Thursday, April 6, 2006


Caring Malaysians? Bullshit.

Last Friday, the KTM commuter trains were quite crowded (as they usually would be, on Friday evenings). Both my colleague, A, and myself didn't get to sit from the moment we boarded the train till we got off it. However, we are considered strong, young women, so it wasn't a problem at all. As the train made more stops, it took more people in. At the station just before our destination, a rather large crowd streamed into the coach - most of us who were standing were practically rubbing shoulders.

The train moved, and A said to me, "Nobody is giving the pregnant woman a seat!"

Pregnant woman? I looked around and spotted her - maternity dress, bulging belly and all - standing, and hanging on for (two) dear lives on a hand-rail, about 3 or 4 arms' lengths from me (that is, also, about 3 or 4 people standing between she and myself). I was as indignant as A was.

"WHERE are the PRIORITY SEATS?" A deliberately turned up the volume of her voice.

"HERE - " I replied, eyeing the row of seats meant to be given to the elderly, disabled and pregnant. I glared at the 3 people occupying those seats - 2 young girls, probably in their late teens, and a grown man who was sleeping. All three avoided my eyes (although the one sleeping couldn't have guessed I was glaring at him).

"These people have no moral," A said to me.

"This is too much! Can't they see her standing there? It is VERY obvious that she's PREGNANT!"

"Well, better think twice about getting pregnant. Nobody will give their seats up for you in the trains."

"What to do - we may carry our own lightweight, portable, folding chair so we'll get to sit at least."

We talked in that manner all the way till we reached our own destination station, and until we alighted, the poor pregnant lady was still on her feet. I related the whole incident angrily to my husband. He shook his head and said that after all the airtime the commercial on giving seats to the elderly/pregnant/disabled got, people still haven't learned. He also added that if there were but ONE mat salleh on the train where the pregnant woman stood, the mat salleh would've given her his seat immediately. And it's true - I have that happen before.

A couple of days ago, when I got out of the train at my station, the usual crowd rushed in - among them a young man carrying another man, with deformed arms and no legs. Gosh, I seriously DO HOPE the sitting passengers had ENOUGH CONSCIENCE, GOOD HEARTS and COURTESY to at least give seats to the poor disabled man and his helper.

Simple moral, like letting someone in greater need have your seat in a public transport, the government cannot teach its people, and it wants to prosecute two teenagers for hugging and kissing in a park. Argh.


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