New anti-discrimination law for racist landlords

Let's put an end to this issue! - Pix from R.age

By Huzraifah Atikah

Any form of racism is terrible and should not be tolerated. 

Malaysians need to come together as a nation to put an end to rental discrimination by landlords who only preferred tenants based on their race. 

Last December, a Chindian guy in Penang named Divyang Hong shared his experience about being rejected by a landlord because he is not Chinese enough.

Earlier this month, a newly married couple in Kuala Lumpur also faced difficulty in renting a house because of their racial background.

The victims stories went viral and sparked a heated debate among netizens.

Due to this, the government is now drafting a new law called the Residential Tenancy Act to protect both landlords and tenants from racial discrimination. 

According to the Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, the government would look at the models used in Australia and Scotland in drafting the law.

“The new law will include provisions against discrimination in accordance with international law,” she said.

A survey carried out by YouGov Omnibus, showed that one in five Malaysians claim to have experienced discrimination based on their race when seeking a place to rent.

The findings were based on a survey involving 1,204 Malaysians aged 18 and above.

“This new law is to protect house buyers and tenants from discrimination,” Zuraida said.

The law would come under the new national housing policy and is expected to be tabled in 2020.

Meanwhile, the government has also launched a new programme called the National Policy on Affordable Housing that aims to allow Malaysians from the B40 category to own a house. 

She also said it was time to help the B40 families so that their living conditions could be better.

The policy acts as a guide for the construction of affordable homes developed by the federal and state governments, and also the private sector.