It is really sad to read news again about a lady who is a tourist from the United State got robbed and raped by two men after being taken on a 80km terror ride in a taxi. You can read more about the news here: Tourist robbed and raped after terror ride
This is a tragedy. This type of news is nothing new. It actually happened quite often in Malaysia. In fact, the taxi or cab services in Malaysia have been rated by a popular travel website as one of the worst in the world. There are a lot of nasty things about the cab services here. Whether you are a Malaysian or a foreigner, if you have hired taxi before in some major cities, I am sure you would have encountered some really bad experiences.
Quite often, the majority of the negative publicity is about the taxi drivers refusing to take passengers. Besides, there are cases where the drivers don’t want to use meters. Even if they do, the final fare has turned out to be even more expensive than the one without using meter. This happens because the driver is taking an unusually longer route to reach the destination.
All these negative publicities seem trivial when compared to some serious crimes committed by taxi drivers such as those involving rape and robbing. I have heard from a taxi driver that a couple who is from the Middle East was robbed when they boarded a taxi whose driver offered them a cheaper rate. It was actually a ploy by the driver to lure the couple to ride on the taxi so that he could rob them.
With all these bad things that may happen to you when you ride a taxi or a cab, how do you protect yourself from these unscrupulous people? Well, avoid hiring a taxi in the first place. Take other forms of public transportation such as the light rail transit or buses. When you avoid taking a cab, you will not be dealing with all those nonsense such as expensive fare and rude drivers.
What if you don’t have a choice in some cases where you really need to hire a taxi? If you are a tourist, you might need to hire a taxi in some places where public transport is literally nonexistence.
I have actually outlined some suggestions below that you could take to protect yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are a local or a foreign tourist, you could use these tips here to protect yourself.
1. Avoid stopping a taxi in the middle of a street or road especially at night. Even at a taxi stop or stand, you need to be careful when hiring a taxi. It’s much safer when you take a taxi from the airport, hotel or some major shopping malls where you buy the ticket from a counter. If a driver offers an unusually cheap fare for a ride, be cautious. It may be a scam to lure you to get on board.
2. The best way to hire a taxi is to contact the taxi company directly to arrange for a car. When you call the company, you will be given the plate number of the taxi that will be coming. By doing this, you will be certain of which car you will be boarding. The disadvantage of doing this is that you will need to wait for the taxi to come. Besides, there will be an extra charge of two to three ringgit for hiring taxi this way.
3. When you are about to board a taxi, the first thing you need to do is to ask the driver to show his driving license and Malaysia identity card (IC). Find out if the driver’s name on the driving license matches the one on the IC. Besides, ask the driver to show his or her taxi commercial license which is normally displayed on the dashboard of the car. Try to find out whether his name on the driving license and IC matches the one on the commercial license.
4. After you are inside the taxi, call your friend, family member or client whom you are about to meet to inform him or her that you are already on your way to meet him or her. Talk loudly inside the cab to let the driver know that you have already told someone that you are on your way. Remember to ask the person that you are about to meet to note down the number plate of the cab. Tell him or her that you will be arriving in a fix period of time such as within 30 minutes so that if you don’t arrive within that amount of time, your friend will call back.
The above are just some of the steps that you could take to protect yourself from unscrupulous drivers. If you don’t feel comfortable taking a taxi or a cab, then don’t take it and hire another one. It’s better to be safe than sorry. I am sure you won’t want your vacation in Malaysia turns out to be a nightmare. I hope you enjoy your trip in Malaysia.
Best Rate on Hotels in Kuala Lumpur
Attractions in Kuala Lumpur that you might be interested
- Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) – The KLCC is listed within the most visited tourist destination in Kuala Lumpur simply because the area is made up of multiple attractions including the Suria KLCC, KLCC Park, Aquaria KLCC, and of course the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers.
- Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka) – The Merdeka Square or Dataran Merdeka is a place of history. You could find many of the great history events took place in Kuala Lumpur here. One of which is the lowering of the Union Flag performed here on August 31st, 1957 when independent Malaysia was born. Attractions include Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Royal Selangor Club, Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Central Market and National History Museum.
- Chinatown – The Kuala Lumpur Chinatown is within the most visited tourist destination due to its vibrant economic and cultural activities including the famous Petaling Street Market. The Chinatown also encompasses other historically rich heritages such as the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Chan See Shu Yuen Temple, Sze Ya Temple, a Sikh temple, a Gospel church as well as the famous Islamic mosque, Masjid Jamek.