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Hong Kong culture

What the ‘door close’ button in Hong Kong lifts reveals about selfish city

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 July, 2018, 6:04pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2018, 12:45pm

In every lift in Hong Kong, the lettering on the “door close” button is worn with overuse. I’ve even seen people close the door before selecting the floor they want. On many occasions, I’ve had people stare at me blankly with a finger firmly on the button as I raced across a lift lobby.

Why does this happen? Even if a lift is full to capacity and it stops nine times on its journey, the most time the last person to get out could save would be less than a minute. Is anyone’s minute more important than courtesy in this city?

Would you hold the lift door for a stranger? The answer says a lot

I fear this attitude of self-importance and selfishness permeates other parts of Hong Kong culture, and this is just another symptom. It is rare to see people hold doors open, offer seats to the elderly or share a pavement with consideration.

Perhaps we should remove all the “door close” buttons from lifts. It would give us an extra minute to consider others.

Stephen Hughes, Peng Chau