KUALA LUMPUR: Civic-mindedness and a sheer will to help an expectant mother in distress spurred cabbie Wong Kok Loong (pix) to take her in his taxi despite knowing the consequence it would have on the upholstery.
The 43-year-old had just dropped off a passenger at the Bandar Tasik Selatan bus terminal when he was flagged down at about 3.45pm by a security guard and 27-year-old policewoman Komathi Narayanan.
“They asked me if I could take the pregnant woman to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital and I agreed. However, I suggested we go to the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Hospital (HUKM), which was much closer as the woman was writhing in pain and there was an urgency to get her to a hospital fast,” he told theSun yesterday.
Wong said after the Indonesian woman was helped into his taxi, Komathi also boarded and sat with her in the backseat before he sped off for HUKM.
He said minutes into the journey, the woman went into labour and with Komathi’s assistance, she gave birth to a baby boy.
Wong, who was initially reluctant to be interviewed, was offered a fare for the trip to HUKM by Komathi but declined before leaving the hospital.
Asked why he had turned down the fare, Wong said he felt it was not right for him to accept it as Komathi was also assisting a stranger in distress.
“How can I take payment for this? The policewoman herself was going all out to help and to take money from her is wrong. I am happy I could help,” he said.
However, it was not all a happy ending for Wong.
The backseat of his taxi was badly soiled with faeces, blood and other bodily fluids as a result of the delivery.
Asked how he had it cleaned, he reluctantly replied that he had taken it to a car wash where he paid RM200 to have the backseat washed.
“I asked for a discount but was told that it would normally cost RM400. So I agreed to have it cleaned. It is no issue to me, the lives of the woman and her child are more important. I am satisfied knowing they are safe and healthy.”
Wong also could not use his taxi as the upholstery had to dry out before he could start picking passengers.
He expects the seats to dry up by today so he can resume work.
Police managed to trace Wong at the TBS yesterday and invited him to the Cheras district police headquarters where he met with senior officers and Komathi to have his particulars taken down for a commendation letter from police.
Cheras police chief ACP Mohamed Mokhsein Mohamed Zon said Wong would receive a commendation letter in recognition for his good deed.
“This is a shining example of a fine man, who went to the aid of a woman in distress regardless of who she was. Every one of us should follow this example and rise to serve without looking at race or religion,” he told theSun.
A reader of theSun, Pola Singh, who read about Komathi and Wong’s selfless deed commended Komathi for what he described as an exemplary behaviour that all Malaysians should be proud of.
In a letter to theSun, he said their action was a welcome change to the constant barrage of bad news in the media.