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Former TADA driver fined S$3,000 for using insults and racist words during a dispute with a passenger

A Singaporean private-hire driver was fined S$3,000 by court for directing insults and racist remarks at a passenger during an app malfunction dispute.

TADA suspended and permanently barred him, deeming his remarks incompatible with their community guidelines and company values.

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SINGAPORE: Peh Boon Hua, a 54-year-old private-hire driver, was slapped with a S$3,000 fine after being found guilty of using insulting words causing distress under the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA).

Previously, in a video posted on social media, the driver was recorded commenting on the passenger’s ethnicity and her daughter’s height, mentioning that the daughter does not meet the 1.35-meter requirement.

Private-hire driver fined for “racist” remarks

On Wednesday (13 Dec), Peh pleaded guilty to the charge, which was amended from an initial accusation of deliberately wounding racial feelings with his words.

As reported by CNA, the court imposed the fine after hearing about the incident involving a 46-year-old Singaporean woman who booked a ride on the TADA app on 23 September.

The passenger intended to set her drop-off location at Block 194, Pasir Ris Street 12, but due to a malfunction in the TADA app, she had to choose Block 194, Pasir Ris Street 11 instead.

However, there is no such address according to Google Maps.

Assigned to the job, Peh picked up the passenger and her nine-year-old daughter but struggled to find the designated location.

He began arguing with the passenger about her drop-off location, which also prompted the passenger to use her phone to record a video.

Growing angrier, Peh yelled: “You are India, India ah, I am Chinese okay, you are India, I am a Chinese, you are the very worst … worst … worst customer.”

The passenger felt deeply offended by Peh’s remarks and felt unsafe.

She clarified to Peh that she was a Singaporean Eurasian, not Indian, emphasizing that his remarks were racially insensitive.

Peh raised his voice and replied: “I know you India. I am Chinese, you try to be funny with me.”

Soon, after reaching Block 194, Pasir Ris Street 12, the passenger and her daughter exited the vehicle, and she subsequently filed a police report the following day.

Driver fined and permanently barred from working as TADA driver

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheldon Lim called attention to the unacceptable nature of Peh’s insults, emphasizing that there is no place for such language or sentiment in Singapore.

He proposed a fine between S$3,000 and S$4,000, highlighting the need for a sentence that serves as a deterrent.

While acknowledging Peh’s lack of prior convictions and early guilty plea as signs of remorse, Mr Lim noted the distress caused to the victim and her daughter.

The court heard that the victim felt deeply offended and unsafe during the incident, prompting her to make a police report the following day.

Additionally, TADA stated that it took immediate action by suspending Peh after investigating the incident.

The company has since permanently barred him from working as a driver for TADA, citing his remarks as unacceptable within the community guidelines and ethos of the company.

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Maybe if CECAs were mandated to wear a cow’s picture on their sleeve this incident wouldn’t have happened. It is likely the Eurasian Singaporean, who feels her European DNA makes her feel dua ki like an ang moh, was mistaken for a CECA. Then again, all CECAs and PRCs will always be Pendatang in Singapore.

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