A woman complained to SMRT on Facebook that one of its taxi drivers made racists comments to her. In her post lodged on 14 Aug the woman, Peshhalaa Devendran, said that the cabbie told her that she could not be Indian because she was “not black”. He then told her that the Tamil language is a “useless language”.
Then when they passed by a durian stall in the Little India area, the driver told his passenger that the fruits in that stall were cheap but that Chinese would not buy from that stall, because it was patronised by Indians.
In claiming that all Chinese in Singapore hate Indians, he made hand gestures to suggest that Indians were good for drinking alcohol. This was when the passenger had enough of his racist rants and asked to be dropped off along the road.
SMRT replied to the woman and said that they had given the cabbie a stern warning.
Just in case you can’t see her post, this is what she said in her complaint to SMRT:
Hello SMRT, I just encountered a very racist taxi driver, licence plate SHC 4460T today at around 6pm. After I got into the cab, he asked me if I’m Malay. I said no, I’m Indian.
He scoffed and said, “No you’re not Indian. Indian people are BLACK you are not black.”
I replied that that wasn’t true and decided not to engage him in further conversation.
Then he asked me if I speak Malay or Chinese. I said, no I don’t, I speak Tamil.
“Tamil is most useless language. Even all Indian people here speak Malay. If you are in Singapore you must speak Chinese or Malay not Tamil” Again I said, that’s not true. I’m Indian and I don’t speak Malay or Chinese.
Then we passed a stall selling durians along Serangoon Road and he remarked that the durians at this stall are very cheap but “Chinese people don’t buy from here because Indian people buy.”
He continued and said, “You know in Singapore Chinese people hate Indian people.” And he made hand gestures as if he’s drinking a bottle. “All Indian people know to do is”- continues making those hand gestures. “They don’t know to help” – I’m assuming he meant that Indian people do not contribute to society apart from paying alcohol tax.
At this point I had had enough and told him I did not appreciate the comments he had been making about Indians and told him to drop me off by the side of the road. As I moved to get out he said “where are you going pay the fare first”. This was still along Serangoon Road and nowhere near my house where he was meant to drop me off, so I told him if he wants the fare he can drive me to the nearest police station where we can both make reports. Needless to say, he must’ve known what he had been saying was clearly wrong because he then told me to get out of the cab.
It’s a very sad state of affairs, when just less than a week ago we celebrated 51 years of coming together as a nation regardless of race, language or religion.
I’m sure that SMRT does not condone such racism amongst any of its employees and I would very much appreciate if this matter is followed up with and the taxi driver in question educated on the need to keep his opinions on certain races to himself.