Gojek rider's dispute with driver goes viral

Woman says driver tried to cheat her by not avoiding ERP gantries

Footage of a heated exchange between a Gojek driver and his passenger, who accused him of kidnapping her on their trip from Bishan to the city centre, has gone viral after it was posted on Facebook on Thursday.

Mr Kamaruzzaman Abdul Latiff, 49, shared the seven-minute clip on the Gojek Singapore Community Facebook page, saying that the female passenger was upset that he could not avoid the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantries during the journey.

He said he had picked her up from Block 251 Bishan Street 22 at about 7am on Tuesday and was heading towards Coleman Street.

"How to avoid ERP?" he posted, adding that the passenger kept accusing him of trying to cheat her. Mr Kamaruzzaman said he asked her if she knew of any routes to avoid the ERP gantries but she was unable to direct him.

Speaking to The Straits Times yesterday, Mr Kamaruzzaman said the passenger started to get upset halfway through the trip on the Central Expressway.

Gojek's fares do not include ERP charges and drivers typically enter the extra charges incurred during the journey in the app before completing the trip.

In the video, which was taken using Mr Kamaruzzaman's mobile phone, the passenger is heard saying: "It is clear that you are out to cheat (my) money."

She then makes a telephone call and an unknown person is heard over a mobile phone loudspeaker saying "you have no right to take her hostage" and "you are causing her to lose her freedom".

Mr Kamaruzzaman repeatedly says he prefers to settle any issues at a police station.

The car eventually comes to a stop in Toa Payoh Lorong 4, as Mr Kamaruzzaman speaks to a Certis Cisco officer.

At one point in the footage, the passenger screams, claiming that Mr Kamaruzzaman had locked the car door on purpose and intended to kidnap her. He then tries to explain to her that the car locks are automatic.

Mr Kamaruzzaman, who started driving with Gojek full-time in December, told ST yesterday that the passenger later alighted and took a taxi. He added that he was not able to let her alight earlier as they were on the expressway.

"I knew that it was wrong to record a video of someone without his or her permission, but I had to do it to protect myself," he said.

He also said that he shared the video on Facebook to let other Gojek drivers know that such misunderstandings could happen.

By 11.20pm yesterday, the video had received at least 21,000 reactions and more than 44,000 shares.

Mr Kamaruzzaman, who usually drives during the day, said Gojek has told him that there was "nothing wrong" with what he did and that the company "won't do anything" to him.

A Gojek spokesman told ST that it had investigated the incident using the evidence provided and has spoken to Mr Kamaruzzaman and the passenger.

"Gojek takes all complaints from riders and drivers very seriously... A fair outcome has been reached with the driver and we are of the view that the matter is now concluded," the spokesman said.

The spokesman declined to reveal details of the "fair outcome".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2019, with the headline Gojek rider's dispute with driver goes viral. Subscribe