Police reports, petition lodged against couple caught in heated dispute with uncle 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, police reports and a petition have been started by a member of the public, purportedly to drum up support to launch legal action against the couple.

In the clip, which several Stompers alerted Stomp to, the woman engages in an argument with the old man over a 'reserved' seat at the table.

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.

An eye witness said the woman swore at the elderly man during the dispute.

According to the witness, Ms Janice Lim, he also asked the woman what she meant by "reserve", as the hawker centre was a public place,.

The woman continued to say loudly things like "you don't understand the word reservation?", and called him a "bl**dy old man" and "f******* old man", added Ms Lim.

Later, Ms Lim also saw another patron tell the young man he should not have pushed the elderly man.

The young man is said to have pushed the plates and bowls on the table onto the floor in anger, leaving a mess for the cleaners.

The video sparked outrage from viewers and also prompted a witch-hunt for the couple, who were dressed in office attire.

Several netizens claimed to have identified them and said they were employees at a Toa Payoh branch of UOB.

In response to the allegations, UOB wrote on its Facebook page after queries by Stomp:

"We are investigating the matter to ascertain the identities and determine if either or both parties in the video are members of our staff. UOB cannot condone such behaviour which neither reflects our values nor the standards we expect of all our employees."

The Straits Times reports that the police said they were looking into the matter and have asked for anyone with information to call 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

They added that all information from the public would be kept confidential.

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, reports AsiaOne, 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.