A Malaysian woman has gathered up the courage to share her sexual harassment experience during a Grab ride she took on Saturday, 21 November
In a series of Instagram Stories posted today, 23 November, Sheryll Fatihah said the incident took place while she was using Grab's e-hailing service to head to a friend's place in Cheras on Saturday night.
"Five minutes into the drive, the driver, who up until this point, I had said nothing to, looked in his rearview mirror at me and said, 'If you don't mind I ask, your breasts are real or implant?'" Sheryll said.
"I was not dressed in any provocative clothes or anything revealing. I wore what any girl would deem sensible. But he did not seem to think so."
She said this was not her first time being asked that question. Thus, she stood her ground and asked the driver to stop talking to her.
However, despite her stern response to the driver's inappropriate question, he continued taking short glances at Sheryll whenever possible through the mirror.
"On top of this, he sped up through every bump so to make things 'bounce'," said the 33-year-old, who works as an area general manager at Evolution Wellness — the company that operates Celebrity Fitness and Fitness First.
"I straight away shared my location on WhatsApp with my friends, just so that I had evidence and someone could track my location should anything happen."
"Despite this, I was extremely fearful for my dignity and my life. The journey was 26 minutes. 26 minutes stuck in a car with someone who I am paying to provide me with a service and they thought it was suitable to ask about my body."
Worse yet, the route the driver used was half-deserted and poorly lit.
At one point, the driver even rammed his vehicle into a divider when she was trying to show him the exact location with her phone
Sheryll is convinced the driver was driving under the influence.
"Even after this, he continued to stare back at me. A driver staring back at me while he was driving through dark roads," she related.
"I was mentally preparing myself to fight, run, and in the worst-case scenario, make sure all my affairs [were] in order, in case I wouldn't live to see tomorrow."
Still traumatised by the encounter, Sheryll said the reason she shared her experience is because women should make these stories known to avoid the same thing happening to other victims
"After I posted this story, a lot of other women said that they themselves (have been harassed) or they heard stories from their friends getting harassed," she told SAYS in an interview.
"This should not be normal. And women are not supposed to be ashamed to tell stories like this."
She also said Grab does not seem like a safer alternative to taxi and suggested that the application include an SOS button in case of emergency.
She proceeded to share the name of the driver and a photo of the vehicle she was in.
When told that Grab already has an emergency feature built into the application, Sheryll said she was not aware of it and contended that it is a great opportunity for more women to know the function exists.
In a statement, Grab said they are aware of Sheryll's experience and they will be conducting a review on the driver
If the driver is found guilty of any infringement, they will be suspended from their platform.
"On behalf of the Grab family, we regret that it happened to her. Safety is a number one priority for Grab [...]. We maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards any form of harassment and violations of the stringent code of conduct," the e-hailing company told SAYS.
Other than the 'Get Emergency Help' button available on the application, a spokesperson from Grab said that users can also use the 'Share My Ride' feature to share information about their ride with a person they trust.
The spokesperson added that they also have 24/7 customer service and they practise stringent background checks on their drivers, among other measures.
A landmark case in 2016 has set a precedent for Malaysians to sue perpetrators of sexual harassment. Learn more about it here: