The Go-Jek driver in Singapore at the centre of a super viral video showing a woman passenger accusing him of kidnap, has come out with his side the story.
Passenger upset halfway through ride
Kamaruzzaman Abdul Latiff, 49, told The Straits Times the passenger began to get upset with him along the Central Expressway (CTE) on the trip from Block 251 Bishan Street 22 heading towards Coleman Street.
The ride took place on Tuesday, Jan. 29.
She was not satisfied when he explained to her that it was not possible to avoid the ERP gantries during the morning peak hour, but she did not suggest her preferred route, he said.
The passenger could be heard saying in the video at one point "it is clear that you are out to cheat money".
Accused of kidnap
She then makes a phone call to an unknown person.
The person is then heard over the mobile phone loudspeaker saying "you have no right to take her hostage" and "you are causing her to lose her freedom".
Knowing that he should not have filmed the passenger, Kamaruzzaman said he did so anyway for himself: "I knew that it was wrong to record a video of someone without their permission, but I had to do it to protect myself."
He also said "when she used the words 'hostage' and 'kidnap'", he got fearful.
"I was scared as I knew these accusations are taken seriously in Singapore", he said, adding that was one reason why he wanted to to go to the police station to straighten things out.
In the video, which has been viewed millions of times in Singapore and globally, Kamaruzzaman repeatedly can be heard saying that he prefers to settle any issues at a police station.
The car then pulled up in Toa Payoh Lorong 4, and Kamaruzzaman is seen on video speaking to a Certis Cisco officer.
ST reported that the passenger later got off the car and left in a taxi.
Kamaruzzaman said that he was not able to let her alight from the car earlier as they were on the expressway.
New Go-Jek driver
Kamaruzzaman had only started driving with Go-Jek full time in December.
He added that he shared the video on Facebook not to shame the passenger.
His intention is to inform other Go-Jek drivers that misunderstandings can happen.
A Go-Jek spokesperson said it has investigated the incident based on the evidence available and has spoken to Kamaruzzaman and the passenger.
"Go-Jek takes all complaints from riders and driver-partners very seriously... A fair outcome has been reached with the driver partner and we are of the view that the matter is now concluded," the spokesman said.
There was no details of what the "fair outcome" entailed.
After the video trended around the world and especially in Singapore over a few short hours, the incident spawned a tonne of memes.
Within one day, the video has accumulated 45,000 and more shares.