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LTA looking into Go-Jek 'hostage' dispute; says needs to hear from driver and passenger

LTA looking into Go-Jek 'hostage' dispute; says needs to hear from driver and passenger

Screenshot of a viral video showing the Go-Jek driver Kamaruzzaman bin Abdul Latiff and the passenger.

SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Tuesday (Feb 5) that it was looking into an incident involving a Go-Jek driver and his passenger and that it needed to hear both sides of the story to get a better understanding of the matter.

"LTA is looking into the incident. To get a more comprehensive understanding of the matter, LTA will need to meet up with both the driver and the passenger to hear their respective accounts of the incident," it said in response to Channel NewsAsia's queries.

Separately in an email response to Channel NewsAsia, Go-Jek said it is cooperating with LTA's investigation on an "ongoing basis".

"GOJEK is aware of the LTA investigation, which we are cooperating with on an ongoing basis. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage," the company said.

The incident was captured on video which has since gone viral.

In the video that appeared to have been taken from driver Kamaruzzaman Abdul Latiff's mounted mobile phone, the passenger could be heard accusing him of trying to "cheat" her after he apparently took a route that passed an Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantry and required her to pay a fee. 

She was also heard accusing him of taking her "hostage" when she could not get out of the car, which Mr Kamaruzzaman explained was due to the vehicle's "auto-lock" function.

Mr Kamaruzzaman had posted the video on Facebook on Jan 31, saying: "After a few days of thinking, I guess I better let it out. 

"Pax (sic) accused me of kidnapping her just because of ERP. I have already made a police report and reported to Go-Jek. Be care (sic) to all PHV drivers." 

He added: "She kept telling that I was trying to cheat her. I asked her to tell me if she knew how to avoid the ERP, but she couldn't direct me..."

The video was reposted on the Facebook page where it has since racked up nearly 800,000 views.

On Monday evening, Mr Kamaruzzaman posted a photo of what appeared to be a letter from the LTA requesting him to attend an interview. 

Titled "Notice to Attend Interview", the letter acknowledged that a complaint had been filed against Mr Kamaruzzaman concerning the incident on the morning of Jan 29.

"We are now investigating the matter," the letter stated, adding that Mr Kamaruzzaman was "required to attend an interview" with the assistant manager for investigation and appeal of LTA's bus licensing division. 

According to the letter, Mr Kamaruzzaman would need to attend the interview on Thursday at 10am, bringing with him his identification documents, "the recording device, its recording and any other evidence". 

In an earlier statement on Monday, LTA said it was "looking into" the incident and directed Channel NewsAsia to its guidelines on inward-facing in-vehicle recording devices for vehicles such as taxis, private hire cars and buses.

According to the guidelines, such devices "must not have any audio recording function so that the passengers' conversations are not recorded".

The guidelines complement the Personal Data Protection Commission's Advisory Guidelines on in-vehicle recordings, according to LTA.

Source: CNA/na(hs)(mn)


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