Singapore Democratic Party heavyweight Damanhuri bin Abas announced on Facebook yesterday (9 July) that he is working as a private-hire driver for GRAB.
Mr Damanhuri is a member of the SDP’s Central Executive Committee and last participated in the elections as a member of the SDP’s team contesting Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC during the 2015 General Election.
Outside of politics, Mr Damanhuri served as Director of Muhammadiyah Islamic College and has managed educational organizations for over a decade. Yesterday, the opposition politician revealed that he was undergoing a bleak period in his life as he approached the age of 50 as an ex-PMET when he decided to turn to driving for GRAB. PMET is the acronym for professionals, managers, executives and technicians.
Calling GRAB a “godsend” for him, Mr Damanhuri shared that well-meaning friends tried to dissuade him from becoming a private-hire driver in fears that his prospect of being elected would be tarnished. Despite this, Mr Damanhuri prefers living on a honest day’s work and has no regrets after joining GRAB.
Through driving for GRAB, Mr Damanhuri said he saw “Singapore at its raw best.” He had the opportunity of witnessing the class divide in Singapore and visiting the foreigners enclave, as he gets to meet all kinds of new citizens that migrate to Singapore.
He also listened to the “sob stories of struggling locals” and ferried “women of the night earning their honest keep” along with the “occasional drunkard” who argued with the direction his GPS was taking them on. Mr Damanhuri also witnessed “the condition of our very own indigenous locals, yes, my Malay buddies. In a sad state indeed you and I are in.”
Mr Damanhuri asserted that his journey with GRAB taught him more than the three years he studied at the National University of Singapore and the two years he spent at the National Institute of Education and the Nanyang Technological University where he earned his Masters Degree.
He added that the lessons he learnt driving for GRAB “confirms in me the rightness of the decision i took to be in politics.” He said:
“A lonely road it has been since but still a fight worth fighting. To right the wrong for the common folk…working where they can, outcompeted by others coming here in our good times, while we slog in this created bad times to make whatever ends we can meet. No retirement in sight we can honestly see.”
He asserted: “I will relish the day this Grab driver stands in parliament to ask for answers from those overpaid millionaires for the many unanswered woes my countrymen patiently seeks.”
Mr Damanhuri concluded: “Grab that fading hope my fellow countrymen, for the promise land we desire shall one day arrive, the destination to get there, is about to begin.”
Read his post in full here: