It’s no longer new to hear about commercial properties in Malaysia not renting to people of certain races.
And while many believe that it isn’t something to be frowned upon, those who have to experience the discrimination are saying otherwise.
Elaine (*name changed for privacy purposes) shared how her boyfriend had attempted to book a homestay in Bentong, Pahang, via Airbnb, but the agent had then cancelled the booking upon realising his race.
“No Indians allowed.”
Elaine initially spoke to the agent about the booking.
“My boyfriend and his family were planning out our annual Christmas trip, and we found what we thought was a beautiful Airbnb called Bentong Eco Wellness Resort 文冬生态度假村. I called the host, who is supposedly one of the property’s agents,”
“We spoke in Mandarin, and I clarified some questions about the property before we decided to book. It went well, and my boyfriend proceeded to book the place on Airbnb,” she shared.
The agent then reached out to Elaine’s boyfriend and asked about his race.
“We were confused as to why it matters. The agent said, ‘we just rent to Chinese and Malay’ and proceeded to cancel our booking.”
“He said the company’s reasoning for this is that they have rented the property out to a group of Indian people, and they didn’t follow the rules. I called up the agent to understand this further, and he said (with a disgusted tone) they don’t rent to Indians because ‘they’re so dirty, they leave the place messed up and stole the property’s ice cream,” she explained.
The main point Elaine wanted to carry across was the fact that the actions of a few should not determine the behaviour of the rest.
“Just because one group of people from a certain race left the place dirty, it makes it okay for you to assume every single person from that race is dirty? My boyfriend’s family goes on a Christmas trip every year. They always clean up and have never had a problem like this before,”
“If the group of people who didn’t follow the rules at their Airbnb were to be Chinese, I wonder if they would decide to not rent to ALL Chinese people.”
Additionally, she believes the situation can be resolved with a simple solution, penalty fees.
“Why do they have to impose such discrimination on something that could be solved with a penalty fee? If anyone who rents your property damages it, doesn’t matter what colour their skin is; just impose a penalty fee. Doesn’t that make more sense than just being downright racist?”
“The owners and their management team need to do better. I believe the agents are just the messengers. The decision-makers shouldn’t have imposed this ridiculous ‘requirement’,” she shared.
Airbnb has since reached out to Elaine in regards to the matter.
“Airbnb does not condone discrimination in any way. You can view our Nondiscrimination Policy here. We’d like to look into this; please send us a DM with the email address connected to your account, so our team can follow up. Thank you,” they wrote.
Airbnb also reached out to WORLD OF BUZZ in regards to how they handle such discriminatory actions and has assured us that they have a specialised team that handles complaints relating to discrimination.
“Discrimination is completely unacceptable, has no place in our community and we take reports of it extremely seriously. In this instance, we have removed a Host account for violating our non-discrimination policy. We enforce a strict non-discrimination police and, under our Open Doors initiative, if a guest feels they have been discriminated against, we will provide personalised support to ensure they find a place to stay,” Airbnb shared.
What do you think about this? Let us know in the comment section.
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