Ms Sze-Hui Goh informs the following on 14/03/2011:
I am writing in to highlight this particular rude taxi driver who is supposedly providing a "premium" service by driving one of SMRT's black Chrsyler Cab number SHB 5174 (my husband cannot remember the prefix at the end).
This incident happened on last Thursday, 10 March 2011 at about 8.45pm along Club Street right in front of a wine bar called W Bar. My husband met a couple of his friends after work for a drink before coming home for dinner with me, and was already running late as he was supposed to be home before 9 pm for dinner. This cab pulled up along Club Street whilst my husband was waiting for a cab, and several passengers got out of the cab. My husband then got in after the passengers alighted and politely asked the cab driver to take him to Stevens Road where we stayed. The cab driver gave an emphatic, "no". My husband was a bit taken aback as he has never encountered this in the 17 years he's lived in Singapore, and asked the driver, why not? Your light is on, so doesn't that mean that you are taking passengers? The cab driver rudely said no again. This time, my husband said, look, Stevens Road is just round the corner and not far, so why can't you take me there? You're obliged to take me, you are not supposed to say no if your light is turned on.
The cab driver then said, you are drunk so get out of my taxi or I will call the police. My husband said fine, I am not drunk and go ahead and call the police. I will wait here for them. The cab driver then got out of the cab, locked the doors of his taxi and then proceeded to call the police. My husband was furious by this time as he has never faced this kind of attitude in Singapore. He had to grab his computer bag and climbed from the back of the taxi to the driver seat in order to let himself out of the cab. He then stood by the cab and shouted at the driver - what do you think you are doing, locking me in a cab? Go ahead and call the police, I will wait here for them to arrive. The cab driver panicked, hopped into the cab and sped off.
I am Singaporean and having lived here all my life, I have never encountered behaviour like this. If I was the one wrongfully confined in the cab, I would have been so mad there's no telling what I would have done then. I emphasise that my husband was NOT drunk - he's had a few drinks but he does not get drunk so easily within the hour or so spent at the wine bar, especially since he was coming home for dinner. He also called me at 8.52pm right after the incident to tell me what happened to him and why he was late.
In any event, I am minded to make a police report as well as to write to SMRT to take action against this cab driver. This is a case of wrongful confinement which is an offence under the Penal Code. I would be grateful if you or anyone else could advise what sort of action we should take against this cab driver.
More importantly, this also serves as a warning to everyone of this cab driver. Thank you.
Do not bother with the cab company as they will just try to spin this as a dispute or disagreement. Go straight to the Police or lodge a report with LTA through their online feedback form. We agree that this could be a criminal offence and the driver needs to answer for his actions or explain himself.