Saturday, 10 May 2014

PM Lee Urged To End Rental Discrimination

'No Indians No PRCs': Singapore's rental discrimination problem

About 90% of Singaporean households own their homes

When Sunil first moved to Singapore, he had trouble finding an apartment.

"I called up several landlords who had listed rooms for rent," Sunil, a Sri Lankan who spent eight years living in the UK, said.

"Things would start out OK, maybe because of my [Western] accent - but the moment they heard my name, they'd blank out. Many said 'sorry, we don't rent to these people', or 'sorry, no room for Indians'."

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Hindus Urge Singapore PM Lee To End Housing Discrimination

Hindus have urged Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan Keng Yam to put an end to blatant discrimination reportedly prevalent in the rental housing market of Singapore.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that rental listings saying “no Indians” should not be acceptable in the 21st century, especially in Singapore which claimed to promote multiculturalism and racial harmony.

People of Indian descent reportedly had tough time finding apartments and other rental properties as landlords were not even shy of mentioning in the listings that they did not wish to rent to Indians, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out.

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No houses on rent for Indians in Singapore

Many online home rental websites in Singapore include the words "No Indians, no People's Republic of China (PRC)", which is sometimes followed by the word "sorry", leading to increasing rental discrimination in the city.

The issue appears more common with less expensive properties and on sites where content is posted directly by users, the Online Citizen reported.

The president of the Universal Society of Hinduism (USH), Rajan Zed, has called on Singapore's President Tony Tan and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to put an end to the discrimination, which is becoming a rising menace.

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PM Lee Hsien Loong publicly declares S'pore belongs to all foreigners working & staying here following remarks from Rajan Zed

Zee News, 4 May 2014

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the city state belongs to all those living here that includes permanent residents and employment pass holders and was a special place to celebrate annual festivities amidst diverse groups.

Addressing a community celebration of the Indian New Year last night, Lee said: "Singaporeans, new arrivals, people who are on permanent residence here, people who are on employment pass here, all participating in one big Singapore family... So that we feel that this is a place which is special, which belongs to all of us and where we all celebrate one another's festivals and happy events together."

Dressed in red Kurta, Lee joined 600 residents at a community club of his constituency, tried his hand at a Thanjavur painting which was on cultural display and watched performances by classical Indian dancers. Full story

Related:

PM Lee comes under fire for controversial remarks
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed demand Spore PM & President end housing discrimination against Indian - Merinews.com


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Rental discrimination in Singapore: Why it happens

On 2nd May 2014, The Online Citizen posted an article titled “End discrimination in rental market, President & PM urged“ wherein it was reported that the president of the Nevada-based Universal Society of Hinduism (USH), Rajan Zed, called on the Singapore government to “put an end to blatant discrimination reportedly prevalent in the rental housing market of Singapore.”

Rajan’s statements may be readily interpreted as an accusation of racism. Even if they are not, it is useful to make sense of rental discrimination, which obviously exists, and consider more rigorously what is behind the phenomenon.

I would like to argue that the main driver of rental discrimination is economics. But before moving on, let me attempt to be more precise. Broadly speaking, discriminatory behavior based on stereotypes are driven by answers to questions like the following:

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RENTAL DISCRIMINATION IN SINGAPORE: ECONOMICS, NOT RACISM

On 2nd May 2014, The Online Citizen posted an article titled End discrimination in rental market, President & PM urged wherein it was reported that the president of the Nevada-based Universal Society of Hinduism (USH), Rajan Zed, called on the Singapore government to “put an end to blatant discrimination reportedly prevalent in the rental housing market of Singapore.”

Rajan’s statements may be readily interpreted as an accusation of racism. Even if they are not, it is useful to make sense of rental discrimination, which obviously exists, and consider more rigorously whether it truly is a phenomenon with a basis in racism or xenophobia.

Personally, I disagree with the characterization that racism/xenophobia was the main cause (or even one of the main causes) of rental discrimination. I think that the main driver of the substantial fraction of rental listings that explicitly exclude certain races/nationalities is economic. In fact, I feel that racism/xenophobia plays a small role and drives only a tiny minority of discriminatory listings.


Singapore PM Urged To End Housing Discrimination

Rajan Zed further said that although Singapore reportedly offered equal protection of the law to all persons and banned discrimination on the basis of race, religion, place of birth or descent; this rental housing discrimination and stereotyping was still prevalent. Race and country of origin should not be the criteria in the housing arena, Zed added.
Zed argued that racial discrimination should not be condoned and a legislative effort might be required for a more specific anti-discrimination law in housing. Moreover, a serious change of heart was also needed.
Highly urbanized, hi-tech, powerhouse and prosperous city-state of Singapore is one of the world’s major commercial hubs and Asia’s economic tigers. Foreign workers made about one third of Singapore’s work force and by 2030 immigrants would be nearly half of the total population, reports suggest.


End discrimination in rental market, President & PM urged

The president of the Universal Society of Hinduism (USH), Rajan Zed, has called on Singapore’s President, Tony Tan, and Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, to “put an end to blatant discrimination reportedly prevalent in the rental housing market of Singapore.”

In news reports carried by several India-based news outlets, Mr Rajan was reported to have said that “rental listings saying ‘no Indians’ should not be acceptable in the 21st century, especially in Singapore which claimed to promote multiculturalism and racial harmony.”

Although the reports do not mention the source of Mr Rajan’s plea, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) carried a report on Labour Day (1 May) which said that “online rental listings [in Singapore] shows many that include the words: ‘no Indians, no PRCs [People's Republic of China]’


No Houses on Rent for Indians in Singapore

Many online home rental websites in Singapore include the words "No Indians, no People's Republic of China (PRC)", which is sometimes followed by the word "sorry", leading to increasing rental discrimination in the city.

The issue appears more common with less expensive properties and on sites where content is posted directly by users, the Online Citizen reported.

The president of the Universal Society of Hinduism (USH), Rajan Zed, has called on Singapore's President Tony Tan and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to put an end to the discrimination, which is becoming a rising menace.

read more

No house for Indians in Singapore, situation may get worse
The moment the people of Singapore realize that the tenant is an Indian, they say sorry and slam the door

If you are an Indian in Singapore and looking for a house on rent, it is highly likely that you won't get one. Most Singaporean landlords don't rent their house to Indians and people from mainland China. According to local media reports, many landlords are open about it. The moment they realize that the tenant is an Indian, they say sorry and slam the door.

According to a report by the BBC, a quick glance at online rental listings shows many that include the words 'no Indians, no PRCs (People's Republic of China)', sometimes followed by the word "sorry".

The tiny nation Singapore is one of the richest in the world. An economic powerhouse, Singapore, is a country completely built by the immigrants. 74 per cent of the population is of Han Chinese origin, 13 per cent Malay, 9 per cent Indian and 3 per cent from other ethnic groups.


Influential Indian politician demands Singapore PM Lee and President Tony Tan stop rental housing discrimination against Indian nationals


Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan Keng Yam have been urged to put an end to blatant discrimination reportedly prevalent in the rental housing market of Singapore against Indians.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that rental listings saying “no Indians” should not be acceptable in the 21st century, especially in Singapore which claimed to promote multiculturalism and racial harmony.

Zed argued that racial discrimination should not be condoned and a legislative effort might be required for a more specific anti-discrimination law in housing. Moreover, a serious change of heart was also needed. Full story

Related:

  1. 'No Indians No PRCs': Singapore's rental discrimination problem - BBC News
  2. Singapore PM Urged To End Housing Discrimination - Spyghana.com
  3. End discrimination in rental market, President & PM urged - The Online Citizen
  4. PINKY & COLONEL TAN, U BETTER TREAT YOUR PETS WELL I TELL U
  5. No Houses on Rent for Indians in Singapore - NDTV.com 
  6. No house for Indians in Singapore, situation may get worse - IBNLive
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Demand made to Singapore's PM and President to end housing discrimination against Indian

Zed argued that racial discrimination should not be condoned and a legislative effort might be required for a more specific anti-discrimination law in housing.

Moreover, a serious change of heart was also needed.

Highly urbanized, hi-tech, powerhouse and prosperous city-state of Singapore is one of the world's major commercial hubs and Asia’s economic tigers. Foreign workers made about one third of Singapore’s work force and by 2030 immigrants would be nearly half of the total population, reports suggest.

read more

Hindus urge Singapore PM Lee to end housing discrimination

People of Indian descent reportedly had tough time finding apartments and other rental properties as landlords were not even shy of mentioning in the listings that they did not wish to rent to Indians, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out.

Rajan Zed further said that although Singapore reportedly offered equal protection of the law to all persons and banned discrimination on the basis of race, religion, place of birth or descent; this rental housing discrimination and stereotyping was still prevalent. Race and country of origin should not be the criteria in the housing arena, Zed added.

Zed argued that racial discrimination should not be condoned and a legislative effort might be required for a more specific anti-discrimination law in housing. Moreover, a serious change of heart was also needed.


S'pore belongs to all those living here: PM Loong

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the city state belongs to all those living here that includes permanent residents and employment pass holders and was a special place to celebrate annual festivities amidst diverse groups.

Addressing a community celebration of the Indian New Year last night, Lee said:
"Singaporeans, new arrivals, people who are on permanent residence here, people who are on employment pass here, all participating in one big Singapore family... So that we feel that this is a place which is special, which belongs to all of us and where we all celebrate one another's festivals and happy events together." 
Dressed in red Kurta, Lee joined 600 residents at a community club of his constituency, tried his hand at a Thanjavur painting which was on cultural display and watched performances by classical Indian dancers.

related:
PM Lee publicly declares Spore belongs to all foreigners working & staying here
Petition calling PM Lee to resign from Office launched


The racial, foreigner discomfort


In a report titled “No Indians No PRCs’: Singapore’s rental discrimination problem”, on 1 May 2014, the BBC said that “there were more than 160 housing adverts on the website PropertyGuru that clearly stated that the landlord did not wish to rent to Indians and/or mainland Chinese.”

The reasons given for this apparent discrimination based on race are varied. Some landlords believe that tenants from India or mainland China “are not people who are house proud”, says the WSJ, citing what an estate agent told the paper. “Many don’t clean weekly, and they do heavy cooking, so dust and oil collect over the months,” the agent reportedly said. “They may use a lot of spices that release smells people don’t like.”

But is it racism or racist to not want to rent out one’s house or room to any particular race for practical reasons of cleanliness or potential costs, for example? Perhaps race is incidental in such matters rather than the reason?


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