Video of passenger scolding taxi driver goes viral

SINGAPORE - A video exposing a cab passenger's rude behaviour and uploaded by the taxi driver's daughter has made waves online.

In the video uploaded on Faceboook, the passenger - who had booked a cab to take him from Chai Chee to Telok Ayer MRT station - could be heard raising his voice and scolding the taxi driver from the start of the journey.

Text accompanying the video, written by the driver's daughter, defended the driver and said: "Taxi uncles are not idiots, deaf or useless, they are someone's family. They are fathers who work 14 hours a day, seven days a week, even on public holidays, so people like me and my sis get an education."

In the clip, the passenger first accused the driver of failing to notice him on the main road even though he "wave wave wave wave wave". He then threatened to complain if the driver started the meter before the cab had travelled a certain distance.

He called the driver a "blind bat" and later compained that the cab was moving too slowly, and accused the driver of trying to cheat him of his money. He also told the driver not to let anyone cut into the space in front of the taxi.

The time stamp on the video said the journey started at 6.14pm on last Friday. The passenger demanded to be at his destination by 6.30pm at any cost.

The passenger also scolded the driver for raising the temperature in the taxi. Text in the video explained that the driver did that as the passenger was coughing badly - this was audible in the video.

Throughout the clip, the cabby could be heard trying to explain himself in his limited English, while the passenger rattled on fluently.

By Sunday, the video had attracted at least 350,000 views and thousands of comments.

Kind netizens wanted to give the driver a small token for the verbal abuse he had to suffer.

Outraged netizens even claimed to have found the man and revealed his details. However, the Facebook page of the man appears to have been removed and he could not be reached at the number posted.

When contacted, the taxi driver’s 27-year-old daughter, who works in the media industry and did not want to be named, said: “I hope netizens will show respect for the rude passenger and not release his personal information online. What he did was wrong, but people make mistakes and we can only choose to be a bigger person and forgive them.”

She added that since releasing the video, her family has been shown “tremendous support,” and that she hopes people will be kinder and more compassionate to others.

She is also open to an apology from the passenger. "I hope he will give this story a happy ending by coming forward to apologise to my dad. We’ll always be happy to have dinner with him," she said. 

jalmsab@sph.com.sg