Sleepy Joel Liang vs Rude Jason Wang?

I don't know why my sympathy goes to Joel Liang. Sure, the young man (he's barely 23 years old! Excuse him of being ignorant of SMRT signage of reserved seats. Perhaps he's totally clueless of the meaning of those signs!) might have plainly ignored the rude demand of a "not really frail-looking, but overweight" 63-year-old Jason Wang.

Why rude? Well, this Jason Wang misused his umbrella to tap it against Joel's foot to wake him up and to demand the seat.

What happened to a basic courtesy, Mr Jason Wang? The reserved seat is intended for needy commuter, alright; yet, it didn't come across your mind that regardless of Joel's young age, he might indeed need the seat?

Sigh. People just make an assumption. Young age means okay. Joel Liang can be a very sickly, frail young man with a lot of hidden sickness--which may not be apparent outwardly.

Anyway, from the above photo, we can clearly see that there's another person standing just right beside Joel's seat. And there's a window too.

What's the significance of these observations?

Elementary, my dear Watson. That means the reserved seat that Joel sat on is part of the longer row of seats. In other words, it's not the two-seaters where both are categorised as reserved seats. In other words, you don't have to die-die request that specific reserved seat (of the longer row), Mr Jason Wang!

Especially if first, the current occupant was asleep and second, there were others beside him who very likely were not asleep (don't tell me all were fast asleep!).

Poor Joel Liang is also facing 'counselling' session by his employer, HSBC. Thanks to Mr Jason Wang who was truly 'persistent' (some may prefer the word 'malicious' or 'vindictive') in his relentless effort to raise awareness of this pathetic incident. I'm surprised STOMP is not including this story yet. Really.

Just take a look at the alleged email Mr Jason Wang sent to HSBC:
Dear Sir,
I'm 63 years old with 2 bad knees.
I boarded the MRT this morning @ 7:35am @ the Tanah Merah Station & requested the gentlemen ( see pix below ) for his seat as he was sitting in a reserved seat for the elderly & especially those in need due to physical ailments.
He rudely asked for my age
& after answering him that I was many years his senior, he completely ignored me & continued sleeping.
He later woke up & played with his phone.
He wore a landyard belonging to HSBC around his neck & later got off @ city hall MRT station.
Can the management of HSBC teach their staff to be more courteous & caring to the elderly?
Thank You,
Jason wang yueh ming


A young man's refusal on Tuesday to give up a reserved seat on the MRT train for a senior citizen has sparked a tit-for-tat exchange online.

Debate over the incident has raged online with the thread on local forum having more than 800 comments as of Thursday afternoon.

Most of those who commented accused the younger man of being rude and inconsiderate, but some said that commuters, whether they are handicapped, aged or pregnant, did not have the right to demand the reserved seats.

Jason Wang, a 63-year-old architect, took to social networking site Facebook to voice his disapproval of the younger man who refused to give up his seat. He also posted a photo, shot with his camera phone, of the seated commuter, who is said to be Joel Liang, 23.

Wang said he boarded the train at Tanah Merah station at 7:35am and saw that the reserved seat was taken by a young man who looked to be sleeping. He woke Liang and asked for the seat.

The young man then asked for his age, to which Wang shot back, "Definitely much older than you."

To his surprise, Liang went back to sleep.

"'I'm not really frail-looking, but I'm overweight. That's why my knees are bad. I even had knee braces on and was using an umbrella as a crutch," admitted Wang.

Liang took to the forums yesterday evening to clear his name.

He claimed that he was "on drowsy medication" when he was awakened by somebody tapping his foot with an umbrella. He was also commuting with half his vision as one of his contact lenses had fallen out before his encounter with Wang, and "couldn't guess his (Wang's) age at all."

Wang's sarcastic reply to his question left Liang bitter, hence he decided not to give up the seat.

However, at the end of his post, Liang apologised for being "socially irresponsible."

"I am very sorry, Mr. Jason Wang, for your extended sufferings due to standing with your bad knees while I was in the reserved seat."

Because Liang was wearing a lanyard of HSBC Bank, Wang also sent an e-mail to the bank and to SMRT about the incident to raise the public's awareness of commuters who really need a seat, reported The Straits Times.

HSBC Singapore confirmed that its chief executive had replied to Wang to apologise on behalf of the employee. The bank disclosed that Liang, a temp, would be counseled and his supervisor and the temp agency informed.

From Yahoo! News, "Tit-for-tat exchange over reserved MRT seats".

A tech-savvy senior citizen has shown that he is just as adept at social media as young people.

Upset that a young man refused to give up the reserved seat on the MRT to him, 63-year-old Jason Wang posted the young man's photo and details of the incident on Facebook.

Mr Wang explained on his Facebook page that he was 63 years old and had bad knees.

This is his account of what happened after he asked the man to give up his seat:

"He rudely asked for my age and after answering him that I was many years his senior, he completely ignored me and continued sleeping.

"He later woke up and played with his phone. He wore a landyard belonging to HSBC around his neck and later got off at City Hall MRT station."

Mr Wang also sent an email with details of the incident to HSBC.

Netizens discovered the Facebook posting and replicated it on an online forum.

Mr Wang said in a later update that a manager from HSBC responded to his email and apologised on the employee's behalf.

Some netizens applauded the "Ah Pek's" boldness in publicising the incident, while others said it was wrong of him to demand a seat on the MRT.

The young man in question, Mr Joel Liang, 23, later gave his side of the story.

He said he was feeling drowsy from his medication and was offended by Mr Wang's sarcastic response when he asked the older man's age.

But he apologised in an online forum for being socially responsible and for not giving up his seat.

HSBC also told the Straits Times that Mr Liang would be counselled, and his supervisor informed.

From Asiaone, "Senior citizen shames young man using social media".

PS. Hardwarezone forum has the interesting debates going on in these 2 threads, "This Suay Gao gonna get it from this Ah Pek" and "joel liang who dun give the old man seat,u should sue the old man".


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