Tuesday, January 06, 2009


In Johor Bahru, many house-owners rent their houses. In most instances, the houses are rented out to Malaysians. At least, it does not become much of a concern since the neighbours know that the occupants are fellow Malaysians.

But, it is a matter of concern when houses are occupied by foreigners. One do not know whether the house has been rented by a local company to house its workers or it has been rented by a foreigner who then sublets or allows his friends and countrymen to reside there.

If the house is rented by a local company, it can be presumed that the company will have a list of the occupants of the house. The neighbours at least could assume that they are workers with working visas and if anything the neighbous could contact the company housing them.

However, what is of concern are the many houses rented by foreigners who then sublets rooms/space to other foreigners. Sometimes there are many temporary and transient occupants residing in the house. So, the question is, does the landlord have complete details of the tenants and other occupants of the house? Does the landlord verify that no illegals reside in the house or what matters to the landlord is the rental? The occupants could very well be illegal immigrants. Worst, they could be criminals, sleeper cells or even terrorists. Anyone and particular the local councils ever gave a thought?

In some countries, it is a requirement that foreigners register and provide the police or the local authorities personal details and photographs when staying or renting a house. Of course, I am not advocating such a measure.

I am proposing that the local council enact a by-law requring any landlord renting his home or allowing his home to be occupied by any foreigner(s) to lodge with the local authority personal details of all the occupants of the house, photographs of the occupants, copies of the occupants passport and details of place of work and a copy of the tenancy agreement. When such documents and details are lodged, it would be much easier for one to contact the landlord or in the event something untowards happen, to identify the foreigner.

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