There has been a lot of bad press on taxi drivers in Malaysia, especially with the recent rape of an American woman in Kuala Lumpur.
The 24-year-old English teacher boarded a taxi at Mutiara Damansara on 11 March. The taxi already had another person inside it. Along the way, she was picked up by a third person in a van, along the way. She was then taken to a house in Sepang, where she was gang raped. She was set free the following day and sought help from the police immediately.
Early this year, two Korean expats were robbed in a Taxi at Mont Kiara. Just minutes into the journey, the taxi driver stopped to pick up another passenger, a man who sat in the front seat. Both men then threatened the Koreans with a parang (machete) before taking their belongings.
These terrible incidents prove how important it is to be cautious at all times. Terrible things can happen anytime, and it is best to be prepared.
Here are seven safety tips that we feel will help you stay safe when taking a taxi in Malaysia.
- When you enter a taxi, make sure to note down the taxi’s registration number. This should be clearly displayed in the front. If you don’t see it, exit the taxi immediately. If you do see it, write the number down just in case.
- Message or call your friend to inform them you are in a taxi and give them the registration number. Tell them to call the police if you don’t call them back after a certain time.
- While in a taxi at night, call a friend and tell them the registration number, your destination, and the estimate time of arrival. Your friend will know what to do if you don’t report back in time, and if he/she can’t reach you.
- Do not enter a taxi when there is someone else (besides the driver) inside. Also, it is best not to share a taxi with anyone, even if you are rushing to work and a kind stranger offers to share his/her cab with you to the train station.
- If, during your journey, the taxi driver stops to pick up a passenger, exit the taxi immediately.
- If, during your journey, the taxi driver says he wants to take a short cut, or a detour, or that he wants to stop and fuel gas, stop the cab and get out. He could be saying that to take a different way, one with less cars and people so it is easier to rob you.
- If you are calling for a cab, use a reputable taxi booking application. Some smartphone applications offer users a safe and easy way to get a cab. For example, MyTeksi is an easy-to-use taxi application. When you book a taxi, you will be pre-informed about the taxi driver’s name, plate number and mobile number. You can visit the MyTeksi website for more information. http://myteksi.com/
Were these tips helpful? Do share with us any additional tips you may have.