"No Indians Allowed" – Couple Denied Stay At Bentong Homestay By Racist Airbnb Host
A Malaysian woman has called out a property on Airbnb for being blatantly racist after one of its agents turned down her booking when they found out her boyfriend is Indian
The woman, who requested not to be named, said her boyfriend was looking to book the homestay in Bentong, Pahang for his family's annual Christmas trip.
"I called the host, who is supposedly one of the property agents. We spoke in Mandarin, and I clarified some questions about the property before we decided to book," she recounted on Twitter.
It initially went well, she said, and so the couple decided to place the booking.
However, when her boyfriend reached out to the same agent, he was asked to declare his race.
Confused, he asked the agent why that would matter, and the agent replied, "We just rent to Chinese and Malay," and cancelled their booking.
"He said the company's reasoning for this is that they have rented the property out to a group of Indian people and they didn't follow the rules," the woman tweeted in disbelief.
"Just because one group of people from a certain race left the place dirty, it makes it okay for you to assume every single person from that race is dirty?"
The woman added that when she called up the agent for more information, the agent had allegedly said, "They're so dirty, they leave the place messed up and stole the property's ice cream."
The Twitter thread was retweeted over 6,000 times and garnered over 11,000 likes at the time of writing
Netizens sympathised with the woman and agreed that it was a bad way for the Airbnb property to do business.
"That's so evil. As if he has never come across a Malay or Chinese who is dirty and not good at tidying up. It's not about the race, it's about the person. Because of one group, all this has gone out of hand," said a netizen.
Meanwhile, another replied, "Exactly! Those who are dirty are characteristics of the individuals, not a race. Frustrating."
"The thing is, it's business, you'll come across bad durians once in awhile, doesn't mean you got to hate the fruit," said someone else.
Airbnb also responded to the woman's viral tweet, saying that they do not condone discrimination in any way, as stated in their non-discrimination policy
The company then urged her to send them a message so that they could look into the matter.
The woman told SAYS that Airbnb has since taken down the agent's listing, but the effort is probably in vain.
"There's another host of the same property who also declined our request to book due to race and their listing is still up," she shared.
SAYS has also reached out to the property for their side of the story but has yet to receive a reply.
The woman also acknowledged that it was likely the actual owners of the property, not the agents, who were imposing such racist rental requirements
She questioned why the owner could not just impose a penalty fee if they were afraid of guests messing up their house.
"If anyone who rents your property damages it, doesn't matter what colour their skin is, just impose a penalty fee. Doesn't that make more sense than just being downright racist?" she asked.
Finally, she added, "I hope Malaysians will do better. [I hope we] find a rational solution to our problems and stop judging people based on their skin colour."
In April, several Malaysians spoke to SAYS about their personal encounters with racism when looking for a place to stay:
In 2019, the government was called to draw up an anti-racial discrimination law to address rental racism: