Friday, May 8, 2009

What would you have done?

Littering is an offence not only in Singapore but in many other countries as well.
Do not litter or no littering signs have been put up in public places, void decks and elsewhere.
If we want to improve the situation not only must we set a good example ourselves but take citizen's action when we witness blatant, outright acts of defiant littering as oppose to so-called "accidental" dropping of say a piece of tissue paper by someone.

Just last month, on an SBS bus, a secondary schoolboy in full uniform from a school in the east, deliberately left his litter ( a paper cup he was drinking from ) on the aisle of the bus.
Whenthe bus driver told him gently to pick it up, he ignored him.
As the bus door opened at the bus stop, this recalcitrant chap with his friend rushed off, scolding and cursing the driver.
The driver, intent on righting a deliberate wrong in public, came down and approached the duo. In the ensuing argument, this 14 year old 'samseng' punched the driver on his face and ran off. He even turned around and taunted the poor driver to come after him while using foul expletives directed at him. The driver did the correct thing...not to give chase as he had a busload of passengers still, witnessing this unbelievable act of hooliganism.

When this report first came out, I asked myself, " what would I have done if I were there either as a passenger or a passerby? ".
The answer is simple for me as I know myself well.
I know what I would have done as you will soon see in the next real incident below.
What will you have done?
Fortunately, someone on the bus had captured the incident on a handphone and it was shown publicly on Stompers. Many people wanted the strongest action to be taken against the "samseng kia"preferably by the law.
The school, as usual talked about counselling etc...for the two students.
For goodness sake...an assault of a bus driver had taken place! It is a crime whether done by an adult or a 14 year old who must be taught a lesson he won't ever forget again!
Possibly as a result of soft or no punishment for such un-civilised behaviour...there has been a recent spate of students in different schools doing similar or worse things to their teachers, counsellors, vice-principals by throwing chairs at them, throwing files, using expletives and yes punching them too.
The outcome of all these cases are still unknown.

The most recent case involved a 17 year old youth who could have injured or killed someone when he grabbed a metal chair and whacked it very hard against the glass door at Blk 125, Serangoon North Ave 1. That incident happened during the MPS when caretaker MP Cynthia Phua was in attendance as Mrs Lim H Hua was away. The incident was fully covered in the main media and press.

So back to the littering incident and the questions I've posed.
Two nights ago, I happened to be at the Serangoon [ CC] around 8 pm. I was chatting with Mr Chua K Soon, Wilson and Daisie just outside the CC entrance door....when a middleage Indian man walked past. Mr Chua noticed he had thrown down a piece of " receipt size" paper right where we were standing around. I did not see it as I was facing Mr Chua as we chatted.
Mr Chua then asked the man politely to pick up the litter he had deliberately thrown.
That chap just uttered something under his breath and with his hand gestures dismissed Mr Chua's request!
He proceeded to walk away from us as if nothing has ever happened or as if to make an unsaid statement " who the hell are you to tell me to pick up litter even if I had thrown it myself?".
As I've asked earlier, " What would you have done in such circumstances?

Here's what I did exactly...that produced the desired effect and outcome I would like to see, you too would love to see.
Me: " Hello there! ( in a loud authoritative voice and command ) Come back here!"
He: He stopped in his tracks turned around slowly to see who has called out to him
so daringly. Before he could say anything else... I spoke directly to him as he bravely
walked back towards me.
Me: " Hello my friend! You know it's an offence to litter, yet you throw that piece of paper here
in front of us. And when Mr Chua here ask you to pick it up, you just walk away. Are
you
trying to be funny or what?"
He: 'How you know I throw? That paper got no my name ?"
Me: "Mr Chua saw you and that is good enough for me! Do you want to pick it up or not?
Otherwise I would like to check if you are a Singaporean or foreigner or illegal
immigrant!"
He: Submissively, he bent down to pick it up without saying a word more.

[ Lesson learnt! He was afraid of what I may do next. Note that I did not get into any
argument with him at all. Avoid arguments. I gave him a choice whether he wanted to
playhard ball or soft ball...it's up to him. I am glad for him he chose wisely.]

Unk Dicko

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You did well here and displayed courage in confronting this chap. Today, I was at this HDB multi-storey carpark next to JTC flatted factory 1003 off Bukit Merah Central. I wish the authorities would go there to check it out. There was foul smell from the bin centre and walking up the staircase of the carpark, there was a stinky and strong urine smell all the up. It was used as if it was a toilet ! A worst case in point! Definitely 3rd world behaviour.Our elderly are the ones keeping our public places clean, not the youngsters & the poorer people.....? ur views

stanley said...

Unk Diko
You were quite courageous confronting that chap. What if he ignored and threatened you with bodily injury. Unless you have the knowledge of self-defence, I feel that it is better(at least for me) not to look for trouble.

unk Dicko said...

Yes, I am trained and have continued to upgrade my knowhow and skills in close
quarter situations. For now, I won't go into any details of how I managed to reverse
many of these potentially dangerous flashpoints, some involving 5-6 men, once involving
about 10 men. In the end, truly...without any violence on my part, they all submitted
peacefully and apologised profusely, at one time with many people witnessing the almost
unheard of act of a near assault ( of me ) by 10 men at Changi Beach...and just before
they were about to whack...what I said to them and showed them made them cringed.
Without fail, I gave them a choice.
They choose, not me.
I will blog about all this one day.

unk Dicko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
unk Dicko said...

Hi Stanley,
From this page/blog post you can get an idea of my trained background:

http://uncledicko.blogspot.com/2009/03/adding-life-to-years.html