I had to go home to take medicine, says sacked taxi driver who let pregnant mum with 2 kids alight at Toa Payoh instead of Yishun

A case of misunderstanding?

Belmont Lay | September 12, 2022, 06:05 PM

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The ComfortDelGro taxi driver who got sacked for letting a pregnant mother and her two children alight at Toa Payoh instead of Yishun because he allegedly wanted to go home, has come out to clarify his actions.

Told Chinese media his side of the story

The 64-year-old taxi driver, Lim Chye Beng, told Shin Min Daily News that the passenger's account of the incident, as related by her husband over social media on his wife's behalf, was not the full story.

According to Lim, the woman boarded the cab with her two children and suggested travelling to Yishun using Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) and Seletar Expressway (SLE).

At first, he drove along the route suggested by the woman, but he missed the exit because he was too engrossed in his conversation with her, he claimed.

The woman then told him to turn around.

Could not make U-turn on expressway

However, he explained he could not just make a U-turn as he was on the expressway, so he told her he had to go by the Central Expressway (CTE) and informed her that he would charge her S$18, which is what he estimated the ride would have cost if he had gone by the route she suggested.

The woman responded that she typically pays S$14 when she takes that route and the taxi driver disagreed.

Disagreed on fare to be charged

Lim explained that the starting price the moment the passenger got on the cab was already S$8.40.

Providing a breakdown of the costs, he said the booking fee for a cab is S$3.30, the flag-down fare is S$4.10, and the peak hour surcharge is S$1.

The total fare for her journey should be S$18 and above, he reasoned.

Woman allegedly only wanted to pay S$14

In response, the woman allegedly said she would only pay him S$14 and he could choose to accept it or not.

The woman then called her husband.

Woman's husband accused of using vulgarities

The taxi driver claimed his blood pressure started to rise when the man used vulgarities on him repeatedly over the phone.

So, he decided to let the woman and her two children alight from his taxi instead.

Lim said: "I have high blood pressure and heart disease, and I was feeling very unwell, so I told the woman's husband I couldn't ferry them in my taxi and needed to go home and take medicine."

Lim also admitted that he had travelled too far and made a mistake, but insisted that the other party kept insulting him.

He said he did not respond to the provocation the whole time.

He added that he only left the woman and her children after they alighted at a taxi stand in Toa Payoh and only after they confirmed they were safe.

He said he even waited for the woman and her children to board another taxi before he moved off.

He said he also immediately called his company and asked the operator to cancel the Nets payment for the trip.

There was no charge incurred by the customer.

Lim told Shin Min he is not an unsympathetic person.

How taxi driver got to share his side of the story

Lim was able to share his story with Shin Min as the other driver he was splitting the rental of the taxi with approached the Chinese media to protest the firing.

The other driver, Huang, 63, said: "Although I have only known Lim for about three months, I communicate with him daily. He is not very conversant, but he is very honest, straightforward, and very filial. He would buy food for his mother daily before going to work."

Fears more penalty

Now that he has been fired, Lim said he fears his taxi driver's vocational licence will also be revoked next.

Lim said: "I need to be investigated by the Land Transport Authority. I am really worried. I am in my 60s now, and I need to support my mother in her 80s."

"Moreover, I lost one of my fingers in an accident many years ago, and it is difficult to find a job."


The incident took place just before 10pm on Sunday, Aug. 21, as recounted by the passenger's husband who shared on Facebook about what supposedly happened.

A woman and her two children hailed a ride via ComfortDelgro's app, now known as Zig, to travel from Marsiling to Yishun.

The taxi driver, Lim, was accused of making the passengers wait as he took a smoke break for more than five minutes before starting to drive.

The woman then apparently told Lim to go by her preferred route, but he then travelled via the CTE instead.

She then asked Lim why he was driving towards Toa Payoh when her destination was in Yishun.

Lim allegedly got "defensive" and "lied" that "in front there is Mandai".

His attitude apparently got worse after asking about how much the passenger usually spent to travel from Marsiling to Yishun before allegedly saying: “Like that I drop you off at Toa Payoh. You go take another cab, I don’t want to drive you! I wanna go back home I stay at Toa Payoh. You are wasting my time and petrol”.

According to the Facebook post, the man's wife, who was pregnant at that time, started getting panic attacks.

She then called her husband.

He spoke to Lim directly via a phone call and asked him to the taxi's occupants to Yishun, but Lim allegedly refused.

The husband claimed that Lim eventually allowed his pregnant wife and two children to alight at Toa Payoh at around 10:30pm.

The receipt of the trip showed the fare to be S$27.15 when usually it takes less than S$20 for the passengers to get from Marsiling to Yishun.

In response to Mothership's query, Tammy Tan, ComfortDelgro's group chief branding and communications officer, said the hiring agreement with Lim has been terminated "with immediate effect".

Top photos via Shin Min Daily News