An incident in Malaysia has made headlines when more than 50 local taxi drivers preyed on an UBER driver in the Kuala Lumpur Sentral area where they assaulted the driver, his passengers and damaged the car.
The thugs used rocks to smash the cars window, then manhandled and injured the female passenger who had to be treated at the hospital.
UBER has provoked many protests from taxi drivers all over the world, mostly because the taxi companies feel that the ride sharing service and their competitors (Lyft etc) take customers away from them without being regulated and having to obtain a taxi license. Going as far as poaching on drivers and their passengers including causing physical injury is going a step too far though. It’s criminal!
Free Malaysia News (access here) reported about the case.
A female tourist was left injured after more than 50 taxi drivers struck the Uber car she was traveling in at KL Sentral yesterday.
According to the China Press, the incident occurred on Monday morning when the Iranian couple, who had recently touched-down in Malaysia, were using the Uber service.
More than 50 taxi drivers, who were “hiding” in KL Sentral, pounced on them as soon as they entered the Uber car.
The couple, along with the Uber driver, were pulled out of the car before the suspects used rocks to break the car window. The injured female tourist was then taken to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for treatment.
This is a bit shocking to me as I use Uber from the Sentral area quite often as I always take the Airport Express Train and then either stay at one of the hotels in the Sentral area (usually Le Meridien or aloft) or head to KLCC/Bukit Bintang from there.
I usually try and set the pickup for one of the hotels as it’s easier for both parties to navigate and considering this incident it will also be a safer alternative.
Unfortunately even a serious incident like this can’t be handled without the Malaysian Police embarrassing themselves:
Kuala Lumpur traffic police chief ACP Nazri Hussain was quoted by the Chinese newspaper as saying the case, categorised as a crime, had been handed over to the CID for investigation.
However, he explained, if the case was an accident, it would have been handed over to the traffic and enforcement department for investigation.
“As long as the victim can prove the suspects intentionally did what they did, the police will investigate and will not let go of the related parties,” he said.
I think that says all there is to know about the authorities in Malaysia and no further comment is needed.
Apart from a few navigational issues (mostly due to traffic congestion) I had nothing but perfect service from UBER drivers in Kuala Lumpur while the taxis there are notorious scammers and filthy criminals. That’s why I’m especially sad that these guys have to deal with such a situation and the police isn’t showing proper support for either victim of this attack.
I will continue to give my business to UBER drivers wherever the service is offered even if sometimes getting a taxi would be more convenient. If you’re concerned about safety I suggest to also follow my example of using a nearby hotel, office building or landmark for pickup as it makes things a bit easier.