Friday, October 5, 2012

SBS Transit takes action against driver who abused a transgender women

Singapore transport operator SBS Transit is taking disciplinary action against one of its bus drivers who verbally abused a transgender passenger on Tuesday morning. Public relations consultant Leona Lo, according to her blog post, was walking to the MRT station when abus driver/captain wearing SBS uniform shouted “Ah Kua” (a hokkien derogatory term used for transgenders and trans-sexuals meaning effeminate man according to Singlish dictionary) and adopted a woman’s gait as he “sashayed” past her.  His fellow bus drivers – all wearing SBS uniform – hooted and clapped.[1]

She has later  posted a letter addressing SBS Transit on her Facebook wall which is picked up by Singapore media and as a result SBS Transit has taken action against the bullies:

The bus company did not respond directly to Lo but when contacted by Fridae, SBS Transit spokesperson Tammy Tan said on Wednesday that they have “conducted an investigation and identified the Bus Captain in question.” 
“He is deeply apologetic and we will be taking disciplinary action against him. I would like to extend my deep regret to the complainant and to assure her that this is not something we at SBS Transit condone.”[2]

 Leona Lo hopes that the incident will be a learning experience for all:
“We need to report such incidents to ensure that history does not repeat itself. I've received emails from transgender women humiliated by bouncers at nightclubs but when I ask them for an incident report they back out for fear of ‘reprisals’. In 2007, Lo offered to conduct diversity training for the employees of a bar where she was asked leave after she was told that the venue did not welcome “lady boys”.[2]

[1] - The SBS Incident – What Really Happened
[2] - Singapore: Bus driver to face disciplinary action for gay slur

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