Pushed and shoved by wave of fanatics

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 December, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 December, 2000, 12:00am

I am a frequent traveller on the MTR and almost every day I am confronted with the same despicable behaviour of fellow passengers.

As I am sure everyone is aware, boarding passengers seldom yield to a very simple request to let disembarking passengers off the train before getting on.

These boarding passengers, eager to get on to the train, blatantly ignore my presence as well as my intention of getting off the train. Often, I am pushed and shoved backwards by a wave of fanatics, desperate not to lose out on that all-important seat. I have been so antagonised by this that I have resorted to shouting 'Excuse me', accompanied by shoves to claim my right of way.

I will explain why I think such behaviour is intolerable in more ways than one. First, more often than not, one will not get a seat anyway, so there is no logical reason for rushing into the train. Second, even if there is a prospect of getting a seat, is it worth competing with fellow passengers in such an uncivilised manner? Third, most passengers will not even offer a seat to people in need, let alone offer assistance. I realise that Hong Kong is a crowded and busy city, but so are London, Tokyo and Singapore. Most of the passengers who travel on the MTR in the mornings and evenings are educated middle-class people like myself, yet they show complete disregard for common everyday courtesy.

I am sure everyone, including the locals, has encountered similar problems on public transport, but it is only people like me and perhaps some non-Chinese Hong Kongers, who get sufficiently vexed to warrant some sort of response. Most people seem to just accept it, day after day. By accepting such attitudes, one is actually promoting it whether one realises it or not.

So I would urge all Hong Kong people to stand up for themselves and others, if they feel anyone in public has stepped beyond the line of common courtesy.

But, if Hong Kongers do not even realise that we have a politeness problem here, then I am afraid we are truly beyond help.


Tai Po