GETTING PRIORITIES RIGHT ABOUT MRT (PRIORITY) SEATS

1. I had written a post (https://thatsmyopinions.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/bad-norm-of-seat-entitlement/) earlier this month which partly addressed the issue of servicemen taking up seats on the MRTs. It’s thus great that MP Baey Yam Keng agrees (https://www.facebook.com/yamkeng/posts/10203789306116285:0) that there is nothing wrong for servicemen to sit in MRTs.

2. It can also be seen in the Wanbao article that MP Baey had added that there is nothing inappropriate as long as servicemen do not occupy the priority seats. And this raises a few questions about these priority seats and who can sit on them.

3. Is it wrong for servicemen to sit on these priority seats and remaining alert so that they will be ready to give up these priority seats to those who need them more? Is is as wrong then, for other passengers to sit on these priority seats and remaining alert so that they will be ready to give up these priority seats to those who need them more?

4. Perhaps people should not try to cultivate the bad norm of “seat entitlement” whereby only a certain group of passengers are allowed to sit on priority seats. The key idea is, any passengers can sit on any empty seats, but all passengers shall continue to be alert and give up our seats to those who need them more. There’s no lesser expectation for any passengers seating on a normal MRT seat to give up his/her seat to someone in need of sitting, as compared to someone sitting on a priority seat!

5. We should aim to cultivate the good behaviors of giving up our MRT seats to those who need the seats more, and not to cultivate the norm that the priority seats are to be left empty and that, or so that they can only be occupied by a certain group of passengers. By getting our priorities right, we would then go a long way in cultivating a truly gracious society that all of us will find pleasure living in.

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