Making a difference: Cabby goes extra mile for hurt man
Last April, taxi driver Ong See Heng, 56, picked up at Changi General Hospital a mother-daughter duo headed for Pasir Ris.
The ComfortDelGro cabby was hoping to change shifts in Pasir Ris when his passenger received a call that frazzled her.
The daughter - who had picked her mother up after surgery - got a call from a stranger who found her 79-year-old father bleeding from the head after falling on the street.
He had refused treatment and his daughter had to be called.
It was raining then, and Mr Ong could see that his passengers were getting anxious.
He immediately comforted them and offered to drive to where the father was.
Mr Ong switched to go towards Ubi Techpark and eventually found the father, who was sitting by the side of the road, drenched by the rain and covered in blood from his fall.
Mr Ong then offered tissues and cloth to help the elderly man clean up.
And as the man refused to go to hospital, Mr Ong drove him and his family to a 24-hour clinic.
Mr Ong said: "He was covered in blood and rain. It dirtied the taxi but that was not important. You can always clean a car."
He escorted the injured man out of the cab with an umbrella upon reaching the clinic and wanted to stay until the man was treated to take him and his family home, but the daughter declined the offer.
After all the driving around, their taxi bill had added up, but Mr Ong refused to accept the full fare.
He said: "The mother only just had surgery, they must have some medical bills adding up, so I told them to just pay what they could."
After the three alighted, Mr Ong took 30 minutes to clean his cab before changing shifts.
The cabby's kindness goes beyond this one incident.
Once, he picked up a woman going from Hougang to work at Marina Bay Sands Financial Centre.
But, when alighting, the woman realised she had left her wallet at home.
Instead of getting angry, Mr Ong offered her $20 for fear that she did not have enough to eat lunch.
She declined, asked for his bank account number and quickly paid him back.
Mr Ong said: "It is not as if I encounter something like this every day. So when it happens once in a while, I will help out. It is just a small thing."
Mr Ong's chosen charity is Care Corner's Senior Services. Set up in 1981, Care Corner helps more than 50,000 people of all ages annually. There are six senior activity centres under Care Corner islandwide that provide services for the elderly.