KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 ― Uber Malaysia sought to assure its passengers today that their safety is its topmost priority following a recent spate of high-profile alleged robbery and molest cases around the country by its local driver-partners.
The popular ride-hailing services firm’s general manager Leon Foong said Uber Malaysia is aware and deeply concerned over the safety aspect of its passengers as well as the drivers and is committed to improving its blemished record.
“We want to assure you that we are investigating and addressing each of these incidents; and are actively engaging with PDRM and SPAD to assist them in their investigations,” he said, referring to the police and the Land Public Transport Commission by their respective abbreviations.
“We are continuously learning and are committed to taking appropriate steps to improve. In doing so, we want to also strengthen public confidence in e-hailing technology, which has benefited millions of people to date,” he added.
Foong said the company’s Malaysian operation welcomes feedback and is reviewing its internal processes and tapping other organisations and agencies within the country and worldwide for lessons to boost its safety procedures and provide a safe and reliable transport service.
He also emphasised that the recent robbery and alleged sexual harassment cases should not be not be viewed as “a representation of the overall Uber experience for many hundreds of thousands of riders and tens of thousands of driver-partners” who have gained from its services here.
Two separate incidents earlier this week have cast a shadow over Uber Malaysia’s services.
The most recent complaint against the company took place in Penang in which a 42-year-old Vietnamese woman passenger claimed she was “ordered” to touch her Uber driver’s genitals after he flashed her during the ride on June 6.
The 29-year-old driver was assaulted with baseball bats the next day by the woman’s Malaysian husband and a group of men, believed in retaliation following her complaint.
Police have arrested the driver for alleged molest and the husband and another man for alleged rioting using weapons.
Another Uber driver in Selangor was arrested yesterday for investigation into the robbery of two teenagers, after he forcibly changed their destination and left them stranded in Kajang last Sunday.
Last month, a 26-year-old pregnant woman passenger claimed she was robbed at knifepoint by her Uber driver and a male accomplice during a night-time ride from Mid Valley Megamall to Puchong. She later miscarried.
In February, a 25-year-old housewife in Sabah claimed her Uber driver had deliberately played with and exposed his penis during a ride home from the Likas hospital with her four-month-old baby. Uber later responded by announcing it had dropped the 35-year-old Kota Kinabalu-based driver as its partner.
Prior to that in 2015, a local actress and model identified as Daniella Sya claimed to have received inappropriate sexual text messages on her phone from a male Uber driver.