Reggae Mansion out of tune

  • Nation
  • Friday, 04 Nov 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: A hostel for international backpackers here which rejects selected nationalities including Malaysians has caused an uproar among local Netizens.

The Reggae Mansion chain of hostels' website states that “Reggae Mansion is a hostel for international backpackers. Unfortunately, we do not accept bookings by Malaysian, Indian and Middle Eastern nationals.”

Reservations made by these nationalities would be deemed null and void, it said, adding that the hotel was not wheelchair-accessible.

The new boutique backpackers hostel franchise in Jalan Tun H.S. Lee here and George Town, Penang, also does not accept guests who are above 60 years old.

Human rights blog Loyar Burok wrote about the hostel's website on Tuesday in a posting titled “Reggae Mansion: Blatant discrimination and exclusivity in the worst possible taste”, prompting angry Netizens to vent their frustrations against the hotel on Twitter and Facebook.

“Urging all to protest + boycott Reggae Mansion hostel KL which doesn't allow Malaysians, Indians and Mid-Easterners to book there,” tweeted @jemilahmahmood.

“If you do not accept Malaysians, maybe you shouldn't be in Malaysia?” asked @iancanfly.

A call to Reggae Mansion in Penang's Love Lane was answered by a receptionist, who was apologetic about the policy, saying that the website was not operated by the hostel and that bookings by Malaysians were still accepted.

The receptionist in the Kuala Lumpur branch, however, maintained that the practice was being enforced but refused to give reasons for such a policy.

However, possibly after the flurry of publicity on Wednesday, the notice was removed from the website of the Kuala Lumpur branch.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents president Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun said that he had never heard of such a ruling.

“I think this is bad business etiquette. What are they up to?” he asked.

Tourism Malaysia acting director-general Datuk Azizan Noordin said that the matter would be looked into.

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