10 Facts About the Well-Dressed Man Shoving of an Elderly That You Should Know

Singapore’s “chope” culture has been the object of much contention lately, with some discussion sparked by opinion pieces on news outlets. Is it an inseparable part of our uniquely Singaporean culture, or is it something that needs to go?

A recent altercation between some hawker centre customers revealed the darkest parts of this “chope” practise so many Singaporeans are fond of.

1. Details

Last week, a couple was caught on camera for apparently bullying an old man at the Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Market & Food Centre. According to the video, the old man had approached a round table asking to share the seats, but a woman who had been “chope-ing” the seats with an umbrella reacted aggressively.

She first hurled vulgarities after the old man’s repeated requests, and called her male companion over, who proceeded to knock into the old man from behind.

The video was shared at midnight, on Sunday, 23 April. And now, on Monday, it has already garnered more than 2.4 million views.

2. Other People

As the argument heated up, the young man arrived and seemed to knock into the old man on purpose, who almost fell save for the table in front of him.

At this point, other customers have noticed the altercation, and another man in a black shirt approached the old man, and looked like he tried to convince the old man to shift to another seat nearby, to defuse the situation.

3. Video

If you’re not one of the 2.4 million, here’s the video.


4. Witnesses

As the video was first shared on Facebook, a Facebook user named Janice Lim claimed she was there, and provided more detail to the incident via Mothership.SG’s Facebook Post.

According to Janice, the woman in the video had thrown many vulgarities at the old man before calling for help. The young man knocked into the old man and accused him of disturbing the woman, without even trying to find out what exactly had happened.

After the incident, another customer had apparently approached the couple, and told the young man off for knocking into the old man. The young man then swept all the used dishes from the table onto the floor in rage.

5. Public Response

Public outrage was swift, as commenters quickly expressed their anger and disappointment at the couple’s behaviour. Many had compared the couple’s behaviour to those of uncivilised barbarians, and yet others have commented on their upbringing.

In a rare case of internet consensus, basically everyone had agreed that the couple’s actions were completely terrible, regardless of whether the old man was in the wrong in any way.

6. Rumours of Identity

Not long after, rumours began spreading on Facebook of the apparent identity of the couple in the video. Some netizens have “discovered” the identity of the woman as that of a Ms Cherry Tan, and the man as being her boyfriend.

However, it turned out that it wasn’t her – it was a witch-hunt gone round. She has since made a police report.

It must have scary for this innocent girl!

In addition, there were speculations that the couple were employees of a branch in Toa Payoh UOB, which brings to the next point…

7. UOB Response

Last evening, UOB released a statement on its Facebook page, stating that investigations were underway regarding the identity of the couple in the video. As the bank checked whether the couple were members of its staff, the internet kept pestering them.

Finally, in 3 hours, UOB released an update to their investigation, confirming that the couple were in fact not members of their staff at all, and implored Facebook users to cease their spreading of false information.

8. Public Reaction

The Facebook page that first misidentified the couple quickly released an apology, after Ms Cherry Tan had contacted them, telling them of the fact that her boyfriend was overseas, and issued warnings of further police action. By then, UOB had confirmed their innocence as well.

The page’s source, another netizen, has issued an apology shortly after. We remember seeing the apology everywhere, but for some reason, we couldn’t find it now.

Unfortunately, it seems the damage has already been done, with many netizens remaining suspicious at the apparently too vague updates on the UOB page. Some was raising the possibility of the couple being staff from another branch, while others demanded proof.

9. Fundraiser

Another netizen has started a petition to raise funds for the old man, to take civil action against the couple, and to raise awareness of protecting our pioneer generation, and senior citizens in general.

The petition is here.

According to the netizen who started the petition, Trish Suan, she was reminded of her elderly parents, and hoped that no other senior citizen would be treated this way.

10. “Chope” Culture

Are incidents like this the inevitable result of our “chope” culture? Does seat reservation with items necessarily lead to altercations like this one, or is this reflective of something else more insidious? It could go either way, but Singaporean netizens seem to not suspect the concept of “chope-ing” a seat at all, preferring to focus on whether the couple had bad upbringing.

What do you think? Should we simply completely abolish the “chope” culture, or is the reason for this incident something else?

Since you’re here, why not check out Goody Feed’s YouTube videos as well? They’re so Singaporean, I bet you’ll like them!

Featured Image: Facebook (Thelocalsociety)

This article was first published on goodyfeed.com

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