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Hong Kong MTR

On MTR priority seats, Hong Kong seems ready to name and shame, but not to change attitude

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 May, 2018, 11:01am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 May, 2018, 11:01am

I refer to Alex Lo’s column on MTR etiquette (“The two faces of Hong Kong: incredible kindness and outright rudeness”, May 1).

I support those who say that we Hongkongers should not point an accusatory finger at mainlanders or foreigners, we should try to rectify our attitude to other cultures.

The incident on the MTR highlighted by the column tells of the need to launch a public awareness campaign on our behaviour. Arguments over who gets to occupy a priority seat are not rare in Hong Kong. People even take photos and record videos of undeserving or unfeeling occupants and upload them to the internet to have the persons in question tried by social media.

In the wake of the culture of internet judges, the term “humiliation seat” has replaced “priority seat”. And as a local teenager, I avoid sitting on the MTR, especially on the “humiliation seat”.

Moreover, vacating our seats for the elderly or otherwise infirm should be part of behaviour dictated by our traditional values, instead of any rules. If we become as polite as the Japanese, we should not need any internet judges.

I understand that discourteous people exist everywhere in the world, and that we can hardly avoid encounters with them. But, on the other hand, while everyone thinks of changing the world, hardly any one thinks of changing himself. Change our attitude and one day we may change the world.

Samantha Lam, Kwai Chung