25 year old Alex Ong pushes an old woman out of the bus after she pisses him off by pressing the bell late. Alex claims he suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, clinical depression and autism-spectrum disorder. He says his anger stemmed from incidents that happened earlier in his life.
So, where do I start?
Do I start from the very beginning, or do I start from the reason why I’m writing this in the first place?
Perhaps I should start with the reason why I started this blog, since I suspect most of you will be directed here after reading press reports of the incident that triggered this.
Let me fill you in on my side of the story.
I have been trying to find a proper, stable job for over half-a-year now. My previous job was as a temporary admin at Informatics, a job that sucked hard, with disgustingly long hours, disgusting environment, disgusting pay, and a disgusting commute. I hated it, and I swore to myself not to take such jobs ever again. Unfortunately, my choice is limited – I will explain why at a later time – and this has been frustrating me, along with other matters I will explain later.
Fast-forward to 5th of June, this year.
I was going to Dhoby Ghaut by bus from my home in Sembawang to get something fixed. At Thomson, this old lady pressed the stop bell at the last minute, to which I told her not to the next time.
She just simply and suddenly shouted back at me for that.
I ask: who doesn’t get angry over something like this, trying to advise someone on the proper way of doing things, only to be shouted back at for no rhyme or reason?
Obviously I was not happy with this, and because of this an argument broke out between the two of us. In a fit of anger, I threatened her to either get off the bus or that I will slap her, to which she said, “No! I won’t get off this bus! So what?!”.
All I wanted was her out of the way so I can continue my journey.
So I give her a light push to get her off the bus.
I never ever wanted to injure or hurt her in any way, nor did I ever have any intention to make her fall, or to really harm her in any way.
But fall she did, and hurt herself lightly she did, and for that, I was really both shocked and sorry about it. At that point of time though, I was just angry, I was just pissed, and I just want to continue my journey without this old lady holding up things.
I did not wish to go into details on between what happened next and when the police arrived, but what I can say is that I did intend to leave the scene just so I can continue my journey, but something – a sense of responsibility, a sense of having to give a proper explanation – took me back there. I knew I had to be responsible for everything that happened.
In the back of my mind, I knew things might get blown out of proportion, so I called my dad to inform him of what happened, just in case. As his job was relatively mobile, he decided to drive down to the scene to have a look at the situation.
Eventually the police and ambulance services arrived, and both me and the old lady were interrogated while the commuters were ushered onto another bus.
I informed the police that I have been having some emotional instability this past few weeks, owing to how I wasn’t able to secure a good job and certain items in the news, and that I myself am struggling with psychological issues (obsessive-compulsive disorder, clinical depression, autism-spectrum disorder), and that I never intended to injure the lady, that everything happened as a culmination of a lot of anger that has been simmering inside me.
This was conveyed to the old lady, who understood my situation and was willing to drop the matter as long as I offered an apology, which I gave and she accepted.
Man pushes elderly woman off a bus
The next day (yesterday), I was called down to the police station to give a statement regarding the incident. I was told by the officer that, if not for my remorse and the fact that I have some psychological issues, I could definitely have been charged. I said in my statement that again, I felt remorse over the incident, that I have offered my apologies to the old lady who accepted it, and that I’m actually worried over her condition. The officer said that he will do his best to get just a stern warning over the matter from his supervisor, given the mitigating factors, to which I’m grateful for for him to do that.
Now, you might ask, where did all this anger come from?
I was reflecting upon the whole incident afterward, when I realised that, ultimately, my anger all stemmed from incidents that happened earlier in my life, anger that otherwise had nowhere to go.
But first, the immediate sources: why so much anger in me?
Firstly, the aforementioned inability to find a good job. My later posts will give you more insight about this but let me just go through this quickly.
Yes, I admit: I’m picky about jobs, but who doesn’t want a comfortable job doing what he/she likes? Unfortunately, my qualifications has excluded me from all but dead-end temporary jobs, and as I mentioned earlier, my last job was disgusting and emotionally drained me out.
Add to the fact that your parents have been pushing you to get a job for ages, and the shame of being a 25-year-old having to financially depend on your dad.
Singapore is such a society in that everything requires both money and qualifications to chase dreams; I have a lot of dreams, but how to chase such dreams when you lack both?
Again, all will be revealed later on.
Secondly, that recent accident involving the PRC-driven Ferrari at Bugis.
That really got a lot of nerves fraying in Singapore, but it stuck an extreme chord in me, as I see it as an incident where rich foreign trash ruins the dreams of a local working-class family, killing off their sole breadwinner. When I read how the taxi driver’s daughter may have to delay her studies because of this incident, it stuck an especially hard chord in myself, for I know how it is like to have your studies, your dreams, to be taken away by bastards.
I know that feeling, as I was there myself.
In fact, at one point I got so angry that I really took a knife and told my father, “let’s go kill some Chinamen”. Of course, my dad had to literally physically stop me from doing so, but my anger remained.
And quite unfortunately, my anger, which had nowhere to go, had to be released on an innocent old lady.
Again, I deeply apologise to the old lady, and I wish her no lasting harm.