Netizens have named the rude taxi passenger in a viral video and published his alleged personal details online. Now, a man claiming to be his father has spoken out, blaming himself for not raising his son well.
The father, who did not want to be named, admitted to evening daily Lianhe Wanbao that his son was in the wrong and hoped that the public would let them off.
In a video uploaded on Facebook on Saturday, a man - whose face does not appear in the six-minute clip recorded by the taxi's in-car camera - could be heard berating a taxi driver many times, calling him names such as "idiot" and "blind bat".
He complained that the cab was moving too slowly and accused the driver of trying to cheat him of his money. He also told the driver not to let anyone cut into the space in front of the taxi.
The clip, which was uploaded by the cabby's daughter, sparked outrage from netizens who chastised the passenger for his bad behaviour. It has since garnered more than 600,000 views, 17,000 shares and 7,000 likes.
The passenger's alleged personal details have since been leaked online, including his name, phone number, address, occupation and even the schools he attended.
On Monday, a Wanbao reporter went to the address dredged up by netizens. A man who was allegedly the passenger's father opened the door, looking very agitated.
When asked if his son had been provoked and lost control of his emotions, the father replied that it was not right to berate anyone in the first place.
"Even though the video seems incomplete and you can't really tell the full story, it is wrong to scold someone to that extent, no matter what," he said. "An apology ought to be made."
He added that he was to blame for the incident, as he had failed to discipline his son properly.
"If a son makes mistakes, the father is at fault. For him to do such a thing, it's on me as I did not educate my son well," the man said.
He added that he had asked his son to apologise sincerely to the taxi driver and hoped that the apology would be accepted.
Since his son's identity was made public, the father said that both of them have been distressed by this incident.
"I don't know who revealed my son's details, but after they were exposed, I don't even dare to take one step out of the door. I hope this issue will be settled quickly," said the father.
A neighbour told Wanbao that she had known the family for many years and was astonished by the man's behaviour in the taxi.
"I've known him since he was little; he's always been very polite. The person he was in the video did not seem like him at all. For him to have acted like that, perhaps it was a moment of impulse," said the neighbour, who did not want to be named.
The cabby's daughter has expressed her wishes for the passenger to simply apologise to her father and let the matter be resolved amicably.
Ang Hin Kee, adviser to the National Taxi Association and Ang Mo Kio GRC MP, said that the taxi driver in the video showed great professionalism.
"Even though taxi drivers should prioritise customer service, they also have to protect their own dignity and not suffer in silence. If a passenger goes overboard, the driver should inform the taxi company."
Meanwhile, some netizens say the installation of an in-car camera in a taxi is an invasion of privacy and may have broken regulations under the Personal Data Protection Act.
When contacted, lawyer Michael Loh said that the video revealed only the passenger's voice and not his appearance, so the passenger's identity cannot be verified from the clip alone.
Mr Loh said: "The taxi driver installed the in-car camera as a security measure, not for commercial use, and the passenger's identity was not disclosed. So, strictly speaking, this does not violate the Personal Data Protection Act."
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