The LTA officer fight shows us that S’poreans know about the Rashomon effect


Last Updated on 2016-05-18 , 4:57 pm

The LTA officer and Uber driver fight has been one of the most-talked topic recently, with the shocking video of the officer drawing the first punch towards the Uber driver. If you would like to know more, you can go to these two articles: Everything you need to know about the shocking LTA officer’s fight in 60 sec and A witness said what happened during the LTA officer fight. The Uber driver should be trembling now

What attracts my attention is how the netizens react: there’re two groups, one condemning the LTA officer’s rash act and one believing the Uber officer is playing the victim card. The thing is, even before the witness came forward to explain what really happened (according to him, the Uber driver seemed to be provoking the LTA officer), there were already netizens saying that the Uber driver was playing the victim when he went on interviews and focused more on the assault by the LTA officer, and how “weak” he was.

Let’s just look at the two versions of the story, and ignore the fight altogether first.

According to the Uber driver, he drove into the taxi lane, and the LTA officer warned him that he shouldn’t be there, and gave him a chance. When the LTA officer took pictures of his car, he got off and submitted his details to the LTA officer as he had nothing to hide. He did not reveal what he said that provoked the fight.

Now, that was when some people refused to believe his side of the story, merely because if that was the case…why the fight? Why would a LTA officer beat someone who was merely submitting his details because he had nothing to hide? People believed there was more to it.

Then, a witness (the guy who stopped the fight) came forward with another version. Apparently, the Uber driver tried to drive into the restricted lane, and had an argument with the LTA officer who then gave him a chance. When the Uber driver saw the LTA officer taking pictures (he was still in the restricted lane), he got off the car and wiped his number plate, perhaps a challenge or to be sarcastic. Of course, he confronted the officer and whispered something that provoked the fight.


Now that there’re two versions of the story, it’s easier for one to make a conclusion. But then again, think about it: prior to that, there was just one version, and there were people did not believe in the first version despite the video evidence. In the Internet world where misinformation and disinformation are everywhere, does it mean we have all grown to a stage whereby we know about the Rashomon effect?

If so, it’ll be good news as we’ll no longer be misled by people who have hidden agenda.

Wikipedia states that the “Rashomon effect is contradictory interpretations of the same event by different people”, and this is much more common online since everyone is always trying to portray themselves in a good light. To be honest, in the past, based on my personal experience, people tend to believe what is said by another person online—but now, people seek for the truth because of Rashomon effect.

So, if there’s something good, it’s that we are now more critical in our thinking and views.

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