Uber, Grab remain preferred mode of transport


PETALING JAYA: It will continue to be a smooth ride for both Uber and Grab, despite a few cases involving passenger safety cropping up lately.

According to several regular customers of Uber and Grab, they prefer to opt for the ride-hailing services as the probability of passengers getting harrassed or harmed are low and also not common.

A regular Uber customer, Caren Lim claimed that cases such as passengers being raped or robbed during their ride does not happen on a regular basis.

“Despite such unfortunate events happening to Uber and Grab customers, I will still continue using their services because such issues are not common,” said Lim, who is a 19-year-old student who regularly uses Uber to get to her campus in Subang.

To prevent any untoward incident, Lim advised passengers to be more selective when booking a ride on Uber or Grab.

“Passengers must ensure the driver has a 4-star or higher rating before they get into the car.

“They must also make sure that the driver is not fetching other passengers when you book for a one passenger ride,” Lim said.

Another regular user, Diana Maarof said that a few cases involving passengers’ safety during Uber and Grab rides would not affect her decision to use the ride-sharing services.

“I am still going to use Uber as it was created for convenience and comfort,” said Diana, 31, who admitted that her safety was almost under threat when she was about to take Uber to work a few days ago.

Diana told FMT that a Pakistani man posed as a Uber driver for the ride which she booked earlier.

She claimed that the profile of the driver who arrived in front of her house did not match the person featured on her Uber app.

“The Uber ride that I booked featured a woman with the name Che Rumizah, with a Naza Citra car. I refused to get in the car and cancelled the trip as I was worried about my safety,” she said.

Despite what had happened, Diana claimed that she still trusts Uber and Grab and will continue using their services.

“I know Uber has the best policy in protecting both drivers and passengers and I know they are doing their best to minimise incidents like this. But I’m just going to be a bit more aware and careful in future,” Diana said.

Taxi drivers’ bad reviews

Aidil Mohamad, 26, who is a regular Grab customer, admitted that convenience and cheap fares take precedence over safety.

“Staying in a suburb, it is easier to get a ride with Uber compared with taxis,” he said while claiming that passenger safety when taking taxis is also questionable.

When asked whether opting for a taxi ride is better than Uber and Grab, Aidil said that taxi drivers have a long history of bad reviews from their customers.

“Their reputation is not spotless on the issue of passenger safety. In fact, there are many cases involving taxi drivers before Uber and Grab started here in Malaysia,” he added.

Ashvin Kumaar, 27, said taxi drivers are not trustworthy with their habit of not using the meter and charging customers higher than the actual fare.

In terms of safety, however, Ashvin admitted that any public transport service posed a certain degree of danger and threat.

“Regardless if it is Uber, Grab or even taxis, all have pros and cons,” he said.

However, for 45-year-old mother of two, Chow Lai Leng, there will be no more Uber and Grab rides for her daughters.

“I do not trust ride-hailing service at all especially now that there are many cases involving robbing and raping their passengers,” she said.

Over the past few months, several cases have been reported involving Uber and Grab passengers being harassed and harmed during their ride.

On May 21, it was reported that a Uber passenger suffered a miscarriage after she was robbed during a ride home to Puchong from Midvalley.

According to the 26-year-old victim, there was another man sitting in the front passenger seat when she got into the vehicle at around 9.30pm.

Earlier this month, two students were reportedly robbed by motorcyclists believed to be accomplices of their Uber driver, after they were dumped at an unplanned location in Cheras.

Last week, a Uber driver was arrested for allegedly molesting a Vietnamese woman. She too, was later arrested after she, together with her husband and several other men, assaulted the driver.

Meanwhile, it is known that a police report was filed by a 29-year-old victim on June 11 over an alleged rape incident involving a Grab driver.

According to Serdang police chief ACP Megat Mohamad Aminuddin Megat Alias, the suspect, who is 30 years old, had allegedly raped the victim, who was said to be in a state of drunkenness, at about 4am in his car.

Police arrested the suspect in Sungei Buloh at about 10pm the same day and had seized his car and clothes for further examination.