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Recently, we’ve read about a sexual harassment victim whose police report was dismissed on grounds that there was not enough evidence when she had clearly provided proof of the incident. Only after she had pressed for authorities to take action did they arrest the offender and charge him in court.
But now, it seems like the authorities are still not taking sexual harassment seriously, causing victims to be scared and unsure of their safety when using public transport.
Pervert on the MRT
A local citizen, identified as Annie, shared with WORLD OF BUZZ about her encounter with a pervert at an MRT station and her experience with the bad response from the police.
On 13th November 2019 at about 12pm, Annie got onto the MRT at Bukit Bintang and was sitting next to a guy, probably in his early 30’s. As the MRT was passing by Muzium Negara MRT, the man leaned towards Annie and put his face near her face and neck, as if trying to sniff her perfume.
Annie looked at him and said, “Yes?”, and he looked back at her with big eyes pretending like nothing happened.
About a minute later, Annie felt his hand grasp her right thigh. She immediately stood up and stared at him, but he only glared back at her.
After a while, she felt uncomfortable standing near him, so she walked to another coach and sat down. She kept checking from time to time if the man was looking in her direction, and in the few times she looked, she saw him staring back at her direction.
She then decided to call the MRT helpline to report the man as he was still on the train before she got off at Mutiara Damansara MRT.
“The person on the line at first told me that the “person in-charge for MRT” was not in, and ask me to call back. Then I started speaking in Malay and told her I want to report a pervert on the train,” Annie said.
“I was hoping they could do something as he (the offender) was still on the train and I had given the train number. Instead, she just said she would file a report and forward it to the appropriate authority.”
“She didn’t even ask for my name. And when I asked her if it was better to take a picture of the guy, she said “kalau nak baik jugak (if you want to, it’ll be good also)”.”
“Then I ask her how to send her the picture, she said through email. So I asked for her name, and she replied it’s not necessary to know her name cause the email is generic email?????” Annie said.
MRT officers didn’t even know what to do
Annie got off at the next stop and approached an MRT officer and told him about what happened. But instead of assisting Annie with what to do next, he called a normal MRT attendant and asked him what to do.
However, the MRT attendant didn’t know what to do either, and went to get a second MRT officer.
In the end, they asked Annie to write about the details of the incident on a piece of A4 paper and told her that they would relay the information to their “special team”.
This frustrated Annie as she wanted them to do something about it since the offender might still be on the train.
Lousy attitude from the police
She then went to the nearest police station to file a report as advised by the MRT officers, but the policeman and woman there did not even pay attention to her.
They were chit-chatting when she walked in, all slouched in their chairs and seemed annoyed that Annie was interrupting their conversation.
“The first thing they asked was where it happened, I said on the train. Then they didn’t want to let me file a report because I couldn’t tell them exactly where!” Annie said.
“So I told them somewhere around Muzium Negara station. Then he asked me, “Boleh taip report sendiri? (can you type it out yourself?)”
So, Annie started typing out her own report, but the police were very rude to her and asked, “Where’s the date? What time? You must write it down.”
The police then continued their conversation and were busy on their phones until they had to print the report out for Annie.
After Annie was done, she still had to wait for the KL police to call back as they had to forward the case to the Muzium Negara police station.
“Half an hour later, the call came. I was told to physically go to the Muzium Negara police station to make a statement,” Annie said.
“Honestly, I was so humiliated by the little response and sympathy I saw that I just want to let it go.”
“It’s been two hours and I give up. I am writing to hopefully get the pervert’s picture published and to shine some light on how unhelpful the police are.”
Our country’s authorities really need to step up their game to protect helpless girls who go to them for help. It doesn’t matter how serious the crime is, the fact that there are perverts out there who take advantage of innocent girls means that they are not afraid of getting apprehended as they know the police won’t do much about it.
Hopefully, more girls will be brave enough to speak up and put enough pressure on the authorities to take sexual harassment seriously as it can be a very traumatic experience for girls.
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