January 2024 \ World News \ World News

Singapore: A ride-hailing company in Singapore is investigating an incident in which a driver made racist remarks against a passenger, asking him to “go back to India”. Grab Rentals took the action after the passenger shared an account of the incident, and screenshots of his conversation with the driver on the Instagram account sgfollowsall on Dec 21, The Straits Times reported in December.

According to the report, the exchange began when the driver said that he was not able to reach the pickup point due to nearby road works, and asked the passenger not to wait. When the passenger asked the driver to cancel the trip, the latter asked him if he was an “Indian”, and then told him to “go back to India”.

The passenger, whose name was not given in the report, said in his post that he has lived and worked in Singapore for 10 years. He described the incident as “blatant racism” that was “totally uncalled for”. “But then again, one bad apple doesn’t change my experience of Singapore -- I love it and have had so many people reach out to apologise for what I experienced,” the passenger wrote. In response to queries from The Straits Times, a Grab spokesman said the company is investigating the incident, and takes a strong stance against discriminatory behaviour and language on its platform.

In accordance with Grab’s code of conduct, driver-partners are expected to be fair and not discriminate against passengers in any way, the spokesman told The Times. The incident comes close after a Tada cab driver in Singapore was fined SG$3,000 for hurling racist insults at a passenger in September, saying: “You are India(n), I’m a Chinese... You are the very worst kind”.

When the passenger told the driver that he was being racist, he raised his voice and replied: “I know you India. I am Chinese, you try to be funny with me.” Tada permanently barred the driver from working with the company and said in a statement that the “driver’s remarks that insinuated racial differences are completely unacceptable within Tada’s community guidelines and ethos”.

Tags: Singapore

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