Latest Ride-Hailing Service Incident: GrabCar Driver Arrested for Alleged Rape

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Police arrested a 30-year-old GrabCar driver for allegedly raping a drunk female passenger in his car before sending her home.

  • Grab to invest in even more rigorous driver screening
  • Expediting “panic button” for passengers
  • Transport Minister says ride-hailing services will be legalised in Malaysia no matter what

A 29-year-old woman lodged a report alleging that she was raped by a GrabCar driver on her way home at 4am on Sunday.

“She claims that the driver took advantage of her near her house in Bandar Putra Permai in Seri Kembangan and she couldn’t fight him off because she was drunk,” Serdang OCPD Asst Comm Megat Mohamad Aminudin Megat Alias said in a statement on Monday, according to The Star Online.

The woman also alleged the driver sent her home after that.

Police have seized the driver’s car and the clothes he was wearing during the incident.

The case is being investigated under Section 376 of the penal code for rape.

Following the report of the alleged rape, Grab Malaysia country head Sean Goh said the driver involved has been removed from the service.

“The news is deeply distressing and our priority now is to assist and provide support to the passenger and her family, as well as fully cooperate with the police and relevant authorities,” Goh said.

“I am truly sorry that we have let down our users and community in this instance, and humbly ask our passengers and drivers to please allow us to keep improving the safety and reliability of our service,” he said.

Adding that Grab currently has a rigorous screening procedure for potential drivers, along with criminal background checks and other safety initiatives, the company promises to invest in further driver screenings.

Grab reiterated its commitment to safety saying it was always a priority for any of its services, which include GrabCar, GrabTaxi, GrabShare and GrabHitch.

“We have a zero tolerance policy to any crime and serious misconduct by drivers,” Goh said.

According to Grab, it will be expediting the implementation of a “panic button” allowing users to immediately alert the police during emergencies. The panic button feature is currently only available for Grab drivers.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said ride-hailing services will be legalised in Malaysia no matter what.

Uber, the other ride-hailing service in Malaysia, has also come under the spotlight for the wrong reasons – at least on four occasions this year alone.

Sexual Harassment

On Jun 6, in Penang, a 42-year-old Vietnamese passenger claimed that she was sexually harassed by a Uber driver who was later beaten up by her husband and his friends. The driver was arrested for alleged molest but has since denied the woman’s allegations, claiming that he did not know why he was beaten. The woman, her husband and his two friends were remanded for alleged rioting using weapons.

Assault and Robbery

On Jun 4, a Uber driver alleged changed the destination of two private college students passengers, dropping them off by the roadside in another location. The girls claimed that two men on a motorcycle pulled up and assaulted and mugged them. The students had booked the ride after leaving a nightclub at 3.30am. Police are in the midst of tracking down the men involved and the case is being investigated for causing hurt in committing robbery.

Robbery

On May 21, a Uber driver and his accomplice robbed a 26-year-old pregnant passenger at knifepoint during a night-time ride to Puchong on May 21. She later miscarried, after which she met with Uber to discuss compensation for dropping a planned suit against the company.

Indecent Exposure

In February, a 25-year-old housewife in Sabah claimed a Uber driver had deliberately played with and exposed his penis during a ride home from the Likas hospital with her four-month-old baby. The driver denied the incident and had his statement recorded by the police. Uber responded by announcing it had dropped the 35-year-old Kota Kinabalu-based driver as its partner.