Giving Up Your Seat in Singapore

Like many countries around the world, Singapore has introduced priority seats on trains in recent years. But is the supposedly simple kind act of giving up your seat to those who need it more than you as simple as it seems?

I know that in some countries, most passengers would not sit at the priority seats so it will always be available to those who needs it. In Singapore, priority seats are for general sitting, but people sitting there will, most of the time, give it up when there are needy people around.

However, this is also where the strangest thing will happen. For example,  one sees an elderly and give up one’s seat, though most elderly will gladly accept it but there are some who will reject it. Why reject such goodwill you ask? The elderly will probably say they are getting off at the next stop, which is usually a lie. They just don’t want your seat. Now this is rather thought provoking. I think maybe it’s because the elderly does not want to admit that he/she is old?

So what happens next? The poor fellow who gave up his seat will perhaps feel saddened that his goodwill is not accepted, or maybe even slightly embarrassed? Well he/she can sit down back onto the seat but this is not recommended as other commuters who just came in might think that how come you never give up your priority seat? Which in actual fact you did but the elderly rejected it. So I will suggest anyone in this situation to just stand and leave the seat empty.

Then there’s also the thing about how old an elderly be for one to consider giving up his/her seat for? Some might think this person is old yes buy maybe not that old enough to warrant one to give up his/her seat? So with the case study earlier, what if the person whom one offer the seat to rejected it? Perhaps he/she feel insulted that you think they are old by offering your seat? But if you do not give up your seat, what if others accuse you of not giving up your seat? Afterall, different people have different interpretation of how old is old. So how old should an elderly be for you to consider him/her old? 50? 60? 70? 80? 90? 100?

Anyway, I don’t really approve of priority seats. it gives people the impression that only people sitting in priority seats are suppose to give up their seats. In my opinion I think everyone should give up their seats regardless of where they are sitting, not just priority seats.



About sergeant gordon

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16 Responses to Giving Up Your Seat in Singapore

  1. misakichii says:

    Seat of Guilt is what they have made it to be.

  2. if u look at the bottom left of the sign, it says give up your seat to those with a dollfie. ^^;

  3. r chan says:

    i agree it should apply to everyone to give up their seATs to those who need it more. but yeah, i dont accept as well when someone offers his seat to me =p

  4. Brad F. says:

    Good point about the priority seat signs giving the impression that you don’t have to give up your seat if you’re sitting elsewhere.

    Just a few days ago here in New York City I was on a bus and an elderly man with a cane got on. The front 6 seats on the bus are priority seating. One of the seats was occupied by a young woman, maybe 17, and she just pretended like she didn’t see or know what was going on. Then half the bus started yelling at her to “get your lazy ass up and give up the seat! That’s for people that need it!”

    I was a little surprised, because in Singapore when that happened people normally just ignored the situation. Anyway, the girl jumped up and hid her face. People in NYC are pretty vocal about their opinions.

  5. Aoi-Chan says:

    What about cases where you give up the seat to parents with children (little kids)… You would expect that the parent sits with the kid in the lap (save space and both parent and kid gets to sit)…But noooooo….Usually the parent gets the kid to sit…and its PLAYGROUND time for him… I personally would like to decapitate the parent in these instances.

    Also, the “reserved” seats system seems to be breeding a strange concept of entitlement in Singaporeans (well not all of course). But it seems that ppl will rush to get the “unreserved” seats as they feel that since its “unreserved” its “safe” and they do not have to give it up, while the “reserved” seats are Seats Of Doom…

    On a more personal note, I do know Daddy (WinterKnight) likes to take a U turn on the train (From Outram Park to HarbourFront then back up to home in Hougang) so he can have a seat on the train.

    Disclaimer: All remarks are the personal opinion of ME (Aoi)

  6. alafista says:

    I don’t even bother to sit down on trains nowadays unless there are tons of empty seats.

  7. stan says:

    yes! evry seat shud be a priority seat whether lebelled or nt! =P

  8. I totally agree with your last paragraph that anyone should give up their seat regardless where ever they sit. However, I don’t totally disapprove the priority seating nevertheless as it still would serve its purpose most of the time – you see, the priority seat is usually placed near to the door, so it is common sense that the person in the seat nearest to the door should be the first to give up his seat the moment he sees someone who needs it.

  9. abaorox says:

    the seats at the sides are always the nicest to sit as they have a glass panel for your head to lean on ^^

  10. phossil says:

    We still dont have priority seats when commuting. That would be good. 😉

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