Pram on SBS Bus Saga

Our dear Mr Ng Haiwei and Mdm Pearl Cheng just created the latest saga in Singapore by refusing to carry a baby out of the pram when they boarded a SBS bus.

I suffered through the videos that Mdm Pearl took and uploaded to STOMP. To me, it was an unwise decision for the video was unedited and clearly contained personal information about her husband, Mr Ng. The video also clearly documented how Mdm Pearl appearing to lost control of herself and ranted on and on about a rule that she claimed to be aware of but was unwilling to follow.

I am personally appalled at the incident. She was with her husband and another toddler which was clearly calling out to her at times during the video. Interestingly, the baby in the pram had apppeared to sleep through all the commotion and I do wonder if it would have woken up if she or her husband had tried to carry her and fold the pram as requested.

The matter is not so serious as to have to be escalated thus. The poor bus driver is only doing his job and following rules. Our bus drivers are largely reasonable ones and I believe all will be willing to extend a helping hand to fold the pram, guide the toddler onto the bus, take more time to stop the bus for boarding and alighting and perhaps even to help ask for a seat for the mother carrying a baby.

Having young kids myself, I understand the difficulties of taking public transport with them and do ask for help from time to time. I also try to plan my movements around what I am capable of managing and not try to put the kids at risk because I am unable to devote sufficient attention to them.

Let us give the Mdm Pearl Cheng the benefit of the doubt that she is perhaps suffering from postnatal blues or such but the husband should really have stepped in and helped to defuse the situation. Doing that would have negated a lot of the ill will that was being generated. However, he interestingly had opted to join the ranks of his wife and even went to the length of carrying the stroller on the bus! Does Mr Ng not realise the danger of that? How will the child and his safety be assured as the bus move along the roads?

Frankly, complaining about the law in such a manner will not get it changed. Singapore has our own law makers and there is an established legislative process. Mr Ng Haiwei and Mdm Pearl Cheng can very well try to run for elections and get themselves elected if they want to have direct involvement in pushing the changes. The alternative approach is much softer and already taken by movements such as Pink Dot and #freemyinternet. Create awareness about your cause and find sponsors in the community/elected members of Parliament to take up your cause at the national level. Let's be realistic that changes are not going to occur overnight and our kids would have grown up by then.

Yet, let us be good examples to our children and show them our passion in pursuing the right things the right way. We definitely not want our children to be throwing tantrums to have their way.

Learn to use the internet properly too. Mr Ng uploaded the video to Youtube/STOMP and got flamed for it and ended up removing it from Youtube when he realised the folly of it. The STOMP video stayed though and the couple continues to be criticised online. The personal information shared also resulted in netizen knowing about the couple's Facebook pages https://www.facebook.com/pearl.cheng.58 and https://www.facebook.com/haiwei.ng. Their occupation and contact numbers got "CSI-ed" in net speak.

While the eventual outcome in Singapore may not be as scary as that in China where people start stalking and harassing you for your actions, I am rather sure it is still going to be unsettling going about your daily affairs and having people giving you weird looks when they realised that you are the unsavoury stars of this incident.

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