Over 56,000 sign petition to support Gojek driver in viral clip
A petition appealing against revoking the licence of the Gojek driver in the viral "kidnapping" video garnered 56,000 signatures yesterday.
The petition, which started on Sunday, called for public support of Mr Kamaruzzaman Abdul Latiff, the Gojek driver in the video. This was after he was told to attend an interview with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) as part of investigations after a complaint was made against him. The session took place yesterday.
When contacted by The New Paper for updates to the case, a spokesman for LTA said: "LTA is looking into the incident. We have met the Gojek driver this morning and have requested to meet the passenger so we can have a fuller picture of the incident."
Mr Kamaruzzaman also told The Straits Times that LTA has allowed him to continue to drive for the ride-hailing firm until "the decision is out".
He said the interview went well and that he would wait for LTA's decision.
On Jan 31, Mr Kamaruzzaman uploaded a video of the dispute he had with a passenger. In the video, the woman accuses him of cheating her due to the Electronic Road Pricing fee and kidnapping her when he tried to drive to a police station to resolve the dispute.
The video has been shared more than 11,000 shares.
The petition on Change.org said it intends to hit 100,000 signatures and clarified that it is not asking for donations.
The petition read: "Abang (brother in Malay) Gojek driver may be investigated by LTA following and faces possible suspension... Abang has three children and is the sole breadwinner of his family. The loss of income during the period of possible suspension will hit his finances hard."
It added that Mr Kamaruzzaman was not informed of the petition when it started.
He posted on Facebook: "I was told someone is collecting a $4 donation of behalf of me. (Please...) stop donating as I'm not aware of this and never asked (for) any donations or asked someone to do it for me."
Mr Ang Hin Kee, executive adviser for the National Private Hire Vehicles Association said people should not jump to conclusions.
He said: "Everyone should calm down and believe that the authorities will handle the matter well. Social media and websites should not be used as a tool to decide the next course of action..."
The petition speculated that taking and uploading the video may cause Mr Kamaruzzaman to lose his licence.
Under LTA guidelines, public service vehicles such as taxis and private hire cars are allowed to have inward-facing in-vehicle recording devices after complying with certain requirements. This includes not having an audio recording function so passengers' conversations are not recorded.
Lawyer Doris Chia said it is not certain if Mr Kamaruzzaman has breached any guidelines. She said the video appeared to have been recorded via a phone.
She added: "If he just switched on the recording on his device for that incident because the passenger was also taking a video of him and he wanted to protect himself, then he may not have breached any guidelines by LTA.
"At the end of the day, it is hard to balance the privacy of passengers and protect the driver as well."