F.D.B.W.A. Szeto Ho Secondary School
Morning Assembly by 6E
To sit or not to sit-- priority seat?
A: Chan Wing Hong, Kazaf B: Wong Tsz Yin, Kimi
C:Yeung Po Yan, JazlynD: Chu Ka Sin, SharonA: / During rush hour in Hong Kong, finding a free seat on a crowded train or bus can be like discovering an oasis(綠洲) in the desert(沙漠).
B: / True. No one really likes standing for a 30- or 60-minute ride. However, for some elderly, pregnant, infant-accompanying, or physically-disabled passengers, it is not just an unpleasant situation, but a painful task.
C: / I think so. Many passengers are often criticized(批評) by netizens(網民) for being busy with their smartphones and ignoring people around them.
D: / That’s why priority seats(優先座) were first introduced in the MTR in 2009 with the “Priority Seats Campaign”. The Smiley World Characters, large red stickers with big smiley faces, were stuck on the seats to attract people’s attention. Since then, bus companies have followed suit. The seat offering (讓座) culture in Hong Kong has improved in recent years but has not reached a satisfying level.
A: / There are two major controversies(爭論) regarding priority seats. First, people think that only people in need can sit on the priority seats. Even if the train is full, priority seats are still left empty. People, especially young people, are not willing to sit on the train as they are afraid of being morally criticized, scolded or even cyberbullied.
B: / It’s true. Some people like uploading the photos or videos of young people occupying priority seats to social networking websites, like Youtube and Facebook. It’s kind of cyberbullying. Actually, the priority seats are first-come-first-served. They are designed to promote the culture of offering seatsto the needy. If there are no needy people in sight, people are free to sit on the priority seats.
C: / Some passengers have little awareness (意識) of offering seats to people in need. They pretend not to notice other passengers in greater need of a seat. This situation is quite common in Hong Kong. People seated on priority seats refuse to move for people in greater need for a seat. Some suggest mandating (強制) the offer of seats to people in need by law, just as some cities do in the United States, Canada and Australia.
D: / I think there’s no need to systematize it. The government would like to promote such an act through the advocacy (提倡) of a culture of courtesy rather than through legal means. I believe the seats can be used more efficiently if there are more education and promotion efforts.
A: / Agreed. It should be made clear to everyone that these seats are reserved for the elderly and people with disabilities. Meanwhile, elderly commuters should also do their part by graciously accepting a vacated priority seat whenever they are offered one. Otherwise, the considerate person offering the seat will feel embarrassed and may not repeat this kind gesture in future.
D: / It’s good manners to give up your seatfor someone who needs it, and natural to sit down if no one does. A simple gesture will do.
Useful phrases / Example
first-come-first-served / Buy now! The tickets are available on a first come first served basis.
There’s no need to … / Cheer up! There’s no need to be upset.
kind gesture / Thanks for doing something nice and being thoughtful. Your kind gesture means a lot to me.