Founder of private-hire vehicle FB group dies after collapsing at home, netizens mourn his passing

The founder of private-hire vehicle Facebook group, PHV Riders and Drivers Singapore, suddenly collapsed at home and died after being conveyed to a hospital.

For nearly two years, 53-year-old Mervyn Tan shared information on private-hire vehicles daily with more than 30,000 members in his group, and was a familiar face within the community. 

His wife, Ms Lin Meiling told Lianhe Wanbao that her husband had collapsed at about 10am on Sunday morning (July 8). He was then conveyed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for emergency treatment but died two hours later. The doctors have determined the cause of death to be ischemic heart disease. 

Ms Lin added that her husband was an insurance agent, and had psoriatic arthritis. As such, Mervyn had difficulty moving around. 

Patients of psoriatic arthritis often have red patches of skin that are topped by silvery scales. Symptoms also include joint pain and stiffness.

She said:

“His kidneys started failing about five years ago. He had to take a cab everywhere, whether it was to meet clients or for his dialysis appointments.”

As Mervyn was heavily dependent on cabs for transportation, he was elated when Grab and Uber first came into service in Singapore.

Said Ms Lin:

“He wanted to let more people benefit from the private-hire vehicles so he set up a group on Facebook to share with them information as well as discount codes.”

When Uber decided to pull out of Singapore, Mervyn also helped to spread the message in the group to help affected drivers. 

She commented:

“Many drivers were asking for help in the group and Mervyn went to research online to see if there was any way they could join other private-hire companies.”

News of Mervyn’s death was shared within the private-hire vehicle community, with many netizens posting touching tributes.

A post read:

“He was the one person who worked really hard for the welfare and issues faced by fellow private hire drivers, he was was there in aid of many during the exit of Uber, he fought his way through for us despite all the negativity which he had faced. 

“You would always be remembered for everything which you had done for us. 

"Our most sincere of condolences to the family of Brother Mervyn. Rest in peace Brother.”