Will Malaysia Ever Get Over Racial Discrimination?

Petaling Jaya, March 13: It’s been almost a year since the change of government, but the problem of racial discrimination still remains in Malaysia.

On March 11, 2019, a shocking piece of news appeared in The Malay Mail. Something that made us wonder:

When will we get over the issue of ‘race’?

Because despite “Malaysia Baru” being declared, it seems that much remains the same.

Malay reader and professional named Suriani Ariff* was simply looking for a house in Bangsar. After making multiple inquiries and receiving rejections in return, she asked an agent why she was rejected.

Upon the reply, it seemed that the cause of the rejections was due to a particular reason. A reason of race. Landlords who she had sent inquiries to through agents preferred a white expat or ethnic Chinese over a Malay or Indian.

Suriani’s case is just one out of many.

Earlier in January, a WhatsApp screenshot went viral on Facebook.

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Credits: Free Malaysia Today

A viewing appointment set up by a couple looking to rent was cancelled just because “they looked” like Indian or Malay. So it’s not only to which family you are born in, but now you need plastic surgery to look like someone else to be able to rent? How progressive is this?

In February 2019, market research company YouGov found that a fifth of Malaysians have faced ethnic discrimination when renting property. (So much for a new Malaysia.)

Apparently, Malaysian Indians are affected in particular, with a whopping figure of 46% compared to the local Chinese (20%) and Malay (18%) who were surveyed.

We know racial discrimination exists. We know that we should do something about it. But are we?

For us at SPEEDHOME, a property rental platform, battling racial discrimination is a cause we stand for as we strive to minimise it through our platform and what we do

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Our CEO stated:

“We talk about a new Malaysia, but we also have to change and accept others. To change a nation, the people of the nation must change.”

Where we stand

Racial discrimination runs rampant in the country. But we believe that we can change, and should change for the betterment of the country. For the New Malaysia who we so fondly speak of and wish for. But to have a better Malaysia, we, the rakyat, have to change for the better as well.

The colour of your skin does not determine who you are, nor your character and personality. It does not tell us your story or unspoken hardships, the struggles and battles you’ve fought and the life you have lived.

It does not speak of you as who you are.

We seek to fight racial discrimination through what we do: connecting landlords and tenants directly and letting them get to know and understand each other.

It is the first of many battles, but we aim to win the war.

What about you?

*Name changed for anonymity.

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