Photo from Facebook

Singaporeans have been outraged by a recent cheating case where a BMW driver cheated and bullied an elderly pump attendant into paying for his S$135 petrol bill. The news went viral because most people (not all, now you know how twisted Singapore society have become) feel indignant for the elderly poor, who probably earns less than S$1,000 a month.

Given the media attention and numerous requests for response on the incident, Caltex Singapore had to step up and follow up on the incident. The petrol company said it did not make the attendant pay for the bill, and an investigation is apparently underway. Caltex’s mature response sure is greatly welcomed and appreciated:

Good afternoon Singapore, we are heartened by the solidarity and care shown towards our team at Caltex Tampines. Thank you for the kindness and concern.

We want to assure the community that our Caltex attendant did not bear any financial obligation from the events that occurred on April 14.

Do be assured that our station manager, together with the management team are looking into this issue now and an investigation is ongoing. For any enquiries on this issue, do get in touch with us via PM and we’ll get back to you.

We do encourage everyone to refrain from any personal or group responses towards the driver or those involved as our team is already looking into resolving this.

Thank you for your support.”

What a sweet gesture from Caltex, but let’s be reminded the incident would have slipped by unnoticed if nobody make a squeak. Like any petrol station, Caltex probably doesn’t care what happened so long it gets paid, even from it’s own employee pump attendant. Welcome to Singapore.

Read Caltex’s response again, and one would realise it is somewhat lacking. First, there is no mention of a police report. Why? Is it because the car is a BMW?

Second, there is no mention of Caltex’s policy on making pump attendants pay for petrol when they make a mistake. To be fair with Caltex, every single petrol station has the same employee-bullying policy. Could Caltex clarify?

Third, Caltex called for Singaporeans to “refrain from any personal or group responses” aka “Mind your own business”. Why is the public discouraged from taking actions? As a profit-driven corporation, Caltex is after all not accountable to the public, so there is high chances this case would slip into abyss. Caltex’s management would “resolve this”, give me a break, treating this incident as an one-off and letting the driver go scot-free is itself a resolution as well.

States Times Review does not usually cover uncorroborated accounts from the public. This is STR’s policy to fight fake news. However, I took the risks to blow this up because I believe income inequality is a bigger scourge than fake news. This incident is solely picked up and covered by STR, not for readership but for awareness.

Thanks to Singaporeans’ outrage, something is done. Don’t listen to Caltex about not taking “personal or group responses”, this is abdicating ones’s social responsibilities and also the very reason why Singapore is currently heading in the wrong direction. Singapore is only a better place when Singaporeans speak up and claim ownership to their own well-being, and not giving blind trust to the profit-driven corporations and government.

Alex Tan
STR Editor