The Senior Minister of State for Public Transport, Chee Hong Tat, mentioned in Parliament today (5 October) that he was concerned about the recent verbal and physical abuses against bus captains.
“I am very concerned about the recent cases of commuters verbally or physically abusing bus captains. Their actions are wrong and unacceptable.”
Mr Chee pointed out that the majority of commuters treat public transport workers with respect, except for a small number who think they can “behave badly and get away with it”.
The people who abuse the workers should “be prepared to face the full consequences under the law”.
Regarding the incident where a commuter threatened to sue a bus driver when the latter refused to let him on board the bus because the commuter was wearing a neck gaiter instead of a face mask, Mr Chee noted that bus captains have the responsibility to ensure the safety of commuters. It also includes making sure commuters are wearing face masks to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
He also mentioned that the Government, unions, public transport operators and a great majority of Singaporeans are “united” in taking a “zero-tolerance” approach towards abusive behaviour.
Therefore, it was reported that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will work with unions and public transport operators to remind commuters of the serious consequences of abusing public transport workers, as well as raise awareness of the responsibilities of commuters.
Mr Chee expressed that the “best way” to protect the bus captains and recognise their contributions is to have the right societal culture.
“The best way to protect our bus captains and recognise their contributions is to have the right societal culture, one that is based on respect for our frontline workers.”
“Let us continue to support our public transport workers, so that they can work in a safe environment and provide an essential service to keep Singapore going.”