Social media has been busy the past few months with news of racial discrimination when it comes to renting a house.
From Divyang Hong in Penang to this anonymous Indian/Malay-looking couple in Taman OUG, KL, people are turned down for not being of the right skin colour.
The excuse is that non-Chinese do not pay their rent on time, or even at all. There is no statistical backing for that, only anecdotes.
Upon further investigation though, it is observed that the laws in Malaysia are somewhat in favour of the tenant and it is difficult for the landlord to take action against errant tenants, whatever the colour of their skin.
This is where SpeedRent comes in.
They offer a tenancy package that includes the agreement (which can be signed online) and an insurance policy for up to RM26,000 so that landlords are protected against the bad eggs who either damage property or don't pay their rent.
They claim to battle against discriminatory limitations and seek to "prove that good conduct is not just skin deep". SpeedRent, they further claim, is a champion of equality for all, beyond physical boundaries.
Well, good for them.
Given the social situation in Malaysia, this is a start-up that is exceptionally pertinent.
Whenever I have lived abroad and tried to rent an apartment, I have always been screened for previous conduct and credit record.
This way, there is no legitimate grounds by which anyone could deny me tenancy based on race, religion, gender or even sexual orientation (not that I have ever been asked).
It is surprising that Malaysia has not adopted a similar system.
Until now, I suppose.
This start-up is one of my favourites so far.
Talented Malaysian of the day: Wong Whei Meng