I didn’t really believe my mother when she told me that Mid Valley, one of Kuala Lumpur’s largest malls had sectioned off a part of their parking garage for a specific type of customer–female shoppers driving alone to Mid Valley–until I saw it for myself.
This is a well-intended move by the mall’s management, meant to tighten security for lone female shoppers after they became a prime target in a series of snatch thefts that occurred awhile back.
To use the sectioned off area, you have to be let in by security guards who are stationed around the area. The day I was there I saw two personnel, dutifully watching out for any doubtful characters.
Another mall, KLCC, has followed suit:
There was no security in sight. Just an area sectioned off by ropes and marked with very large and very pink signs with the universal female character on them. A few other malls have adopted this idea as well, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if this eventually becomes the norm.
Guarded or not, and well-intentioned or not, I question the concept. If you saw a someone holding a “FREE” sign next to a booth full of chocolate, wouldn’t it pique your interest and make you go check it out, at the very least? Except, women are not chocolate and would-be thieves are not benign passers-by. And in their rush to set these women-only lots up, they seem to have forgotten to reserve spaces for the disabled and senior citizens.
How about installing security cameras? Restricting motorbike entry (since some of these thefts were aided by a bike) or giving them a separate lot? Running background checks on the guards hired? And hiring well-trained personnel?
These are measures that make sense to me. Although, we should all bear in mind that a criminal will figure out a way to steal from you if they’ve already made up their minds. If it’s not in a parking lot, it will be somewhere in the vicinity of the these so-called lone female parking zones. Seems to me that women are simply being made easier targets for thieving scumbags.
For the sake of women who park in these lots, I sure hope I’m wrong.
Stay safe ladies, wherever you are in the world.