JOHOR BARU: Some ticket touts at the Skudai bus ticketing area have taken harassment to a whole new level, as they were spotted pulling customers’ attire and sometimes even hitting them and forcing them to purchase tickets from their booths.
A ticketing counter worker, who wanted to be known only as Sulina, said that the touts, who were working for a particular ticketing counter, usually prey on foreign workers.
“About five touts clad in blue T-shirts would be scattered around the area daily looking for their “victims” as soon as they arrive at the bus stop.
“It has been a common sight to see foreign workers get pushed or hit in the face or legs if they refused to buy a ticket from these ‘rowdy’ touts,” she told StarMetro when met here recently.
Another ticketing worker, who identified herself only as Sri, claimed that she fell victim to the touts’ violence when she stood up to defend a customer, who had bought a ticket to Kuala Lumpur from here some two weeks ago.
“The customer, who was a Bangladeshi, cried out for my help when a tout came to punch him for not buying tickets from them, and so in an attempt to save him, I pushed him and the punch landed on my face instead,” she added.
Sri said that she had lodged a police report over the incident, but the touts made another report, countering her claims.
A worker from a different bus company, who declined to be named, said that the aggressive touts would sometimes pull the T-shirts of the customers as soon as they arrive at the bus stop in Taman Sri Putri here.
“Not only does it paint a bad image for the country but we all have to live in fear that these touts may start becoming rowdy towards us,” he said, adding that sales have also been affected as the group were pulling the customers away forcefully.
Johor Baru North OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Khamsani Abdul Rahman when contacted said that a police report was lodged report which classified it as an argument and the case has been forwarded to the Magistrates Court for petty crime.
“Besides reports on arguments, we have yet to receive any reports that people were hit while trying to purchase tickets at the counters there,” he added.