A Malaysian model has recently taken to social media to share her harrowing sexual harassment experience after being pulled over by a police officer
Posting on her Instagram Story yesterday 30 November, the model, known only as J, said the incident took place on a highway at 2am the night before.
She was on the way home with her boyfriend and a group of women after a client meeting at the time.
After avoiding a cat on the road, the police pulled them over and J's boyfriend was told to step out of the car.
"(The police officer) asked for his identification card (IC), and as usual, the letter and whatnot. And then he came to my window and asked for my IC as well," J related.
She said the policeman asked her if she was an Indian, before proceeding to question why her name looks "different" and remarking that she does not look like an Indian.
"He also kept flashing the flashlight right into my face and I knew he was looking at different parts of my body although I was fully covered," said the model.
The police officer then asked J why she was out at night, to which she replied that she was playing a role in a music video
"(He) asked me where I was from, and what I was doing in life, and so much more. A lot of personal details. And he didn't want to give me my IC back," she continued.
"He also told my boyfriend, 'Why are the girls sitting in the car like bosses, ask them to come out' and it was about 2am in the middle of a highway."
The police officer went back to J after that and asked her to "prove it to him" that she is a "well-known" model.
"He forced me to open my Instagram account and he took my phone and started scrolling," J recounted.
"He started asking me where were a few pictures on my phone taken and whatnot."
According to her, the police officer even tried flirting with her right in front of her boyfriend
Following that, the policeman still refused to let them go despite agreeing to pay the summons.
At one point, the policeman tried soliciting a bribe from J's boyfriend.
"(My) boyfriend had to show him his bank account details to prove that his pay wasn't in," she said.
"But once he knew that I was the girlfriend, he didn't want to let us go because of me and he wanted to pry into personal details of my life, which was a violation of privacy."
"I felt so sexually harassed even by the way he looked at me because I noticed he was looking right at my face and smirking, and also my chest."
"He knew I was uncomfortable and he knew my boyfriend couldn't do much because all we wanted to do was just to get home after a long day of working."
J said the policeman forced her boyfriend to show him footage of their work, specifying over and over again that he wanted to see pictures of her.
"It's bloody disgusting," J remarked.
The experience broke J to tears, especially since it happened during a time of grieving following the passing of a close family member
"I broke down in the car and I was shaking because I was so afraid," she shared.
"All I could do was silently pray [and] hope that he wouldn't touch me inappropriately, or do anything funny."
They were allowed to leave after half an hour of interrogation, which J said was "pointless".
The encounter had left her restless for the entire night.
"I fear for my safety, I fear for the safety of many women who are driving alone, especially at night. The police are supposed to protect and make the people feel secure," she said.
At the time of writing, her post has gone viral on Twitter with over 3,700 likes and 2,800 retweets
Many netizens also used the opportunity to share their similar experiences.
"I always get harassed at police roadblocks. They will ask if I'm married, why I'm pretty but still not married yet, do I have a boyfriend, and who do I live with," said a Twitter user.
"After that, he will ask his police gang to come look at me in the vehicle as if I'm an object."
Another person said she was also harassed by police officers in 2019. She said the officers had described her body as "small" and asked if she was really 20 years old.
An officer even patted her shoulder and told her to "relax, don't be afraid".
Meanwhile, a netizen added that it is not only the police who are guilty of sexually harassing citizens.
"Don't say the police. Even the army is lewd," she related.
"During the beginning of the Movement Control Order (MCO), my family was travelling back from Klang to Port Dickson in two cars and one motorcycle."
"Two of my nieces were on the motorcycle, the one riding pillion is only 15 years old. She was wearing a pair of black rubber-waistband pants that looks like slacks and a sweater."
She said they were stopped after riding past the soldiers on duty.
Read J's full post here:
A landmark case in 2016 has set a precedent for Malaysians to sue perpetrators of sexual harassment. Learn more about it here: