PETALING JAYA - It is always a risk for a woman to take a taxi alone with a male driver, but for a blind woman, the stakes are even higher.
Norashikin (not her real name), 47, was taken on a terror ride a few months ago by a cab driver who told her: "I can take you anywhere, and do anything to you. You can't even see me."
Fortunately for her, she reached her destination safely. But not everyone is that lucky.
Many women, even those who are physically able, have been harassed, molested or even raped by taxi drivers in the past.
With this in mind, the Association of Women with Disabilities Malaysia is calling on the Government to set up a taxi service "by women, for women."
"There is a great need for a taxi service dedicated to women," said its president Bathmavathi Krishnan, adding that it would reduce the fear women faced in getting into a taxi alone, especially at night.
"Many of us who are physically disabled need help getting in and out of the cab, and it is preferable that we are handled by a female instead of a male driver," she said.
Bathmavathi said there had been several cases where blind women who were harassed by taxi drivers could not make a police report because they could not provide the taxi's licence plate number or even identify the driver.
"It is worse for us who are blind or wheelchair-bound as we will not be able to run if we are attacked," she said, adding that such a service had been implemented in other countries.
"We hope the Government will take this seriously," she said.