Two opposing views on proposed new residential tenancy law


A proposed new law on tenancy of rented houses, which is to deal with racism in the housing market, has drawn two opposing views on when it should be taken to Parliament.

A representative of house buyers, Chang Kim Loong, says the government should focus on the economy instead as the law will not be able to reduce racial discrimination in the housing market.

However, James Raj, who is with a parliamentary group for sustainable development, says the law should be tabled in Parliament at its next meeting in July.

Chang, who is secretary-general of the National House Buyers Association, said the Residential Tenancy Act was unnecessary at this time. He disagreed with the stated objective of dealing with racial discrimination as stated by a minister two years ago.

“The focus should be on reviving the economy. Perhaps the proposed RTA should be revisited in five years’ time,” he said.

“Unfortunately, racism and racist practices are prevalent not only in the tenancy market but in other areas of life and society. Look around and you will arrive at your own conclusion.

“If I am to let out my property for rent, I don’t care about your skin colour. If you can pay, I will let it to you. Let’s say a Chinese person comes to me and offers RM2,000 in rent but the next person, who is Malay, offers me RM2,300. Obviously, I will accept the higher rent.”

Chang said that rather than using the new law to combat racism, it might be better to educate landlords and tenants on their shared roles and responsibilities.

He said the problem may lie in the perception that people of certain ethnic groups make for less palatable tenants, which might have been perpetuated by a lack of understanding or education of different cultures.

Penalties for racist landlords

Raj, who is an officer of the all-party parliamentary group on sustainable development, urged the government to table the Act at the next Dewan Rakyat meeting in July.

He said the Act could deal with the problem of racism if the law contained enforcement provisions, such as penalties on landlords who practise racial preferences in their advertisements.

He said prospective Indian tenants were placed at a disadvantage by such advertisements.

“The landlords should not mention the race at all when they want to rent out their property. We are talking about fostering inclusivity in Malaysia, a safe, equitable and affordable environment,” he said.

The proposed RTA has been the subject of a month-long consultation session organised by the housing ministry in February.

Its minister Reezal Merican Naina Merican was reported as saying recently that the ministry is seeking more feedback before the proposed law is tabled.

Source: FreeMalaysiaToday.com

  1. tahusamatahu
    April 22nd, 2022 at 12:37 | #1

    Aiyoyo, tahu sama tahu ?

  2. Oh nice
    April 22nd, 2022 at 12:39 | #2

    by stating upfront the landlord actually help saving tenant’s time…no need useless laws

  3. johnny
    April 22nd, 2022 at 16:12 | #3

    how about some laws to protect the landlord also.

  4. Kawan+jangan+lawan
    April 22nd, 2022 at 16:36 | #4

    It’s good that there will be a law to address this issue of racism+lousy tenants. In doing so, it will only be fair that the issue is addressed BOTH ways, such that since the right of the landlords for using a statistical risk profiling will be taken away in the name of enhancing racial fairness, a HARSHER and more IMMEDIATE penalty should be imposed on tenants should there be rental defaults or any breach of contracts.

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