S'pore Grab driver receives 1-star rating after associating Vietnamese passenger with KTVs

It was 'hurtful' and 'ill-judged', the passenger said.

Mandy How | July 16, 2021, 06:05 PM

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The Vietnamese have been under the spotlight in Singapore after hostesses of the nationality were found to be at the heart of a fast expanding KTV cluster.

While the source of the cases stem from the hostesses and their patrons, the wider community is also feeling its impact as rumours and insinuations have been making its rounds online.

One Jolin Dang has provided a concrete example of how that has translated into her everyday life, an experience which she shared to Facebook page Complaint Singapore.

"Hurtful" question

Dang wrote that she had booked a ride with Grab, to travel from her office to the Embassy of Vietnam for the purpose of renouncing her Vietnamese citizenship.

When the driver asked if she was Vietnamese, Dang confirmed her nationality. Dang's post added that she was becoming a Singapore Citizen.

"[...] my answer to this question is always yes. There is no reason for me to deny my country of origin," she explained in her post.

Dang initially thought that the driver was "trying to be nice" by making small talk, and added that she was used to the question, given her accent.

However, the next question posed by the driver was not one that she expected — he asked if she was working in a KTV.

"The question was hurtful to me, which I believe all of the other Vietnamese ladies who are living here will feel the same," Dang said.

The passenger also provided a couple reasons as to why she could not empathise with the driver for asking such a question: namely, the fact that she was wearing a formal outfit, and was picked up from an office estate, rather than at a random roadside location.

Dang continued her ride despite feeling insulted, but gave the driver a one-star rating on the app.

She has also reported the issue to Grab, whom she said returned to her with an "immediate excellent response."

Appeal against discrimination

Towards the end of her post, Dang said that she was speaking up as she needed to be "more vocal" about the discrimination faced by the Vietnamese community.

"This is Singapore, a united country with which the KTV club case absolutely does not represent all Vietnamese in this country. It’s terribly wrong, thus no one has the right to ask such an ill-judged question, no matter where she comes from."

Top image by Mandy How for illustration purposes