SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): "You took me hostage!" and "It's auto-lock!"
These are now easily-identifiable phrases from a heated exchange between a Gojek driver and his unhappy passenger, after a video of it went viral.
A seven-minute clip of the incident, which shows the female passenger accusing the driver of kidnapping her, has been viewed nearly 700,000 times and shared more than 11,100 times since it was first posted on Facebook last Thursday (Jan 31).
Barely days after the incident, the phrases have been immortalised by several organisations that have cheekily capitalised on the incident for publicity.
In a Saturday Facebook post, the Singapore Civil Defence Force posted a photo of two officers – a man behind the wheel of a vehicle, and a woman holding a walkie-talkie – in a position similar to that of the Gojek driver, Mr Kamaruzzaman Abdul Latiff, and his passenger.
The post starts by saying "it doesn't matter who you are, we will convey you to the hospital".
SCDF then tagged Gojek in the post when it advised members of the public to call 1777 or seek alternative transportation "such as taxis, Grab or Gojek" for appropriate medical treatment in non-emergencies.
The post also states: "Psst, our ambulance doors auto-lock for your own safety. So do not be unnecessarily alarmed. Please!"
In Thursday's clip, the driver can be heard protesting loudly that his car's doors lock automatically, after the passenger screams loudly that he is taking her hostage.
Several other entities referenced that situation.
Caltex Singapore posted on its Facebook page a cartoon drawn in the likeness of Mr Kamaruzzaman and his passenger, with the latter depicted frowning.
The posts states: "Your cars may have auto-lock functions, but your seatbelts don't. Remember to put on your seatbelts!"
In some parts of the video, the passenger does not seem to be wearing a seatbelt.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) said in a Sunday Facebook post: "When the front and back seats work in harmony to safe guard our skies, even in the festive season."
The picture accompanying the post shows two RSAF pilots in the cockpit of an aircraft, giving each other thumbs up.
The post adds: "And yes, the canopy auto-locks for safety!" This phrase is accompanied by an emoji depicting a winking face.
A post on the "ASUS Republic of Gamers" Facebook page, managed by laptop maker Asus, used the hashtag #NotTakingYouHostage.
Accompanying it is an image of one of its laptops, captioned: "When even laptop has auto-lock feature."
Singaporean car rental firm Smove said in a Facebook post: "Smove cars come equipped with a central locking system, so you'll never hear of passengers who say they've been kidnapped."
A picture accompanying the post has the text "Keep calm and unlock from the inside", with a footnote: "Kidnapping not recommended."
The various stunts seem to have paid off. For example, by 7pm on Sunday, SCDF's post garnered over 6,800 shares and more than 11,000 reactions, while Caltex had about 6,000 shares and 5,400 reactions.
Most commenters responded positively to the humorous takes.
Facebook user Jason Yong said of SCDF's post: "I see what you did there, nice one hahaha!"
Another user, Kenneth Yeo KH, said of RSAF's post: "Ha, ha. Even the Air Force guys are giving a crack at it!". – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
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