150 pioneer generation cabbies cruise down memory lane

150 pioneer generation cabbies cruise down memory lane
Labour chief Lim Swee Say taking a group photograph of some cabbies before they went on a Singapore River cruise on 1 June 2014. The area holds special memories for taxi drivers as it was a place they used to frequent in the 1970s to pick up their passengers.

SINGAPORE - Taxi driver Tham Yuet Kok was last cheated of his fare more than five years ago, but he still gets riled up talking about it.

"I drove a young woman to a local university," said the 67-year-old.

"She got impatient when the ATM card she gave me did not work, she did not have cash and gave me her phone number. It turned out to be a fake number with only seven digits."

Mr Tham, who has been driving a taxi for 34 years, said that meeting customers - bad and good - is part of his job.

Yesterday, the grandfather of three was all smiles when he took a river cruise with regular passenger Christopher Rummery, a British national working as an insurance broker in Singapore.

The cruise was organised by the National Taxi Association yesterday for 150 taxi drivers like Mr Tham, who are members of the pioneer generation.

Mr Tham had nominated Mr Rummery as an exemplary passenger in a union drive to find model customers.

Six such passengers, including Mr Rummery, got to join the cruise.

Mr Rummery said: "As passengers, we have to respect the taxi drivers, and understand that they are providing a service and earning a living."

This article was first published on June 2, 2014.
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