We’re saying this again, racism of any kind should never be tolerated.
Recently, a doctor from PPUM took to Facebook to share the infuriating experience of being rejected by MULTIPLE property agents for available room rentals when it was discovered that he was Indian.
RACISM! With covid-19 you would have thought that everyone would have thrown away their differences and look at each…
The doctor, who goes by the name of Dr Ram, shared that he had read about racial bias for accommodation rentals but never experienced it himself until that day.
Blue Ticks & No Replies
“I started looking for accommodation about a week ago..days passed as I find rooms and I sent out messages out asking if they were available. Not many replied. So I thought probably it’s taken.” While the thought of racial bias did cross his mind, he decided to introduce himself with a proper form of address would help.
“I started to introduce myself as, “Hi, Dr Ram here. I’m interested in ….”. Still blue ticks… No replies.”
Racial Bias In Room Rentals
Even when the property agents responded to him, they would set up viewing appointments only to cancel a day before as he was told that “THEY PREFER CHINESE”!
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only time Dr Ram was faced with discriminatory demands during his property search. To test out this racial bias, Dr Ram listed the help of a Chinese friend to text a property agent who never replied to him. “I got a Chinese friend of mine to text her…and guess what…she replied within a few hours! He actually asked her why they needed to know his race and the answer was, “oh because owners prefer Chinese or Malay!”
“Let me get this straight! Never judge a person by their race or religion!”, penned Dr Ram in his post.
One of Many
Thankfully, he was eventually able to find a room to rent in SS2 with the help of a good agent. But Dr Ram’s experience is just one of the countless cases of racial bias in the property rental industry. According to a survey conducted in 2019 by YouGov Omnibus, almost 50% of Indians in Malaysia face rental discrimination. Yet somehow, there are still people who rationalise this by saying that these specifications are made with “good business sense”.
“While a notable number have experienced racial discrimination in the rental market and many believe race requirements in the rental property ads constitute racism, a large proportion also believe that landlords renting out preferred races made good business sense.”
Just a quick search for one ethnicity on property rental sites that for “preferred” or “only” selections racks up thousands of posts in locations all across Malaysia.
Have you ever experienced rental discrimination before? Let us know in the comments!
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