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College and university students share their experiences with discrimination while looking for rooms to rent.

Christopher Choo

Christopher Choo

My friends and I thought having a local friend with us would help in finding a place to rent, but once the homeowners discovered that I was an international student, they immediately rejected me. It took me a while, but I managed to find a reasonable owner. There will always be a percentage of those who remain racist.”

– Christopher Choo, Mauritian economics and international studies student, Monash University Malaysia.

 

Tania Jillian Joseph

Tania Jillian Joseph

I was searching for a place to rent after one year in uni, and it was really difficult as everyone I contacted preferred Chinese tenants. The reason I got a place is mainly because of my mom. She is Chinese, and I brought her over to KL as proof of my heritage. Even then, other places turned me down because I wasn’t pure Chinese.”

— Tania Jillian Joseph, Malaysian mass communications student at UCSI University.

 

If you’re of colour in this country, you’re bound to face a lot of problems. It’s easy for people to not realise this when they don’t have any coloured friends. It’s such a normal occurrence. The racism in Malaysia is really prominent when it comes to black people.”

— A Sri Lankan marketing student at Monash University Malaysia.

 

When you call them, the first question you get is ‘Are you Chinese, Malay, Indian or African?’. Then the landlord decides which race he/she wants but most times, Africans are rejected. In some of the worst cases, they will let you come to the apartment, wasting your money and time and tell you to your face that they won’t accept you because you are an African.”

— A Nigerian IT student at Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University College

 

Shaun Ghosh

Shaun Ghosh

I was looking for a room to rent around Brickfields and I came across this advertisement in 7-Eleven. I immediately called and the first question (the homeowner) asked was whether I was Indian, because he only accepts Indian tenants […]. He did not reject my offer because I am Indian, though I suppose he wasn’t too pleased because I am a North Indian and his origins are from the South. I had a little convincing to do and he finally agreed.”

– Shaun Ghosh, Malaysian law student at Brickfields Asia College.

 

Joel Tan

Joel Tan

I’ve experienced racial profiling through my part-time work at a real estate agency. Once, I handed a flyer for a condominium to an elderly Chinese lady but she said she didn’t want it because the area was predominantly Malay. To me, racism is more prominent in the older generation than the younger one.”

– Joel Tan, Malaysian business student at Sunway University.

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