Institutionalised racism and fussy landlords are not the same thing

Zan Azlee

Modified 1 Feb 2019, 1:41 pm

COMMENT | I’m going to put it out there. I don’t find it a problem if a landlord specifies certain criteria when they advertise looking for tenants to either rent rooms or homes.

To me, it does not necessarily mean that they are racist or discriminatory, and it definitely does not mean that they cannot be supporting the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd).

For context, the Malaysian government last year decided not to ratify the United Nations’ Icerd convention which calls for equal rights for all, without regard to ethnicity, religion, et cetera. I am extremely upset that the government decided not to sign and be a part of the convention because I believe in human rights and equality for all.

If we look at the big discussion happening in the media right now, there is a significant movement calling for the banning of racial criteria when renting out property. According to the discussion also, I would be known as a hypocrite because, although I call for the ratification of Icerd, I still believe that specifying criteria for renters is okay...

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