Sat, May 23, 2009
A WEEK after an alleged rapist was caught, Malaysian women were still afraid of taking taxis.
That's because the alleged culprit used a taxi with heavily tinted windows to trap his teenage victim.
The Malay Mail yesterday reported that was how the alleged rapist, called the Scorpion, operated.
And because there were many vehicles with tinted windows on Malaysian roads, women didn't know which drivers they could trust.
The 17-year-old girl was allegedly raped on 7 May. On 14 May, a married man with two kids was arrested at his home.
Despite his arrest, the newspaper noted that women were arming themselves with self-defence products and reluctant to board empty buses.
Community leaders and non-governmental organisations yesterday demanded that the authorities do something to better protect passengers.
Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh said even private car owners were taking advantage of the authorities' indifference towards car screen and windows tinting.
I don't feel safe
She said: 'Personally, I don't feel safe taking public transportation. It's a problem in Malaysia. Every single one of us has heard of somebody becoming a victim of crime while taking public transportation.'
She felt the Home Ministry should allocate more resources to crime prevention as she claimed many women were afraid to go out these days.
In the rape incident, the girl had boarded a taxi in Subang Jaya before she was taken to a yard at a condominium at Kelana Jaya, Selangor, and raped.
The suspect was later picked up from his home also in Subang Jaya.
The victim had told police her attacker had tattoos on his shoulders, one of them of a scorpion.
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.
She said many didn't even lodge reports. 'Even if you don't think the police can solve the case, the statistics are important to justify the police's request for more manpower. Making a police report is not just your right, but your obligation,' she said.
Subang Jaya Residents' Association chairman A S Gill said there was a law against tinting and yet there were many cars with tinted windows on the roads.
He demanded an explanation from the authorities on how the taxi was allowed to have tinted windows which led to the rape.
The alleged Scorpion rapist was not the only cabby rapist to terrorise women. Seven women in Klang Valley were also allegedly raped by a rapist in a taxi.
A 31-year-old man was arrested at a hospital after a botched drug deal.
He even allegedly made one of victims pay her taxi fare after raping her.
He was apparently not a taxi driver but had stolen taxis so he could commit his crimes.
This article was first published in The New Paper.