Monday, November 5, 2012

The $7000 cabby VS the Straits Times

[Update: Link of HWZ forum that has the exclusive interview with the cabby is at bottom of post)

Of the big hoo-ha on the cabby who earns $7000 a month, while most Singaporeans earn much lesser than a taxi-driver....
the online storm has made the cabby "backtracked" on the $7000 a month.

I think it is not the cabby's fault for making up the $7000 a month claims.
It is the journalist's responsibility to check her facts, back up with it, instead of just publishing any thing. If this is the case, then any blogger on the internet can also publish for newspaper.
This will simply reflect badly on Straits Times.

Cabby backtracks on $7,000-a-month earnings claim
Despite earlier saying a few times he made $7k a month, he now says it was just for May

Mr Muhammad no longer drives a Premier taxi, saying that other cabbies were unhappy after he was featured in The Sunday Times last week. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

ALSO by Maria Almenoar Transport Correspondent

Taxi driver Muhammad Hasnor Hashim has changed his account of life as a taxi driver a week after making the news for claiming to earn $7,000 a month.

The 32-year-old had told two journalists of The Sunday Times that he earned that sum by working hard and working smart driving a Premier taxi. On Saturday, he said he made $7,000 only once, in May this year, and that he usually earns $4,000 to $5,000 a month.

He is also no longer driving a Premier taxi. He said on Saturday that he had left the company after three months because other cabbies there were unhappy with him. "They would see me in the lift and make comments at me," he added.

Premier Taxis confirmed that he is no longer one of its drivers, but declined to confirm if he left on his own or if his contract had been terminated. Its spokesman would only say that the reasons for his departure were confidential. Mr Muhammad said he is now driving for another cab operator.


What Mr Muhammad told The Sunday Times at his first interview where both a reporter and a photojournalist were present

"My taxi is a money machine."

What Mr Muhammad told the photojournalist during an interview for The Straits Times' Through the Lens video series, when asked if it was true that taxi drivers cannot earn a lot of money

"I don't agree. If I tell you I earn $7,000, some of the taxi drivers outside also get angry, 'Wah lau, this guy, very cocky. Sure or not, $7,000?' But touch their heart, ask themselves, they know."

What Mr Muhammad said yesterday, when asked why he gave the figure of $7,000 in the original interview

"Maybe I thought I was being asked how much a taxi driver can earn."

BTW, the above article is the Straits Time's official stand on the cabby giving wrong, exaggerated information.
Here is what the cabby published on his facebook of his personal account.
It depends on who you believe has a higher standard in truth.

Instead of apologising for this irresponsible reporting, Straits Times give almost half a page to the journalist to do a defensive reporting, and pushing the blame to the cabby.

The cabby is good at driving a cab, NOT reporting or writing for a newspaper.

I am not a taxi driver. Neither are most of the people on the internet, and most of us know that $7000 a month is such a far stretch. Why is that so difficult for an educated journalist to understand?

I quote this from the "defensive article"

There appeared to be no apparent reason why either would exaggerate his earnings.

On the road, when asked if it was true that taxi drivers could not earn a lot, he told Kwang Peng: "I don't agree. If I tell you I earn $7000, some of the taxi drivers outside (will) also get angry, (they'll say). 'wah lau, this guy very cocky, sure or not $7000?' But touch their heart, ask themselves, they know."

He say then you publish?

Then now I say I  tell u 99% of local Singaporeans feel that our current Straits Times journalists, and also our government leaders are overpaid. Touch their heart, ask themselves, they know.

There is no apparent reason why I would exaggerate my opinions and figures, so please be a Straits Time world class reporter and publish it.

[Previous blogpost on the $7000 cabby]

[HWZ Forum EDMW thread on this saga with exclusive interview]

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