A clip of the incident at Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Hawker Centre went viral in the social media.
The dispute was apparently over an empty table at the hawker centre, which the couple said had been ‘reserved’ by them.
The guy who believed to be the boyfriend came from behind and pushed the uncle which almost toppled him.
A witness also recounted what happened and said that the couple used expletives on the older man, who remained calm and polite throughout.
The Straits Times reports that the witness, Ms Janice Lim, was having dinner at the hawker centre on Friday (Apr 21) at 8.45pm when the incident occurred.
Ms Lim, 50, said that the elderly man, who was holding a tray of food, was asking the woman how many people were sitting at the table.
The woman replied in irritation: “Can’t you see it’s reserved”, Ms Lim said, adding that there was a small foldable umbrella on the table. There was also dirty dishes and leftover food from previous patrons.
The elderly man said he could not, and repeated a few times that he just needed one seat, but did not raise his voice.
According to Ms 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.
It was at this point that the young man arrived and shoved the elderly man, before continuing the quarrel.
Ms Lim said that at this point a few people started to approach the couple and the elderly man, including herself.
A man in black, seen in the video, reached them first. He was sitting at a table beside them, which had one seat left, and offered it to the uncle.
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.
“This is the worst manifestation of our seat choping culture,” Ms Lim added.
The incident has sparked national outrage and started an online witch hunt for the couple in question.
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 published the following on their facebook page:
“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.”