by Ivan Lim on

Fighting in public seems to be the trendy thing to do in Singapore these days.

Less than two weeks ago, we had a fight between a man and woman at a coffeeshop in Hougang. This was quickly followed by an incident between a customer and a prata stall worker in Holland Drive, which led to the arrest of a 34-year-old man.

Then on Sunday night, a video of a fight in an MRT train cabin completed a hat-trick of clashes. The police have said they are investigating the latest incident after a video of it went viral.

So why do these people fight in the first place?

The reason for the Hougang spat remains unknown. And we’re still wondering what the woman was doing after she was astonishingly floored six seconds after she was slapped.

The Holland incident may yield some answers later, but we’re still wondering whether it was because the prata wasn’t crispy. One waggish theory suggests the worker was a Manchester City fan who became enraged when the customer ordered “tiga-kosong” – or 3-0. Which was the scoreline of the Liverpool v Manchester City Uefa Champions League match close to the time of the incident.

The latest incident in the MRT train definitely wasn’t staged for the entertainment of passengers. Had it been so, they would have chosen better fighters. The only thing the two combatants got out of that clash was the attention of the police, damage to their apparel and possibly plenty of embarrassment: we now know that both of them don’t know how to fight.

The silver lining of that episode, though, is that bystanders intervened to put an end to the hostilities.

Now if you’re alone and you see two people involved in a heated argument, we’d advise caution for your own safety. Try and get them to calm down. Suggest that they talk it out. Tell them it isn’t worth the trouble.

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If that doesn’t work, remind them that everybody (you included) has a smartphone that can capture their fight so they’d risk looking petty and stupid after a video of their unglamorous scuffle goes viral.

Then take your phone out and prepare to record the proceedings. If both of them turn on you, tap the social media app on your phone and ask if you could all be friends – at least, on Facebook.

Because it is always better to be friendly than to be part of such a nasty trend.