By Laura Zhang
Ever met a warm-hearted cabby who would generously waive off the taxi fares when someone’s in urgent need? There you go – Mr Goh Khee Thye, 49, who has been driving for five years with ComfortDelGro, finds joy in helping others at work.
At an interview with The Independent, Mr Goh, shared stories of Mr Goh’s driving experiences and his motivations.
In June, a group of four secondary school boys with only $10 intended to take a cab from Singapore Zoo to Khatib MRT Station.
“Uncle, we only have 10 dollars, is that enough for a ride?”said three frazzled Secondary Four boys who said they were rushing home for dinner, and their parents were waiting for them at home, according to Mr Goh.
Mr Goh immediately invited them to hop on his car. The boys, who were not in school uniforms, told Mr Goh that they had just missed the shuttle bus and came to the area for a school project.
“$10 is not enough for a ride to Khatib. So I decided to offer a lift all the way to their homes,” Mr Goh said to The Independent.
Mr Goh also revealed that he once fetched a person suffering from hypertension over a short distance to his workplace where the rider’s medicine was left at.
“I could empathise with them because I may suffer from similar illness one day. And I hope there’s similar kindness around.
“I never see this as a loss. Such small acts don’t affect my income much but are believed to have huge impacts on those in need. If I don’t help them, who will?
“By doing kind deeds, I hope that someone can do the same to me when I become old,” said Mr Goh, who has two children, with one studying at Secondary 3 and another at Junior College year 1. Mr Goh’s wife is also working full time at Tuas.
Later, one of the boys, Brian, expressed gratitude through email to ComfortDelGro to praise Mr Goh’s deed.
Brian called Mr Goh a “very special cabby”.
“$17.50 is quite a sum of money. With competition from private-hire cars, it’s even more difficult to earn a living.
“He went the extra mile without charging us a cent. Even though we tried giving him the money, he rejected it and told me, ‘it’s okay, you’re students, this $10 means a lot to you, use it for your pocket money tomorrow, I also have children, I can understand how difficult it is for your parents to earn the $10 to give you’,” wrote Brian.
Brian added that the incident has changed his perception of taxi drivers, whom he used to think were unfriendly and hasty.
Asked if he had ever thought of being taken advantage of by freeloaders, Mr Goh expressed frankly, “no. I don’t want to think like that,” reckoning kindness should be promoted and spread in the society, where people are becoming increasingly self-centred. Mr Goh sincerely wished elderly would not be marginalised.
Thereafter, proceeds yielded from Lianhe Wanbao and Tong Seng Produce through their kindness campaign “Good Man Good Deeds Good Rice”, in which Mr Goh was one of the features, had been donated to Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled. The donation consisted of 500kg of SongHe rice and 60 litres of canola oil.
Mr Goh had since been awarded the Thumbs Up Award from ComfortDelGro.