‘Foreigner, you are not welcome to stay here’: Shah Alam condo bans non-native tenants

SHAH ALAM, Dec 2 — A condominium complex here is enforcing a no-foreigners rule on tenants, ostensibly to avoid cultural clashes that may arise from their ignorance about the customs of the overwhelmingly Malay residents.

At the lobby entrance of Alam Prima here in Seksyen 22, a displayed banner conveys the message in no uncertain terms: “‘Foreigner’ you are not welcome to stay here…!”

It was spotted by Australian visitor Wayne Parry upon arrival at the complex, where he had rented a unit through temporary listing service Airbnb.

“As a result of the banner, I didn’t feel comfortable there and I only slept there. I left the apartment early in the morning each day and returned quite late at night because I didn’t want to be there,” he told Malay Mail Online.

Malay Mail Online visited Alam Prima yesterday to find that the banner mentioned by Parry was still displayed at the condominium entrance.

But rather than the work of independent residents, a committee member of Alam Prima’s joint-management body (JMB) confirmed that the ban was in fact official policy at the condominium.

JMB committee member Norhayaty Ariffin said that while foreigners were free to visit the condominium, the management vets through all tenancy agreements to ensure that no unit is rented to non-Malaysians.

“It has been in the house rules since 2012,” Norhayaty, who mans the condominium management office, confirmed to Malay Mail Online.

“So far there have been no complaints by residents at any of the AGMs (annual general meeting). This matter has never been raised, which means the residents here agree with the policy,” she added.

Norhayaty said the policy was put in place by the JMB to avoid untoward incidences, explaining that foreigners were “not necessarily knowledgeable of local culture and customs”, specifically that of Alam Prima residents who were 98 per cent Malay-Bumiputera.

“If we allow [foreigners to stay here], we’re afraid of problems arising. The policy is a preventive measure,” she said.

She noted that the JMB also bans the setting up of hostels in the two-block condominium with 440 units, which was also mentioned in the banner.

Parry has since moved to a location in Kuala Lumpur for the rest of his stay, after he spent the seven nights he had already paid for at the Alam Prima residence.

He said that he did not face any trouble despite having stayed there for a week, though he said the unit owner tried to assure him that the banner was not directed at him.

“I wanted to stay somewhere local, but I now know that ‘local’ in Kuala Lumpur is not always advisable for foreigners.”

Xenophobic bans at condominiums here are exceptional but not completely unheard of; in 2013, Malay Mail Online reported of a proscription on African tenants at Ridzuan Condominium in Bandar Sri Subang.

This was followed by the discovery of a similar ban at the East Lake Residence in Seri Kembangan, which took the prohibition a step further by disallowing even visits by Africans.

Source : www.themalaymailonline.com

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