Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin at the launch of the National Housing Policy (2018-2025) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. PIC BY MUHD ZAABA ZAKERIA

KUALA LUMPUR: THE government is looking at introducing legislation to curb racial discrimination when landlords lease or rent out a property.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the government viewed racial discrimination in property-related matters seriously and wanted to introduce an internationally recognised law as a deterrent here.

“There is a law called Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) which is internationally recognised and we are looking at developing this existing act so that it provides protection against any racial discrimination for either parties — the tenants and landlords.”

Zuraida said there should not be any discrimination when it came to property leasing.

She said the government was studying the international RTA to see how it could best be applied here.

She said this when asked whether there were laws to handle racial discrimination involving tenants or landlords.

Such cases were reported lately where landlords, in their rental notices or advertisements, openly stated that they did not want to rent out their properties to people of certain races.

The latest case happened to a newly married couple who were looking for a place to rent in Jalan Klang Lama earlier this month.

The couple had made an appointment to view a house available for rent at RM2,000 a month, but just a day before they were going to view the property, the landlord cancelled the appointment because they looked like a certain race.

The landlord somehow got a photograph of the couple and based on the colour of their skin, she refused them.

Another case in Penang less than a month ago saw a 25-year-old rant about his encounters with landlords who preferred tenants of only a certain race.

Both cases caught the interest of Netizens. Some supported
the discrimination because of certain reasons while others criticised it.