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“Will we ever be able to make it a ‘culture’ of not talking loudly on public transport?” — Netizen

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“… I’m pretty sure most Singaporeans are too conservative and would rather just keep praying that the noisy person alights at the next stop,” said the netizen referring to how reluctant Singaporeans are to tell people to stop making noise

SINGAPORE: A Reddit user wanted to know if Singapore will ever adopt a culture of silence when using public transport, as is the custom in other countries.

I’m sure the most common example we have is Japan which I personally feel is unachievable… but I unfortunately chose a seat next to someone who’s videocalling overseas and he’s literally shouting at his phone,” wrote u/lingling40000 on r’askSingapore on Monday (Jul 3).

He added that people in the next cabin could hear the man’s phone conversation, and despite several stares, he remained oblivious.

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“I couldn’t even hear myself think anymore despite already listening to music on my headphones,” the post author wrote, asking, “Is it ever possible for us to create a culture (or at least display rules) so others do not make a ruckus on public transport and disrupt others?

I’m anticipating all the ‘if it annoys you so much then tell them to keep quiet’ comments but I’m pretty sure most Singaporeans are too conservative and would rather just keep praying that the noisy person alights at the next stop.”

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Perhaps not everyone is aware that under Section 14 of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, making noise in a manner as to cause or be likely to cause annoyance or inconvenience to others is prohibited, and that Regulation 17 of the Rapid Transit Systems Regulations says: “No person shall conduct himself on any train or in any part of the railway premises so as to cause a nuisance or annoyance to other passengers.”

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Commenters on the post did not seem overly optimistic, however, that commuters would ever learn to be quiet.

“If you want Singaporeans to be quiet in public transport, you’re gonna need to put a ‘fine $500’ sign beside hush hush Hannah,” wrote one.

“U can start by letting the person know as nicely as u can. Japan frowns on certain social behavior so u could say it is somewhat community driven. Sg too much like to complain online only so it is less likely to achieve it,” suggested another.

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“I think it’s probably not going to happen. From observation, elderly watch videos loudly, people of all ages talk loudly on their phones (both voice messages and phone calls), etc etc. It’s not very practical to have a quiet cabin here in SG too, since SG is small and the distance isn’t very long like other countries,” observed a third commenter.

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“Unlikely. Such culture is not something that can be created quickly. It requires teaching and behavioural conditioning over a period of time,” one chimed in.

Another brought up some equally disturbing commuting habits that also need to be addressed: “Let’s start with more achievable goals, like not clipping your toenails or putting your legs up on chairs.”


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