‘Chinese only’ or ‘No African’: Racism not new in Malaysia

Picture Credit: BBC – The No Foreigner policy is not only Malaysian. It is happening all over the globe.

Malaysians are not racists, not all of them. Among them, they are very solitary. There is even this thing called “we are Malaysians” when it comes to prioritising the locals against the foreigners.

Does that mean they are racist when they refuse to allow some foreigners to rent houses? Some banners displayed in some areas in Malaysia are even saying: No Negros!

A Hong Kong based newspaper seems to suggest that Malaysians are racists, and are biased against Africans and foreigners thus turning the local house rent market into a ‘racist’ domain.

The South China Morning Post or SCMP said Indian and mixed-race tenants revealed their flat-hunting woes in multicultural Malaysia, which has no law against racial discrimination and no plans to enact one, allowing property owners to run ads saying ‘Chinese only’ or ‘No African’

“Anyone who’s had to find a new place to live understands how daunting it can be. Searching for a convenient location, setting up viewings, sifting through paperwork and considering your budget take time and effort.

“It gets even more complicated when landlords don’t want tenants of your ethnicity – and you can’t even get a viewing.

“In Malaysia, people of African and Indian descent suffer most when it comes to racism in the property market. In June 2016, residents at a condominium complex in Cheras, a municipality outside Kuala Lumpur, made headlines when they put up a banner encouraging landlords to “say no to African people”. The bright red banner also bore the image of a dark-skinned man with a large yellow X across his face,” it said.

The views that foreigners (particularly of African and Bangladesh origins) should not be befriended on Facebook and other social media is becoming a norm.

WFTV read several status of Malaysians saying: No foreigners here. Please do not add me.

When pressed, these Facebookers will blame Africans and Banglas for their woes. Many of them were victims, or friends of victims of scams said to be from guys of African origins.

While some would say they are unhappy with Banglas who are taking the local jobs and for some other social reasons.

Perhaps it means the Malaysians are becoming more cautious with regards to foreigners and the country is also facing a sort of backlash for the influx of foreign individuals in the country.

At one point, Malaysia’s estimated migrant workers were around 3 million, which is about 10% of the Malaysian population. The exact numbers are unknown but there were a million legal foreign workers and perhaps another million unauthorised foreigners sources said. 

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