Cabby rapped for mocking local actor

PHOTO: HANZ MEDINA

ComfortDelGro has taken one of its taxi drivers to task for mocking a man over his looks.

Singaporean actor and stuntman Hanz Medina told The Straits Times he was heading for a martial arts class and had hailed a taxi near Owen Street, in the Farrer Park area, at around 2.20pm last Friday.

But instead of allowing Mr Medina to board, the driver stared at him before making a derogatory gesture with his hand, one used by some people to indicate that a person is a transvestite.

The cabby then drove off, but this was not the end of the matter. The driver then made a U-turn farther down the road and drove his taxi slowly past Mr Medina again while making the same gesture.

INSULTED TWICE

What really hit me hard was the fact that he took the trouble to drive back and mock me again. I felt I had to speak up.

ACTOR HANZ MEDINA, on the cabby who mocked him over his looks

"I'm used to people using such gestures on me due to my long hair, small frame and feminine facial features," said Mr Medina, who is in his 20s. "But what really hit me hard was the fact that he took the trouble to drive back and mock me again. I felt I had to speak up."

He filed a formal complaint with ComfortDelGro, which confirmed that it had extended its "deepest apologies" to Mr Medina and had taken disciplinary action against the driver.

"In their line of work, our drivers are expected to convey passengers without any element of stigmatism," wrote a customer service officer, in a letter seen by The Straits Times. "At no time should the driver flash any derogatory gesture at you. His personal beliefs should not interfere with or, worse still, affect his ability to carry out his job effectively."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2015, with the headline 'Cabby rapped for mocking local actor'. Print Edition | Subscribe