By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
Both Wanbao and Stomp reported an ugly incident which happened on Tuesday (28 Jun) involving a distinguished PRC professor from the LKY School of Public Policy and a Singaporean cabby (http://www.zaobao.com.sg/
The cabby, David, 47, had picked up a PRC professor, Huang Jing, from the airport to go to LKY School of Public Policy in Bukit Timah.
According to the cabby, the total fare amounted to $21 and Huang gave him $100. Huang then took back $78 in change, essentially giving the cabby an extra $1 tip. Cabby David was grateful for this.
Then things took a strange turn.
The cabby told the media that for unknown reasons, Huang wanted him to step out of the cab to open the door for Huang, so as to “show some respect” to him.
Stomp reported what cabby David said through a phone interview (http://www.stomp.com.sg/
“I don’t know what happened but the passenger suddenly asked me to step out and show some respect,” said David.
“He said that he is a professor and has been in Singapore for eight years, and that this was a worldwide practice.”
“I said I would return him his $1, and he said he would take it back but still insisted that I step out (to open door and show respect),” he added. “He refused to exit my taxi and even called my company to complain.”
David said he was ‘getting a headache’ at this point and decided to call the police to intervene. The police arrived 20 minutes later.
There is a recorded audio conversation between the 2, uploaded on Stomp website. Indeed, the video cam from David’s cab showed Huang had repeatedly asking David to ‘step out’. At the beginning of the audio recording, one could hear:
Huang: “Could you please step out and be professional”
Cabby David: “Huh?”
Huang: “Could you please step out and open the door. Be professional. I gave you $1 already, right? You have to. That’s your profession…. open your door, step out… ”
Cabby David: “What are you talking about?” …
David also told the media that he did not do or say anything that might have led to the bizarre confrontation. He even said ‘thank you’ to Huang for the $1 tip.
Huang’s side of the story
When the media approached Huang for his side of the story, he blamed cabby David for starting the confrontation.
He said that the audio recording only captured 1 part of their conversation.
He however, admitted that David did help him with his luggage at the airport and on the way to Bukit Timah, their conversation inside the cab was good.
But after arriving at the destination and receiving the change, Huang claimed that Cabby David said to him, “Why don’t you get our?”
Huang said that at the time, the cab door was already opened and one of his feet was already out of the cab. He was ready to get off but because his wallet had a lot of banknotes from the various countries, it took him a bit of time to put the change back into the wallet.
Being educated in America, he felt that the cabby shouldn’t use the term “get out”, which is considered rude in America.
He added that since he had paid for the cab fare, he shouldn’t be “rudely” treated. Hence, he insisted that the cabby should step out of the cab to open the door for him in order to “show respect”.
Note that by his own admission to the media, the cab door was already opened and he already had one foot outside the cab at the time of the incident.
He explained to the media that wanting the cab driver to step out had nothing to do with the $1 tip. But readers can decide for themselves if this is true by going through the recorded conversation.
He also confirmed that the cab fare was $21. He said the cabby has asked him if he had $1 (so that cabby David would give him back $80 change) but told the cabby to charge him $22 instead.
Netizens angry with Huang’s behaviour
On Stomp, netizens were critical of Huang’s behaviour. Most sided cabby David.
One said, “What sort of professor is he, Eh? Is the taxi driver worth only a dollar. If such person attained citizenship, became an MP or maybe higher up would he expect driver to lay a red carpet for him to alight, Eh? This is confirmed a Foreign Trash, better check on his credentials, all fakes and bought with dirty money.”
Another said, “If this goondu professor like people to open door for him, he should hire his own driver or bring along his grandchildren, children along whenever he takes a taxi so they can open the door for him. He is really a disgrace to his family members and to his own slum. He can abuse anyone there with $1.00. Professor, simple test, take a cab home and stop right outside your house and all your family members wait for your return and they will open the door and have a last look at your disgraceful face”
Still, another added, “We have seen, Chinese people come here do shit on MRT station, peeing and now there is something new to add. Some so called Chinese-US shit PHD professor asking people to bow down in-front of him. Maybe University need to call all PHD professors to use brain next time.”
Who is Professor Huang Jing?
According to the LKY School of Public Policy (http://lkyspp.nus.edu.sg/
He is an “internationally recognized expert on Chinese politics, China’s foreign relations and security issues in Asia-Pacific” and has written books, papers and journal articles. He is also said to be an expert in China’s development strategy, China’s foreign policy, US-China relations, China-India relations, the military, and security issues in the Asia-Pacific.
He is on the Board of Directors of the Fujitsu-JAIMS Foundation Japan, the Board of Directors Keppel Land, the Advisory Board of the European-House Ambrosetti, the Steering Committee of the NUS Research Institute in Suzhou, and the WEF Global Agenda Council.
He also serves as a Senior Overseas Economic Analyst for China’s state-owned Xinhua News Agency. Before joining the LKYSPP, Huang was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution (2004-2008). He also taught at Harvard University (1993-1994), Utah State University (1994-2004) and Stanford University (2002-2003). Huang received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University, MA from Fudan University, and BA from Sichuan University.
Police says case closed
In response to media queries, a Police spokesman said, “Police received a call on 28 June at about 1.22pm, requesting for assistance at 469 Bukit Timah Road.”
“Upon arrival, it was established that a case of dispute had occurred at the said location. The parties involved were advised to keep the peace and they complied,” he added.
“No further Police assistance was required.”