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'I should have taught my son well', says father of Chai Chee man who verbally abused cabby

THE NEW PAPER, MARCH 16

I should have taught my son well.

That was what the father of an infamous Chai Chee taxi passenger said repeatedly, after a video of his son's tirade of abuse went viral over the weekend.

In the six-minute clip, the 31-year-old man was heard spouting demeaning words and commands at the taxi driver.

The clip was uploaded by the cabby's daughter, a 27-year-old who works in the media industry.

The passenger's details, including his name, photograph, address and mobile number, were subsequently exposed online.

And his father, 77, who declined to be named, blames himself for his son's wrongdoing.

When The New Paper went to their Chai Chee flat twice yesterday, nobody was home.

But according to Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao, the father was visibly agitated as he spoke.

When asked if his son had lost his temper after being antagonised, he would only shake his head and insist that his son was in the wrong for scolding the cabby.

"Although the clip looks incomplete and you can't tell the entire sequence of events, (my son) was in the wrong for his words. He should apologise to the cabby," he told Wanbao.

After the passenger's identity was revealed, the father said both he and his son have been under great stress and fear stepping out of their flat at Chai Chee Avenue.

Neighbours who know the father and son said they were shocked by the video.

A pair of brothers aged 10 and 11, who declined to be named, told TNP that the "uncle", who lives two units away, always asks after them.

"He will always ask me how's school and things like that," said the 11-year-old.

SHOCKED

He has watched the video and was shocked that the man in the video is his neighbour.

"But I would still give him a second chance," the Primary 5 pupil said.

Another neighbour, who wanted to be known only as Syed, called the man "kind" and "well-mannered".

The father said he does not meet his neighbours often, but said they are cordial to each other.

Taxi operator ComfortDelGro confirmed that the man has tried to reach out to the cabby to apologise but the latter was uncomfortable about meeting.

The taxi driver's daughter had said she put up the video to show the plight of cabbies.

In text accompanying the video, she wrote: "Taxi uncles are not idiots, deaf or useless, they are someone's family.

"They are fathers who work 14 hours a day, seven days a week, even on public holidays, so people like me and my sis get an education."

- Additional reporting 
by FOO JIE YING

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