A Singaporean Chinese taxi driver is facing an investigation for verbally abusing a woman and her daughter during their ride, stemming from misinformation about the destination and a false assumption about the woman’s ethnicity.

Janelle Hoeden, a 46-year-old of Eurasian origin, recounted the incident of cab driver abuse that occurred on Saturday. Hoeden and her nine-year-old daughter were in the cab at the time, as reported by The Straits Times on Sunday.

The altercation was captured on Hoeden’s phone and escalated in intensity. She had initially booked a ride through the TADA ride-hailing platform around 2 pm on Saturday.

The ride began without issues, but trouble arose when the driver became agitated due to a road closure caused by ongoing construction of an upcoming metro (MRT) line in the Pasir Ris housing estate. He accused Hoeden of providing incorrect directions and an inaccurate address, leading to the confrontation.

In the video, which Hoeden shared on her Facebook page and was also posted by a TikTok user before being circulated by the alternative news site Wake Up Singapore, the Chinese cab driver repeatedly claimed that Hoeden’s daughter was shorter than the required height of 1.35 meters for passengers not needing child seats. Hoeden insisted her daughter was 1.37 meters tall.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore mandates that, for safety reasons, all vehicles must be equipped with booster seats or child restraints for passengers under 1.35 meters in height. The driver’s outburst continued while he was driving, including derogatory remarks directed at Hoeden based on her ethnicity.

He stated, “You are Indian, I’m Chinese… You are the very worst kind…” Hoeden corrected him, clarifying that she was of Singapore Eurasian heritage, not Indian. Eurasians often have tanned skin and may be mistaken for individuals of Indian descent.

Hoeden decided to have her daughter record the incident because she feared that the driver might become physically aggressive. She described the driver’s actions as unacceptable, emphasizing that his use of racial remarks was completely unwarranted and inappropriate.

The incident left Hoeden’s child visibly shaken. Tada Singapore, in response to an Instagram post by ‘Wake Up Singapore’ highlighting the incident, stated that it was conducting an investigation into the matter. The company stated that it does not tolerate racism, discrimination, or abuse and thanked those who brought the incident to its attention.

A Tada spokeswoman, as quoted by The Straits Times, reiterated the company’s stance: “Remarks or comments that insinuate racial differences directly violate Tada community guidelines and are not representative of our company’s values. We have initiated an internal investigation to fully understand the circumstances and will take all necessary actions based on our findings.” She emphasized Tada’s commitment to promptly and fairly resolving the issue and its strong stance against racist comments or remarks under any circumstances.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *