LTA investigating Go-Jek ‘hostage’ incident, says they want to hear both sides of the story

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is investigating an incident involving a Go-Jek driver whose passenger accused him of taking her hostage.

On Tuesday (5 Feb), the LTA said that it needed to hear both sides of the story to better understand the matter.

“LTA is looking into the incident. To get a more comprehensive understanding of the matter, LTA will need to meet up with both the driver and the passenger to hear their respective accounts of the incident,” said LTA in response to Channel NewsAsia’s queries.

Separately, Go-Jek told CNA that they were cooperating with LTA’s investigation and that it ‘would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage’.

The incident, which was captured on video has since gone viral on social media. The driver, Kamaruzzaman Abdul Latiff, appeared to have recorded the exchange on his mounted mobile phone. In the video, the passenger could be heard accusing the driver of trying to cheat her after he apparently took a route that passed an Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantry and required her to pay a fee.

As she continued to complain and even made a phone call to what appeared to be the Go-Jek customer service line, the driver said he would simply drive to the police station so they could settle the matter. Toward the end of the video, the driver stopped the car and asked someone off camera (seemingly a police officer) for directions to the nearest station.

At that point, the woman tried to get out of the car but the door was locked. She accused him of taking her ‘hostage’, even when Mr Kamaruzzaman attempted to explain that the door was only locked because of the vehicle’s auto-lock function, a common function found in more cars these days.

On 31 January, Mr Kamaruzzaman had posted the video on his Facebook page, saying: “After a few days of thinking, I guess I better let it out.

“Pax (sic) accused me of kidnapping her just because of ERP. I have already made a police report and reported to Go-Jek. Be care (sic) to all PHV drivers.”

He added: “She kept telling that I was trying to cheat her. I asked her to tell me if she knew how to avoid the ERP, but she couldn’t direct me…”

The video was reposted on the Facebook page where it has since racked up nearly 800,000 views.

A few days after the video went up, Mr Kamaruzzaman posted another photo of what appeared to be a letter from the LTA requesting him to attend an interview. The letter acknowledged that a complaint was filed against him concerning the above incident which happened on 29 January.

“We are now investigating the matter,” the letter stated, adding that Mr Kamaruzzaman was “required to attend an interview” with the assistant manager for investigation and appeal of LTA’s bus licensing division.

In the letter, Mr Kamaruzzaman was asked to attend the interview today (Thursday, 7th February) and bring along with identification documents, the recording device, and it’s recording as well as any other relevant evidence.

On Monday, LTA said it was looking into the incident and directed CNA to its guidelines on inward-facing in-vehicle recording devices which states that taxis, private hire cars and buses ‘”must not have any audio recording function so that the passengers’ conversations are not recorded”.