Petition lodged against couple caught in heated dispute with elderly man at hawker centre

It started with a viral video showing a couple arguing with an elderly man at a Toa Payoh Lor 8 hawker centre, which led to the latter being shoved.

Now, a petition has been started by a member of the public, purportedly to drum up support to launch legal action against the couple.

In the video, the woman engages in an argument with the old man over a 'reserved' seat at the table.

Read also: Couple scolds elderly man for sitting at 'reserved' table in hawker centre

Her male companion then rushes in, shoving the elderly man in the back and almost causing him to lose balance. The argument escalates before the old man eventually leaves with his tray of food.

The clip, which was first uploaded on April 21 by Facebook user Manny Quest, went viral after it was reuploaded the next day by Thelocalsociety. It sparked outrage from viewers and also prompted a witch-hunt for the couple, who were dressed in office attire.

Read also: UOB confirms couple who bullied elderly man in viral video not their staff

According to a petition on Change.org, a member of the public named Trish Suan has started a petition to raise funds for the elderly man, "to take civil action against the couple for intimidation and verbal abuse".

The petition, which has 2,559 supporters at the time of writing, is also intended to "raise awareness that the Silver Generation should be respected, and not abused", and to "petition MSF (Ministry of Social and Family Development) to take constructive action to protect the Pioneer generation of Singapore".

According to Suan, the petition will be delivered to MSF, the Law Society of Singapore, the Community Legal Clinic and the Agency for Integrated Care.

The video showing the heated exchange on Thelocalsociety's Facebook page has since garnered more than 2.5 million views, with many users taking the elderly man's side.

They also slammed the couple for being disrespectful, pointing out that it was "just a table" that the couple could have simply shared.

One user commented, "Respect the elderly... if it's your parents being treated that way... how would u feel... where's the empathy." Another added, "Dress smart doesn't mean you have manners... It's sad to see this kind of 'educated' people but lack of respect."

According to Shin Min Daily News on Monday (April 24), investigating police officers arrived at the hawker centre the day after the incident to record eyewitnesses' statements, after several police reports were lodged.

candicec@sph.com.sg

 

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