grabhitch complaint letter to mindef

Grab Publicity

Sharing rides is a great way to meet new people from all walks of life. Sometimes, that includes the nasty ones as well.

When good or bad experiences happen, the internet is quick to hear about them. When they do, opinions are quickly formed, sides are taken and huge publicity ensues.

Posts like these are not uncommon. However, it would seem that they’ve revolved around the service provider Grab quite a fair bit this year. Some stories will warm your heart, some will make you laugh and some that will just make you downright angry.

Let’s take the latest case for example.

The Alleged Facts

  • An unnamed uniformed National Serviceman had picked up one Ms Danielle Goh from 5 Simon Road. He then drove her to her destination at Block 405A, Fernvale Lane, on the 15th of December, 2016.
  • The next day, MINDEF Feedback Unit received an email from Goh. She alerted them that the National Serviceman was moonlighting as a GrabHitch Driver.
  • The Serviceman’s Unit then commenced investigations, before later handing the case over to the Special Investigations Branch, or SIB, as the case involved a commercial entity, namely, Grab.
  • Through the investigation, it was uncovered that the Serviceman did indeed complete 140 GrabHitch trips between 26th October ’16 and 14th March ’17, a 5 month period, receiving S$1,129 in renumeration.
  • It was also uncovered that the Serviceman had failed to seek approval from his relevant superiors before receiving renumeration.
  • The Serviceman was sentenced to a fine of S$2,000, in default of 2 weeks detention.

The Reactions

grabhitch yet another negative experience

grabhitch netizens reactions


Comments pertaining to the case raised some important questions about what actually constitutes moonlighting, and whether driving GrabHitch falls under that offense.

grabhitch more netizens reactions


Some offered the advice to declare their activities to their employers to avoid any similar circumstances.

Meanwhile, others were ready to tear her to pieces, with the general consensus being that Goh should not have reported the Serviceman.

grabhitch netizens reactions continued


After all, nobody likes a ‘Pao Toh Kia”.


As stated by Grab on their website, the difference between driving for GrabCar and GrabHitch is actually rather significant.

“They’re not the same at all! GrabCar drivers are commercial, professional drivers who have to register a business, purchase commercial insurance, convert their car to a commercial vehicle at the LTA and then sign up in person at the Grab office. Since Hitch Drivers are everyday, non-commercial private car owners who are not driving as a profession, the sign up process is way easier. No need for commercial vehicle conversion nor insurance, simply launch the Grab app, take a couple of photos and submit them for verification. And you’re done!”

It could be argued, then, that GrabHitch is more like carpooling rather than a chauffeur service, which begs the question of whether it counts as moonlighting or not, since the driver is not setting time aside specifically to drive people to their destinations which the driver would otherwise have had no intention of heading towards, for money.

To use an analogy, imagine that for lunch, you decide to head to the nearest coffeeshop, which is a bus ride away, to ‘da pao’ food back to the office. You offer to buy food for your colleague as well, only asking that they split the bus fare with you since you are, after all, saving them the expense of making the trip themselves. This by no means counts as moonlighting, does it?

grabhitch angry doggo

Calm down Angery Doggos, and tell us what you think!

Was Ms Danielle Goh in the wrong for reporting the Serviceman? Or should the Serviceman not even have been driving for GrabHitch in the first place!

Share this article and let us know what your thoughts on the matter are!

Written by Ian
Ian is a Videographer and a Musician. He likes animals and believes the world would be a better place if we all just tried.