Reggae Mansion : Discriminating Policy?

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"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.”

- The Star, Friday November 4th 2011 -

With the light of this issue of what I feel is a very discriminatory policy done by an established backpackers hotel in KL has now become a heated discussion especially among those that feel that such policy is absurd beyond belief. A brief summary about what is going on before I give my opinions on this matter, the said backpackers hostel have implemented a policy to refuse any bookings done by either Malaysians, Indians, Middle East nationals as well as any patrons above the age of 60.

[Pic courtesy of The Star]

Over the years of my life, I have done some travelling on many parts in the world, especially during my uni days in Australia and England and for most of the time I've preferred to stay in backpackers hostels for all the obvious reasons. The cheap accommodation, the only option to suit a large travelling group, and most importantly the amount of new people you get to meet in these hostels itself. Something for me I would feel that you can never get if you were to opt to stay in higher class hotels and such.

[My backpacking uni days with my uni mates in Brisbane]

[Me posing in our backpackers hotel in Amsterdam. Check out the slippers btw...]

[TeamTehTarik leaving our mark at our hostel in Barcelona]

[The view from my hostel during my solo trip to Sydney recently. Check out post here!]

Quite frankly in all my travels in hostels like the ones above, never have I ever encountered any refusal of bookings because of specific reasons, especially none based on specific types of nationality and people. What I have learnt from those days of my travel is that the idea of a backpackers hostels is to gather as many people from different backgrounds as they can and share their own lives and stories among one another.

I wasn't the only ones that really did benefit from mixing around in hostels. Especially with my travels with the members of TeamTehTarik, we have had so many stories told to us coming in from places like the States, Canade, Eastern Europe, Russia and so much more and trust me when I say this, we had heaps of fun while we were there!

So my major question for this particular policy being implemented in a backpackers here in MALAYSIA is why are they trying to kill off the very nature of backpack travelers? To me I do not believe there are any reasons that is viable enough to actually justify reasons like this apart from one obvious one: they just don't like these kind of people.

[Pic courtesy of The Banker]

One thing for sure though, many do share the same view as mine, as I was recently interview by The Star on this matter, and I really made my thoughts clear on this: this is absolutely absurd.  For an establishment that is suppose to promote visitors from all walks of the globe, it is really disappointing for them to actually come up with a policy as blatantly discriminatory such as this.

Yes I do admit that even during my stay at these places, the nights can get pretty noisy from the party and the place is not exactly worthy to be compared with some of the higher end hotels but mind you, for every person that actually book to stay in a backpackers hotel, they would know what to expect from them, which means they would be fine with what comes from backpacking.

Quite frankly it is insulting to think that a policy like this would be implemented in a backpackers hostel. If they fear on certain problems that may be caused by the patrons during their stay in the establishment, they have the right to take action from there by either getting them out of the hostel or even refusing their entry because of nuisance. However if they are going to deny entry based on discriminatory reasons like this, its no different than putting up the sign like below:

What do you guys think about this?

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  1. agreed. its just discrimination pure and simple. wouldnt surprise me if it was a publicity stunt. they sure get a lot of free press from this. good or bad thats up to the readers.

    btw, honoured to be making an appearance in one of the photos.. man, i lost a lot of weight back then...

  2. Whoa, this type of discrimination just isn't cool... 

  3. You should check out the Free Heritage Walk at Central Market run by 'Be Tourist' daily which REJECTS Malaysian as well, real discrimination !  Our Tourism Minister said it's out of her jurisdiction on the Reggae Mansion issue but this one is in her jurisdiction, the company is licensed under KPLLN 6368