TRANSIT was again shocked when we took note of this article, describing harassment and assault by taxi drivers at the Bukit Jalil terminal.
Cabbies who were like thugs (The Star)
I AM a foreigner who is disabled. I normally use a wheelchair to get around.
As you know, Malaysia is not very wheelchair-friendly at the moment and I get about with great difficulty using a stick.
Recently, I had an operation and still have a wound in my abdomen.
At around 11pm on Wednesday, I arrived at the Bukit Jalil LRT station in Kuala Lumpur rather exhausted after a long day.
I tried to get a taxi to go to Arena Green a short distance away but the taxi drivers refused.
The first taxi said the distance was too short.
All the drivers were sitting on the ground chatting and smoking.
I then started asking each driver why they refused to take me and started writing down their numbers so that I could later contact any taxi regulating organisation.
When I got to the fourth driver, he angrily stated that he was not working and that I should not record his number.
I replied that in that case, there would be no problem as I would record that he was not working.
He reacted by threatening me, head-butting me, ripping my notepaper from me, then pushing me.
Before I knew it, I was surrounded by half a dozen drivers.
One punched me in the temple and I was head-butted a number of times by the original aggresor.
At this point, my Malaysian friend intervened placing himself between me and the drivers.
His use of the local lingo seemed to have a moderately calming effect.
Nevertheless, I was still punched, threatened and ‘advised’ in perfect English that they ‘were going lightly on me because I had a “stick’.
Brave men indeed!
I am, despite my disability which came late in life, very well travelled.
I am now retired because I can no longer work and travel is one of the few joys I can still indulge in.
It would be unfair to judge an entire country by the actions of a handful of cowardly thugs, and I would never do so.
I have had many pleasurable visits here and hope to have many more.
The purpose of my letter is simple – your countrymen should know, not just in their heads, but in their hearts too, that committing violent criminal acts on strangers is not going to make your environment the safe and progressive country the rest of you seem to be striving for.
Fearless of Kuala Lumpur, who is self-described as disabled and normally using a wheelchair, writes of being harassed and assaulted by taxi drivers at Bukit Jalil – despite walking with a walking stick – simply because he stood up for his rights & the rules that taxi drivers are supposed to follow, and the laws that protect Malaysians. William Dennis of Subang Jaya responds with this letter.
The truth is, we do not want or need this nonsense in Malaysia but for some strange reason we accept it.
Are we gluttons for punishment? Are we simply weak. Or are we simply living in fear, hoping against hope that “stuff like this won’t happen to me”
Will Malaysians stand up together for their simple rights which are supposed to be enshrined in law, or are they simply going to watch others attempt to do it for them?