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DAWN Demands Better Protection For Disabled Community After OKU E-Hailing Driver Got Punched By Bodyguard

DAWN Demands Better Protection For Disabled Community After OKU E-Hailing Driver Got Punched By Bodyguard

The Malaysian Deaf Advocacy and Well-being Organisation (DAWN) claimed the police did not treat the victim with professionalism and integrity.

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A deaf e-hailing driver was allegedly punched in the head by a VVIP’s bodyguard at the lobby of a five-star hotel at KL Sentral here a few days ago.

According to reports, the 46-year-old disabled driver was waiting at the lobby to pick up passengers around 11.40am on 28 May 2024.

He claimed that a man started knocking on his car window and was asked to move his car because the VVIP entourage was leaving the lobby. The victim claimed he was then suddenly punched in the face.

The victim was given initial treatment at Kuala Lumpur Hospital and diagnosed with soft tissue injury by a doctor.

However, the victim’s nightmares did not end there.

Penumpang E-hailing Dapat Pemandu Kurang Ajar, Siap Minta Bawa Kereta & Tidur Di Belakang
For illustration purposes. Image: TRP File

According to the Malaysian Deaf Advocacy and Well-being Organisation’s (DAWN) statement, the victim was allegedly given a “run around” by the police.

After getting physically assaulted, the victim was advised to file a police report and went to the police station in Brickfields to do so.

He brought a pre-written message prepared by his friend since he couldn’t hear and speak (although he’s not mute).

The report was based on the pre-written message and he was asked to present proof of the hit on his face. He also showed a video on his phone. Following the report, he was told to go for a medical examination.

While undergoing the medical examination, he received a message to return to the police station on the same day (28 May). The victim was also instructed to forward the video so a superior could review it.

The victim was given two options

Upon returning to the station between 5pm and 6pm, he was escorted to the police officer’s office and was left unattended for hours.

He was later requested to hand over his phone to the police officer in charge without explanation for the phone inspection. DAWN claimed the police did not explain why they were holding the victim’s phone and treated him like a suspect.

The victim’s request to text and video call his wife and friend who helped write the pre-written message was also allegedly declined.

The police allegedly gave him two options: the first was to proceed with the case and bring it to court while the second was to drop the case and be compensated.

However, his phone would be confiscated if he chose the first option. Under pressure, the victim opted to drop the case and agreed to be compensated.

After negotiation, he was asked to read and sign another police report that he never intended to file.

When he went to collect his identity card, he was asked to sign a third report. He was unable to tell the difference between the second and third reports other than the format looked similar.

For illustration purposes. Image: TRP File

DAWN calls for immediate action and attention to the issue

DAWN said the police did not handle the case professionally nor with integrity and the case had heightened worry among the Deaf community regarding their lack of protection.

The victim, who lost his child three weeks before the incident, was unable to defend himself adequately throughout the whole ordeal at the station.

DAWN shared that a professional and competent Malaysian Sign Language (BIM) interpreter should have been immediately hired to help the victim and the police to converse transparently. The advocacy group emphasised that the needs and rights of the Deaf victim must be accommodated promptly.

DAWN said the incident is alarming, not merely because the driver was assaulted, but also because his rights were not protected and upheld. Like anyone else, the disabled driver has the inherent right to report incidents to the police for self-protection.

DAWN added that they can no longer afford to overlook these critical issues and reiterated the urgent need for greater vigilance to prevent a repeat of events.

DAWN calls for immediate attention and intervention from relevant authorities including the police, the Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development (KPWKM), the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), and other authorities concerned with justice for vulnerable groups.

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