In Malaysia, Taxi Trouble

Earlier in May in Malaysia, a taxi driver with tinted windows allegedly raped a 17-year-old passenger. He was recently arrested, but a “newspaper noted that women were [still] arming themselves with self-defense products and reluctant to board empty buses. Community leaders and non-governmental organisations yesterday demanded that the authorities do something to better protect passengers.”  Seven women in another area were also allegedly raped by a man posing as a taxi driver who has since been arrested.

The taxi incidents are part of the larger problem of sexual harassment and assault on public transportation feared by many women in Malaysia.

“Selangor Community Awareness Association member and lawyer Honey Tan, said they wanted such attacks to stop and said one of the most common things to happen to women was sexual harassment on public transportation….

Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh said she felt the Home Ministry should allocate more resources to crime prevention as she claimed many women were afraid to go out these days.”

Many countries have taxi services where women are the drivers for women passengers precisely because of these types of terrible incidents. While such a measure is surely a relief to worried and fearful female passengers, I think it is merely a band aid and doesn’t fix the real problem. Your thoughts?

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