“You pay, I pay… you earn my respect!” – Young woman occupying reserved seat tells off older lady with leg pain

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A video showing an argument between a young woman and an older lady over a reserved seat in an MRT cabin has gone viral online.

It is unclear when the events captured in the video occurred but the clip has been widely circulated online since Monday, when it was posted on Facebook page Sure Boh Singapore.

Reader Contributed:Young lady sitting on reserved seat and quarrel with an auntie.Credit: Eddie

Posted by SBS – Sure Boh Singapore on Sunday, 8 October 2017

In the video, the young woman can be heard telling the older lady who is waiting for a seat on board a train travelling to Tiong Bahru station: “You pay, I pay. I don’t think you deserve it (the seat).”

The older woman retorted that she only asked for the seat since her leg was painful. She then commented that the younger one was disrespectful and that others on board the train would give up their seat for her.

The younger lady snapped that the older lady would have to earn her respect, triggering a quarrel.

A passenger seated nearby tried to defuse the situation by offering the older woman her seat, just beside the reserved seat in question, when the young lady can be heard telling the older one to get out of her sight.

She even stood up to give her seat to the auntie, while the woman told the auntie to get out of her sight.

Netizens responding to the video had mixed reactions, with some supporting the younger lady and others sticking up for the older one:

159 COMMENTS

  1. Cant blame both parties here,cos they are paying for the ride, so both of them has the right to sit….
    The party to blame is smrt,in future if dont want this kind of problem jus remove all seats….

  2. Yah the govt n authorities are to blame for bringing in these trains with limited seats. I guess they’re cheaper n so they can run less trips frequency let us commoners n peasants go fight it out. Divide n conquer is their game. Dun play their game.

  3. SMRT Please Wake Up & Abolish the “Reserved Seating” program, it’s inducing perpetual Social Disharmony & Angst, amongst commuters ( with the aid of A.holes, Smart Phones & Social Media ).

    MSF Singapore please cultivate some humble pills for the “Seniors”.

  4. some old citizen got no manners…want sit just use umbrella and hit people leg……who can take this type of rudeness….Im also old citizen with leg pain……he he

  5. My pregnant Wife also face such issue lah no one wanna give up seat for her, don’t know why never sit before is it ? God , there was 1 time my Wife was really feeling unwell she politely ask for seat because she felt like fainting due to pregnancy Guess what ? The person said she doesn’t wanna give up her seat. Singaporeans really

    • @Hamirudin
      Nobody who are the sick ones, but if they requested for the seat saying that they are unwell, it is right to give them the seat! I am sure nobody want to pretend to be sick just to get a seat!
      I saw an old man with gray hairs, I let him have the seat but to my surprise he told me that in England, the seats are for ladies because they have fragile bones!
      There is no need to quarrel over the seat, but usually the sick ones wear hats due to bald head caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy
      In my school days, our Chinese teachers always remind us to give up the seats on bus for senior citizens even though there were no reserved seats!
      Now, our education system is a failure in moral ethics

  6. There’s always 2 sides of a coin, firstly its a reserved seat, she shouldn’t have sat there in the first place!
    Secondly some seniors ( I don’t say old lah huh) feels that it is their entitlement!

    • Reserved seats? Who reserved the seats? Both r also paying ok! Who gave them the rights to reserve seats? It’s about manners! Other passengers also can give up their seats for deserved passages who needs it more! No need to demand for it !

  7. The real issue is not just about all the reserved seats..The real problem is there is not enough seats ,not enough trains on time n too many people in a crowded train.Whose problem is it now?

    • What is enough? Perhaps when big data is common then trains can b built to cater to all scenarios. Even then, that assumes seats will appear n disappear at will depending on the passenger load.

    • Data or statistics?…isn’t an already n ever increasing population n passenger load not enough.Btw..Didn’t you notice the fact of common daily incessant breakdowns n delays which contributes to this problem.

  8. I think the Government need to launch a “Courtesy Campaign” It should educate all elderly to be courtesy when asking for a seat although we all know there are seats reserved for elderly people. If the old lady courteous to ask for the seat, I am sure people will let her have it. What is wrong to ask ” Could I have the seat please?”

  9. I dono lah but i will always support the act of giving up seats to the old ,handicapped, pregnated, needy etc… without being asked….
    u pay i pay so wat? Y so sia lan???! Oh n fug those selfish bastards out there! U know who u are‼️

  10. It boils down to gvt fault la. Bring in all the foreigners n make sg so crowded. Sg pple lose jobs cos gvt give it to foreigners. Sg pple all become stress n unhappy. Some foreigners are nice but so what, the damage is done.

  11. both parties are idiots, not only that, all the spectators on the carriage are also jerks, you can so clearly resolve it by just giving up your seat to the older lady and then shame the person in the wrong. conflict on this island is just a spectator sport

  12. Reserved Seats Should Be meant for The Elderly…What if you with your Grand Pa or Grandma on board Trains or Buses and a youngster do not give up the seat to them and still playing with their handphones ???????Please Singaporeans..For Good Order Sake
    Give The Elderly some comfort and safety…How many more years can they live…..God Blessed those who have a kind heart….I have seen Malays and Indians immediately give up their seats to the Elderly even NOT a Reserved Seats…I give them the due respect…Amen

    • reserved seats are also for pregnant and the handicapped. some handicaps are not explicitly visible. for example, i have a degenerative disk which makes it hard for me to stand for long periods. i don’t feel like i need to justify my sitting on a reserved seat to anyone whether they’re elderly, with a phone camera or who woke up on the wrong side of bed.

      also your mentioning of malays and indians seems off. courtesy is regardless of race. singling out those two races with a statement like “I have seen Malays and Indians immediately give up their seats to the Elderly even NOT a Reserved Seats” whiffs of casual racism.

      also, Why Do You Type Like This?

    • Douglas Teo ….Don’t play with Racism…I hv seen on many occasions before I pen this Malays and Indian Nationals issue…Don’t tried and get pitiful just bcuz you hv hv a degenerative disk….and you A dam HERO…you ask for it..,and I did not at all mention that RESERVED Seats are NOT meant for Pregnant and handicapped…What talking you ?????????

    • James Seet
      point 1.
      “….Don’t play with Racism…I hv seen on many occasions before I pen this Malays and Indian Nationals issue..”

      like lyon said, do you really have to bring race in? once again, let me point out that courtesy is regardless of race.
      __

      point 2.
      “Don’t tried and get pitiful just bcuz you hv hv a degenerative disk….”

      how am i asking for pity? i literally just wrote “i don’t feel like i need to justify my sitting on a reserved seat to anyone whether they’re elderly, with a phone camera or who woke up on the wrong side of bed.”

      i’m not sure what kind of strawman/ad hominem argument you’re trying to cook up, james.
      _

      point 3.
      “and I did not at all mention that RESERVED Seats are NOT meant for Pregnant and handicapped…What talking you ?????????”

      you said and i quote: “Reserved Seats Should Be meant for The Elderly…What if you with your Grand Pa or Grandma on board Trains or Buses and a youngster do not give up the seat to them and still playing with their handphones ???????”

      it’s actually the first sentence in your comment.

      a “youngster” could be pregnant or like me, have a non-visible handicap. this means they have every right to not give up the seat and continue playing with their handphones. i get it, you’re old and think you deserve the reserved seat. but guess what? others deserve the reserved seat as well.
      __

      am i condoning the actions of the girl in the video? no. she’s rude and if able bodied, should have given up her seat. i’m however, judging the shit out of you because you write “Amen” to finish off your comment, but throw around casual racism and seem extremely quick to judge people superficially.

    • Why bother to argue with this James fella… Obviously not very educated, cannot even put his words into one coherent sentence, and on top of that arguing for the sake of arguing.

      I despair for Singapore, close to 100% literacy, but unfortunately we also have the same kind of people who’d vote Trump into a presidency.

  13. If seats are specified for seniors, pregnant or handicap then whoever seated on those will automatically offer to these special people. No questions ask or need to earn respect. Its call civic mindfulness

    • I would ask my parents to take cab if they want to sit while Travelling. Others are paying the same price. It’s their call whether they want to give up the seat or not.

    • Daniel Chua, my parents are in their 60s and they never ask for seats, they know that these seats are reserved for people like my grandparents, who are in their 80s and early 90s. That auntie does not look like she is in her 80s or 90s, it is obvious, so cannot blame that young lady also unless she refuses to give up her seat to those in their 80s and 90s.

    • Benjamin Chia

      You shld know at what age is considered ‘Senior’.

      Ang Thiam Wee Wee and Daniel Chia hv both responded to yr post???
      I am as irritated as they are by yr naiveness.

    • Its not. Its a privilege seat. Not a compulsory seat for specifically people of that range. Its a first come first serve basis, the commuter occupying that seat can choose whether or not to give up to people with ‘privilege’

    • Xianhong Low good for you, your parents brought you up, I’ve no part to it, but I taught my children,34/31 today to be give seats to the weaker/sick/toddlers, and am proud that they are civic minded, yes we paid for the fares but we give up our seats. At my age I’m blessed to given seats but I will give up to those weaker/older ones

    • Whether a person gives up the seat is up to the person. It is “wrong” to not give up the seat and it is “right” to give up the seat? Who are we to judge? Are you paying for the person’s fare? Are you paying for his/her bills? Who are you to tell the person what is right and what is wrong? Sometimes I cannot stand all these self-righteous nonsense.

  14. Have you guys see a Doctor Scold A Patient….Bcuz they know…an Elderly or Sickly person tense to
    loose their patience and agitated very easily…Do please Young Men and Young Ladies…Respect The Old , Sickly Commuters…Please give them A Seat Whether Reserved Or Not…Thank you

  15. Haiz you know the society is going haywire with people quarreling for a seat. Btw the younger lady can act a bit more dignified than asking for respect. Who the heck is she?

  16. Why is the one sitting on reserved seat targeted only? Anyone else can offer theirs right? Just because it is reserved? Probably many are just happily sitting on their seat because “Heng it is not them”.

  17. It is ok for the young lady to sit on the reserved seat but since it is meant for elderlies and pregnant ladies, she should then get up and let the elderly have the seat if she sees one of them near her. It is just common sense and civic-consciousness, nothing to do with money or respect whatsoever. Her action will gain much respect and admiration from people all around as it means she is a gracious person.

    I am thankful and grateful that my aged parents have always had someone so gracious to give up their seats for them, whether on trains or buses. And all these people who do so were not even on reserved seats. There is still some hope left in humanity

  18. It is after all a RESERVED SEAT for the privileged ones…whether u paid more for the trip or not it is only ethical that the young lady gave up the seat to the elders. What is wrong with our community nowadays? It is really sad indeed.

  19. The parents is useless, the school is helpless, just scrapped the Social Study subject in school and bring out the cane. Spare the rod and spoilt the child.

  20. What is meant by –
    Seats reserved for the elderly, pregnant woman and children?

    The younger woman was an unauthorized occupier of that Reserved Seat.
    She is a Bully !

    Can’t believe if any one dared claim the PG woman is in the wrong !

  21. Boils down to generation upbringing.. who is to blame? The society- Elders suffer the blunt of the lack of humanity. Study so much degree dont teach u respect or neither gives u the respect. Money cant even buy u respect. Even theres signs all over, no one cares coz they hv no conscience… hard hearted- thats what our country is turning into.

  22. I’d rather not earn respect from someone who has no compassion. It’s not a matter of you pay I pay. Wouldn’t she have offered the seat to her own mother? Just because it is a stranger..you need to earn respect? How? In a train? During a short ride? Come off it! Total crap if you ask me. Just shut your gap if you don’t want to give up your seat. Don’t spout nonsense! And I don’t think she knows what respect means. If she did, she would have given up the seat out of respect for the elderly. Leg pain or not. Our Asian values.

  23. It doesn’t matter if we all pay, it’s just common decency and civic mindedness. Anyone who thinks that the elderly are self-entitled are the same young generation of today that exhibits self-entitlement themselves esp if they believe that they deserve the seat too. Isn’t it ironic? How difficult is it to just get up if they ask you to and avoid the drama. In fact, you shld get up before they ask. In any other developed countries, no elderly, child or pregnant women have to ask for a seat. It’s automatic & common sense that they deserve it more. Put yourself or any of your family member in their shoes, would your sense of empathy be invoked then? My pregnant sister fainted in an mrt train on the way to work because no one deigned to give up their seats to her and the SMRT staff had to stop the train and call an ambulance for her. It wouldn’t have happened if someone actually took the initiative to give up their seat.

  24. Let’s put it this way you do not to have a reserved seat to exercise common decency. You just need to look around you and if you feel a person whether old or handicapped or pregnant you just let them have your seat. Why keep arguing ? You can argue till the cows come home at the end of the day , the question will be are you willing to do the right thing.

  25. Aiyah! Damn it! Put every seat in the MRT as Reserved Seats lah!!!

    Same like coffee shops almost every table of the zhi char stall has reserved signs on the tables, left very few tables which other foodies can seat down.

  26. Seen some elderly or mothers who take a seat given to them with a stone-faced expression and no eye-contact with the person who gave up the seat.

    I won’t be surprised if some of these old folks asking for seats may have deliberately been very rude. I have witnessed a man asking for a seat for an old person and the way he asked shocked me.

  27. its okay if the sitting offers their seats but never ever demand for it and raise your voice. Fucking some old people really took things for granted

  28. all for giving up seat to the elderly. but the sad ironic thing is the older generation has helped keep the govt that cultivates this self-serving society in power thru their vote. and now this younger segment of society is conditioned to bite back in this way.

  29. who is the idiot behind all these reserved seats nonsense?
    now, I have seen people avoid these seats cos they don’t want to appear on social media. it has caused so much problems.
    in the 80s and 90s, there was no such problems. young people gave their seats to seniors. and sg is rapidly aging, so many more old people.
    then with overcrowding and people becomes v stressed, came this v stupid idea.
    the young lady is definitely in the wrong. BUT the aunty is not blameless.
    why are some young girls so spoilt nowadays?

  30. who is the idiot behind all these reserved seats nonsense?
    now, I have seen people avoid these seats cos they don’t want to appear on social media. it has caused so much problems.
    in the 80s and 90s, there was no such problems. young people gave their seats to seniors. and sg is rapidly aging, so many more old people.
    then with overcrowding and people becomes v stressed, came this v stupid idea.
    the young lady is definitely in the wrong. BUT the aunty is not blameless.
    why are some young girls so spoilt nowadays?

  31. Uneducated or too educated . .. Don even know wats the meaning Reserved Seat. .. talking abt pay, respect. .. for a bloody reserved seat to an old lady. Brainless donkey. I’m quite surprised to read comments to those ppl who support the brainless gal. It’s quite clear tho the reserved seats are meant for who. Some blame smrt and government.. Lols.. It tickles me wen I read…there’s loads bunch of too smart ppl in Singapore nowadays… Don even know how to differentiate from right to wrong. .. speechless …. hahaha

  32. In Taiwan, no one seats on the reserved seats and no one uses the handicap elevator. I thought that the authorities imposes a fine. But I was wrong. It is their civic mindedness culture. Our education has failed.

  33. Just remove those reserve seat is human nature if you see anyone in need just give up the seat…. our moral education system must bring back to teach all youngster and there is alot of hidden tiger in sgp dont play a fool you will get what you deserve unexpected

  34. My Goodness! Singapore today is so different! In times gone by, there would have been no argument over seats. Most of the able bodied people would give up their seat if an elderly person is seen standing, especially if they appear to be unsteady or are carrying a walking stick. This, I believe is the result of an over materialistic society where Money is everything. Sad. The high cost of transport and accomodation has brought about this attitude of “I pay, I have the right”. Some may say that this kind of attitude is found everywhere. Not true. Where I live it is thankfully not like this. I believe the excessive crowd in Singapore have made many to be “Highly Strung”.

  35. U know, even if the girl doesn’t want to give up the seat, we can’t do anything. It’s not a criminal offense. Imagine if u want to enforce this, I rather have mrt staff making sure the train gets to the destination on time instead of breaking down.

  36. So many comments about who’s entitled for the seat or what is considered senior. It is a sad state in our society. Why does it really matter whether they are entitled or not? Don’t we all learn about 上敬老尊贤,下关爱弱小?It is not whether they really need it. What’s the problem with giving up your seat to someone who is more elderly than you, or children whom cannot afford a fall?

  37. I have seen young people just flopped on the reserved seats, whip out their mobile and just stare at it oblivious to all around including those needing the seats

  38. In the first place why is this younger woman sitting on the reserve seat. Is she elderly, pregnant or handicap . The signage clearly stated it is a reserve seat for those mentioned. Mrt got their right to allocate those seats for these people.

  39. I don’t have any qualms giving up my seat for those who needed it more than i do unless if i am having a tiring day then no one will stood a chance.

  40. Young people r often too shallow n temperamental to know that we all will grow old n face the same situation many times later in life. Maybe, u r the few but ‘lucky’ people who will die very young, perhaps next week! No doubt, that’s good for the mostly respectable people in any nation.

  41. Imagine when you are old… legs throbbing with arthritis pain and you had to take the MRT during rush hour.
    And then you see a young chiku seating on the reserved seat listening to music and chatting on social media…
    Please refrain from telling that young lady off if you are not mindful enough to vacate your seat for the elderly when you are still able to stand.

  42. All the seats in trains should be priority seats. Everyone has part to play. What if the one sitting on reserved seats have some sickness/injuries? Judging someone solely by their age is unfair.

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