I thought it’s rather brave of the taxi uncle to broadcast to the world that he earns $7K a month and also shared with the world his modus operandi to reach that “grand” sum in the Sunday Times with its far flung reach among the parochial hoi polloi in SG.
I was particularly afraid that other taxi uncles and aunties who don’t share his earning capacity may take umbrage, especially when he made what I thought was an unnecessary swipe at his colleagues who while away their lives in kopi tiams instead of on the road.
What if they decide to run him down, literally?
What i hadn’t expect was the hostility he and the Sunday Times attracted in cyberspace, with the bile spewed by one dotty blogger such as this, being a prime example.
Now let me share with you the work-style of a taxi driver whom I shall call M — the driver’s initial; not money, 😉
M is an acquaintance of many years but has become a taxi driver in the last 10 years or so.
I called M to take me to the airport last week when I was taking a Firefly flight to KL. I don’t usually personally give M business because I drive and seldom need a paid ride even when I don’t have a car handy. Last week was an exception.
So I was more chatty than i would usually be with the stranger taxi driver whom I would on the rare occasion hail on the street.
“Hey I didn’t know you drive Premier taxi,” I said when we were on our way. “Always thought it was Comfort.”
“No,” replied M. “I’ve always driven Premier.” M then went on to explain that although the vehicle was “old, more than 5 years”, the daily rental at $85 was reasonable, especially when coupled with 10 rent-free days per month!
If M changes vehicles, there won’t be any more freebies. Thanks to this rental rebate, M who used to share the cab with another driver now drives the taxi alone. And hear this. M doesn’t drive regular hours — they could be morning, afternoon or night, depending on M’s preference and when there are bookings after which M then trolls the streets.
And hear this some more. M’s brother also drives a taxi. But only for one week a month, the rest of the time he spends in an Asean country doing volunteer work while his taxi is driven by a relief driver.
I don’t know if either of the siblings earn the princely $7K that Mr Muhammad Hasnor Hashim reportedly earns. But from the fact that M and brother continue to survive, it must mean that whatever they earn from driving a taxi is giving them the lifestyle each has chosen 😆