- A Filipino actress has highlighted the issue of safety at theme parks, after she said her teen daughters were harassed at Sunway Lagoon in Malaysia.
- Ruffa Gutierrez posted a photo of the alleged harassers posing with the victory sign, even after security officers confronted them.
- Sunway Lagoon said in a statement that “unruly behaviour in the park will certainly not be tolerated and will be dealt with accordingly”, adding that it is looking into the complaint and will update the relevant parties accordingly.
- Ms Gutierrez later thanked the park’s management for reaching out to her.
Family-centred theme parks are meant to be safe, comfortable zones for people of all ages to be in, right?
Unfortunately, family trips don’t always work out the way we expect them to.
A Filipino star with more than a million followers on Instagram recently highlighted a bad encounter she had with her daughters at Malaysia’s Sunway Lagoon on the social media platform.
Ruffa Gutierrez, a 43-year-old former beauty queen and a member of Philippines’ famous Gutierrez family, said via Instagram’s Stories that her daughters were harassed by a group of “creepy, ugly disgusting men”.
Ms Gutierrez recounted how her daughers Lorin Gabriella, 15, and Venice Bektas, 14, returned from a roller coaster ride in tears, complaining of some older men taking photos of them and blowing kisses at them.
Although they tried to move on, Ms Gutierrez said the group of 10 men showed up again and continued with the harassment without knowing that the teens were being followed closely behind by their mother.
When she and a female companion stood up to the group of men for whistling at the girls, they started to attack the women.
Things were made worse when the group of men, all dressed in black t-shirts, did not appear sorry or remorseful when security personnel approached them. Instead, they posed for photos with the victory sign
The actress and reality TV star wrote: “These guys should be ashamed of themselves! Yuck!”
“We came to (Sunway Lagoon) to have fun with the children and did not realise it’s not safe at all!”
She later added that she requested for security to escort her out with her daughters, and lamented that “even going to a theme park is not safe anymore”.
Although Ms Gutierrez’s posts are no longer available on Instagram due to the 24-hour validity period, scenes from what she described as “the most stressful day of my life” have been reposted by social media users on YouTube.
In a tweet, Ms Gutierrez called for theme parks not to “let creepy men inside their establishments”. In response, Sunway Lagoon replied to say that they “regret the unfortunate incident” and were in the process of handling the complaint.
Still a safe place for families
Ms Gutierrez later thanked the general manager of the park for reaching out to her via an Instagram Stories update. She also promised to return to Malaysia again one day.
- Image provided by Sunway Lagoon
A spokesperson for Sunway Lagoon told Business Insider that its management has “looked into this matter seriously”.
“Sunway Lagoon is a family-fun theme park and our guests’ safety has always been our utmost priority, hence any unruly behaviour in the park will certainly not be tolerated and will be dealt with accordingly,” the spokesperson said.
The park added that it would update the relevant parties of its investigations accordingly.
According to New Straits Times, there have been no police reports made in relation to the incident.