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At Subang Condo, Ban against African Tenants!

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At Subang Condo, Ban against African Tenants!

Post by Preve88 on Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:01 pm

The Malay Mail, August 26, 2013
By Zurairi AR

Ridzuan Condominium residents had voted against renting their units to ‘African’ tenants. — Pictures by Choo Choy May

PETALING JAYA, Aug 26 — “African” tenants at a Bandar Sri Subang condominium here have three months to vacate their units after the building’s management slapped an unprecedented occupancy ban on them last week.

The decision came after the majority of Ridzuan Condominium residents voted in an annual general meeting (AGM) held on July 6 against renting their units to foreigners from the continent, whom they allege to have “caused a lot of nuisance”.

The Malay Mail Online sighted a copy of the memo circulated to Ridzuan residents explaining the ban, which has also been making the rounds online through Facebook.

“We refer to the above matter without prejudice and without malice,” the memo dated August 19 started.

“As a result of the decision held in the AGM on 6th July 2013, the majority of the residents voted in the AGM to not letting their units for rental to Africans any more.”

The memo on the move banning the renting of units to ‘African’ tenants affixed to a notice board at Ridzuan Condominium.

According to the memo, the presence of Africans has created “a lot of nuisance and problems to the community”, which in turn has driven down the property value of units there.

It further asserts that owners have found it difficult to rent out or sell their units to other prospective customers due to the alleged situation.

“It was also resolved during the AGM that any resident who has an African tenant is to cancel the rental and to vacate them from their units within three (3) months from the date of this letter,” it added.

It did not, however, specify the course of action — if any — that would be taken by the management should an owner or African tenant fail to comply.

It was also unclear how they plan to enforce the ban, with the only criterion being “African”.

The circular neglected to specify if this ban will apply along the lines of ethnicity or nationality, nor does it mention who would be the final arbiter should any party dispute the “African” label.

The memo was signed by a Jerry Low Boon Chay, who was named as chairman of Joint Management Body (JMB) of Ridzuan Condominium.

A member of the JMB, who refused to be named, confirmed the authenticity of the memo to The Malay Mail Online through a phone call last week, and admitted to sending the memo to residents on behalf of Low.

During a subsequent visit to the condominium on Saturday, The Malay Mail Online discovered the same memo affixed to a notice board within the grounds of the property.

Ridzuan is a 14-year-old condominium situated near the PJS10 lake park, with units from 590-sq ft; rental starts from RM1,300 a month.

A foreign woman and her child seen in the convenience shop at Ridzuan Condominium.

Residents are mostly families and working adults, and Ridzuan started out as a high-end condominium complete with a swimming pool, gymnasium and tennis court, but property analysts have noted a downward trend for its value in recent years.

Situated near a number of private tertiary institutions such as Sunway University, Taylor’s University, the Malaysian campus of Monash University, and INTI International University, Ridzuan has been home to mostly Malaysian students since 2002.

None of the aforementioned institutions are within walking distance to the condominium, and students commute via shuttle buses provided by their schools or drive their own cars, contributing to daily traffic congestion around the area.

The condominium is, however, some 15 minutes’ walk away from popular shopping mall Sunway Pyramid and close to the Sunway Mentari business area, which provides students access to entertainment and nightlife.

Property website PropWall has reported that Ridzuan frequently suffers from petty crimes due to lax security, while its previous management had also been embroiled in a recent financial fraud case.

The ban may be the first attempt of its kind reported in Malaysia after years of alleged discrimination and hostility towards the oft-maligned African community, including in mainstream media.

Despite being a continent of 54 countries with diverse and distinct ethnicities, cultures, languages and societies, its migrants are commonly pigeonholed using the “African” catchall, while the derogatory label “Awang Hitam” (literally, Black Fellow) is also used by Malay-language dailies in reference to their dominant skin colour.

The negative perception towards African migrants in Malaysia is believed to stem from the frequency of cases of drug smuggling, financial scams, frauds and sex crimes reportedly involving the group.

But it is also not a local stereotype. The ubiquity of online confidence tricks involving Nigerians, in particular, saw the global law enforcement community dub such swindles as the “Nigerian 419 scam”, with 419 being a reference to the country’s Criminal Code for fraud.

Malaysia’s Immigration Department reported that a total of 79,352 Africans entered the country last year.

The department also issued 25,467 student visas to Africans in 2012 to study in public or private institutions.

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Re: At Subang Condo, Ban against African Tenants!

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:13 am

Excerpt from Malaysiakini:

Lawrence Yong | 10:04AM Aug 28, 2013
Not every foreigner is unwelcome as a tenant in Ridzuan Condominium, residents said in explaining their “discomfort” over the presence of Africans in the property in Bandar Sunway, Selangor.

Those interviewed expressed support for the decision by the Joint Management Board (JMB) to ask Africans currently renting units to leave within three months.

This is in spite of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan yesterday cautioning that racial profiling in the housing sector would send the wrong message to the international market.

"We can accept Muslim, Chinese, Thais, Filipinos and even Pakistanis and Arabs... Asians don't cause trouble... we can accept (everyone) but not Africans," a middle-aged man who only wanted to be identified as Lim, told reporters outside the condo late yesterday.

"Proper human beings (would) go home and close (the) door, mind your own business ... you don't hang around and make noise.”

Asked why Africans have been singled out, Lim said one reason is because it is difficult to restrain them whenever they cause problems.

“They are so big (physically) that even three security guards cannot control them. The police came one time and could do nothing. If you are a property owner, you sure get angry..." Lim said.

NONEHe further claimed that the price of units has dropped due to the presence of Africans at the condo.

"(In nearby condos, a unit could go for RM450,000 to) over a million (ringgit). Here (we can get) only RM300,000 and we have bigger units," Lim added.

Vijay, who has owned a unit for five years, said he suspects that the Africans are drug pushers and pimps who are “perhaps using the condo as a transit place”.

"They loitering around for 24 hours ... that shows that they are not working. Are they really students?" Vijay asked.

"(Because of) their language, their way of talking and physique, people are not very comfortable (with them). In some cases, they like to target all the cute, cute women ...  (so) people just don't feel very comfortable.”

He claimed to have seen Africans using drugs in playgrounds nearby and said he is concerned that they may now be encroaching into the condo.

‘Wrong characterisation’

The move has predictably irritated those of African origin, particularly those who have not been responsible for any disturbance but who face the same eviction order.

"This is like open racism," said a Tanzanian architecture student, who declined to be named.

"Nigerians maybe, they have a bad image... because of their size, they can seem arrogant and aggressive."

NONEFellow student Vilukshi, also an architecture student from Tanzania, said she was initially afraid of Nigerians but changed her mind after living with the community for five years in Malaysia.

"It was Nigerians, not the locals, who helped me when I couldn't get into the elevator one time," said Vilukshi, a fair-skinned ethnic Indian, like her fellow student.

Paul Kaen, a seven-foot tall Nigerian, has been a tenant at the condo for the last three months. He has lived in Malaysia since February 2011.

Having read the notice at the condo that refers to Africans as being a “nuisance”, he expressed disgust.

“Most people (see) Africa from afar. We are human beings,you know, we are not animals," Kaen said.

"You can't identify all bad people by race, nationality or skin colour. Even in Malaysia, some people are good, some people are bad ... the best thing to do is not ask everybody to vacate."

Mohammed Nurhu, a Nigerian who has rented a unit at the condo for three years now, agreed that there are some "troublemakers" from his country, but insisted that the JMB action was wrong.

NONE"What I have learnt about this country is once a black man is wrong, they classify it as all blacks are bad," said Nurhu, a business administration student.

Nurhu said the security guards should have been able to identify the troublemakers. As such, he questioned if the JMB’s blanket ban had been motivated by other factors.

“The problem is because of small-minded people. Most of these people, maybe they have not gone out of this country. People who have gone out of this country are not like this," he noted.

Visitors are often treated even better than locals in Nigeria, as is African culture, said Nurhu, who added that he was sad that the opposite was the case in Malaysia.

“So do all men who live to see such times. All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us.”
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Re: At Subang Condo, Ban against African Tenants!

Post by Preve88 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:47 pm

Thanks for the article Admin.

Luckily we don't have a problem here at SR as all our occupants are locals. Best thing to do is to rent our units only locals to avoid having these sort of problems later on!Very Happy 

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Re: At Subang Condo, Ban against African Tenants!

Post by sierrabk5b on Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:54 am

So if it's not a problem for us, then better NOT make it into a problem lor. Sometimes i think the owners themselves are to be blamed, cos at first they were drawn to the higher rentals that these groups are willing to pay. Then after that want to throw them out!

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