long distance. She have (sic) come to terms with her disability and is currently using this PMA to continue with the project she started and hope to help the less fortunate.
Those who are interested in her project may contact the page tagged above for more info.”
Sep2019[Updates]With permission from Priscilla Ong, who is the cofounder of Project Love Lunch 仁爱之盒, she was doing…
Ms Ong graciously said thanks that her side was heard.