Ryde S'pore suspends driver for allegedly telling Muslim lady not to listen to prayers when she wasn't even doing so

The driver claimed the "energy" in the car will change, and he did not like that.

Faris Alfiq | December 04, 2021, 07:27 PM

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Ride-hailing company, Ryde, has suspended a driver in Singapore.

This was after he allegedly made remarks to a Muslim woman passenger that she was not allowed to listen to religious prayers in his car.

The woman said she was not even doing so at that time.

The suspension was announced by Ryde in a statement on its Instagram account on Dec. 3.

Facebook page Wake Up Singapore posted several screenshots of a message by a woman recounting her "traumatic experience" involving a Ryde driver.

According to the passenger, the driver made some gestures at her when she boarded the vehicle and put her earbuds in.

Driver didn't allow passenger to listen to prayers

Initially, she thought that the driver told her that listening to music using earbuds could harm her ears.

"I thought he meant well," she wrote.

However, she came to understand that the driver was claiming that the "energy" would change in the car if she were listening to prayers, and he did not like it.

The driver allegedly added that she could not listen to prayers in his car even when using earbuds.

The passenger said that she was taken aback by the remark.

"If I had been blasting prayers or loud music, I would have been an inconsiderate passenger, but I was not," she clarified.

"My earbuds were in my ears, and he had no say or rights to what I was listening to."

She added that it was "none of his business" whether she was listening to prayers or otherwise.

The passenger recorded a portion of the exchange with the driver and it was uploaded to the Wake Up Singapore Facebook page.

Passenger dropped off soon after

According to the passenger, her entire ride was only three to five minutes.

Feeling uncomfortable with the situation, the passenger requested for the driver to drop her off as he was being "both racist and Islamophobic".

The driver then insisted that she paid his commission, of which she said that she would inform Ryde about the issue.

She added that when she requested to alight, the driver "paused and accelerated the car".

"He was being intrusive, racist and threatened my safety," she wrote.

She did not reveal the driver's profile as she did not want to embarrass him.

"The only thing I want is for other minorities to not suffer the same fate as me," she wrote.

She added if the driver really has issues with minorities, "perhaps he shouldn't even be a driver at all as he will meet people [f]rom all walks of life."

Ryde apologised

In response, Ryde issued a statement on Dec. 3 apologising to the rider and all others who were hurt by the incident.

It added that the driver in question has been suspended.

Ryde said the company does not condone such behaviour as it champions diversity, inclusivity and the importance of creating a safe and healthy community.

"We do not condone defamatory, abusive, obscene, profane, offensive comments that hurt one's sexual orientation, or are racially and/or religiously offensive or otherwise harassing," Ryde said in the statement.

Ryde also apologised for the delay in response, and said that their team was working hard to respond to queries within two days.

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Top image via Ryde/Facebook and Wake Up Singapore/Facebook