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Indians, mainland Chinese least favoured tenants in Singapore

30 Aug 2016 | By Vaneet Randhawa
Singapore's discriminatory face for the South Asians

Darius Cheung, co-founder of 99.co revealed that for those Indians looking to rent houses in Singapore can be more daunting than it seems due to the racist attitudes prevalent there.

There is bias against all South Asians in Singapore. However listings frequently specify 'No Indians.

Other than Indians, Chinese people from the mainland are even worst off and least preferred as tenants.

In context: Singapore's discriminatory face for the South Asians

Population structureSingapore: The land of the ethnically diverse

Singapore is ethnically very diverse, with people of "Chinese-origin people along with Malay, Indians" etc.

Singapore consists of 2nd and 3rd generation origin South Asian people, referred to as "locals."

These are descendants of immigrants who moved in the 1800s from India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.

As per 2015 estimations, "Indians" comprise 9.1% of Singapore's 3.9-million strong resident population".

30 Aug 2016Indians, mainland Chinese least favoured tenants in Singapore

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Reason why Indians aren't preferred as tenants

StereotypesReason why Indians aren't preferred as tenants

The Singapore nationals view Indians stereotypically as 'unsanitary' who don't clean weekly and cook food that leaves dust and oil.

It is perceived that Indians leave "rented properties in a poor state" and default on rent and other bills.

As for the mainland Chinese, they are viewed as people who "fail to get along with neighbours in government housing" blocks.

US and British citizens of South Asian descent sidelined too

A survey revealed that not just Indians but American and British citizens of South Asian and mainland Chinese descent are also rejected by Singapore's landlords.

Lack of lawsSingapore laws further accentuate the problem

While racist discrimination exists in a lot of countries however anti-discriminatory laws prevent that.

But, Singapore offers lesser legal protections for its population.

Moreover, the problem lies in "the challenge of proving discrimination".

The Council for Estate Agencies (CEA), a government body in Singapore said that agents "advise their clients against placing advertisements that are discriminatory, offensive or stereotyped" in nature.