Father of rude taxi passenger blames himself for 'not teaching my son well'

SINGAPORE - The father of an infamously rude taxi passenger has admitted that his son was in the wrong and has shared his hopes that the public will let him and his son off.

A video exposing the passenger's bad-mannered behaviour, which went viral shortly after it was uploaded by the taxi driver's daughter on Saturday, has led to netizens revealing the passenger's identity, phone number, occupation and address.

In the video, the passenger - whose face is not shown - can be heard raising his voice at the cabby repeatedly throughout the journey. He called him a "blind bat" and accused him of trying to cheat him of his money.

According to Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao on Tuesday, the father of the passenger, who did not want to be named, blames himself for his son's tirade.

"If a son makes a mistake, the father is to blame. I did not educate my son well," he said.

When asked if his son could have been antagonised into losing his temper, the father insisted that his son was still the one at fault.

"Although the video looks incomplete and you can't really tell the full story, it is wrong to scold someone to that extent, no matter what. He should apologise to the driver," he told Wanbao.

Both father and son have been under great stress after the passenger's identity was leaked online.

"I don't even dare to take one step out of the door. I hope this issue will be settled quickly," said the 77-year-old.

Neighbours interviewed said they were surprised at the young man's behaviour. One woman told Wanbao that the person in the video did not seem like her neighbour at all.

"I've known him since he was little; he's always been very polite."

The taxi driver's 27-year-old daughter, who works in the media industry, has said that her family is open to an apology from the passenger.

"What he did was wrong, but people make mistakes and we can only choose to be a bigger person and forgive them." she said.

melheng@sph.com.sg