From ‘Man provokes Internet outrage after pushing elderly woman off bus’, 7 June 2012, article in ST
A man has come under fire from internet users after being captured in a video pushing an elderly woman off the bus along Upper Thomson Road. In a video uploaded by The New Paper on Wednesday, the young man, identified as Alex Ong, was seen in a heated argument with the woman before he pushed her at the bus exit.
Mr Ong said on his blog later that he was merely advising the woman that she should not press the bell at the last minute. He claimed that the woman shouted back at him and that in a fit of anger, he threatened the woman that she should ‘get off the bus’, or he would slap her.
However, he added that he had spoken to the police, and apologised to the woman, who he said accepted his apology. The man claimed that he was struggling with ‘psychological issues (obsessive-compulsive disorder, clinical depression, autism-spectrum disorder)’ and that he did not mean to hurt the woman.
Nobody has classified a ‘really bad temper’ as a disease yet ( or is there?), but if you have to pick a mental illness to justify rude and violent behavior you can’t go wrong with ‘clinical depression’, though the only victim that the most extreme depressives will attack is themselves and not old ladies on a bus. ‘Depression’ garners sympathy, more so than admitting ‘paranoiac schizophrenia’, because everyone can relate to it. Beat up taxi drivers in a fit of rage? Blame ‘clinical depression’ (and then appear on Star Awards a few months later). I’m just surprised bipolar disorder wasn’t evoked here. I’m no psychiatrist, but from the way angry people are citing mental disorders like plucking groceries off the shelf, it’s not surprising that they’ve become trivialised and regarded by many as lame excuses in Alex’s case. What we do know is that he’s not a Tourette’s sufferer, from the surprising lack of profanity in his tirade.
Before the fancy names and acronyms, there was one Singlish term that embodies all 3 of Alex’s afflictions – ‘Siao!’. But that catch-all term, too, has become politically incorrect, even if it’s first thing that comes to our minds before over-diagnosing it and sugar coating the parlance into ‘I can’t help myself, please symphatise’ mode. If he was indeed diagnosed with a trio of mental disorders, Alex Ong’s intolerance for people pressing the bell last minute may be a sign of his OCD, while the ‘autism spectrum disorder’ may explain his lack of empathy or patience for old people holding up the bus and breaking his ‘routine’. None of the above explains the scarf though – That’s just bad taste. It may be too early to judge if Alex is just being a total ill-bred bastard, notwithstanding the lengthy defence of his actions on Facebook, which suggests a high-functioning, marginally psychotic individual with a flair for ‘nobody understands me’ emo verse, blaming his environment for jolting a few screws loose up there. It could very well be a disease talking, or a reflection of what almost all of us in our most irrational moments believe when someone pisses us off – that ‘the other person started it first’, or that ‘the whole world is against me’. It’s called venting, and the whole blog universe is filled with angry, but perfectly normal, people with a bone to pick on everyone else except themselves. You could call it Alex’s ‘coping mechanism’, or ‘pacifier’. Or the trendy mental illness name dropping could be an elaborate, devious lie, in which case, all the more unforgiveable for giving autism-depression-all-colours-of-the-DSM-rainbow-spectrum a bad name.
Some folks are speculating that this could be a ‘viral marketing’ hoax to promote the Kindness Movement, but even so, there’s no reason to bring mental disorders into the picture and risk stigmatisation of sufferers who genuinely need help. I wonder what ‘Mad Dog’ Glenn Ong has to say about this, after being slammed for his comments on why some people should be institutionalised, and here we have Facebookers telling someone that he deserves to be institutionalised for potentially causing grievous hurt.
Here’s a sample(no names revealed, I’m not Xiaxue)
I’ve seen the video. U shld be locked up and detained. No matter what sickness or whatever excuses u have, hurting an elderly woman who has caused u no harm at all is just so wrong.
if your soooooo mentally unstable and such a menace to the public i don’t think you should be allowed to roam free
Pushing people off buses shouldn’t be condoned of course, whether you’re a scoundrel or are prone to very severe bouts of crankiness, but recommending the strait-jacket in an asylum treatment is itself a pathological form of intolerance and meanness. Or maybe you guys just simply have a spectrum disorder of ‘nothing better to do’.