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Airbnb urges that the Penang government reconsider their draught proposal for short-term rentals.

06/08/2022

The Penang government is urged by Airbnb to reevaluate their proposal for short-term renting.

Due to concerns that the draught proposal for short-term rental accommodation (STRA) could harm the state’s economy and the recovery of the tourism industry, global hospitality company Airbnb is urging the Penang government to reconsider it.

Mich Goh, Airbnb’s Public Policy Head for South-east Asia, India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, expressed concern about how the draught proposal will affect Malaysians’ ability to make a living.

The proposals by the local residents’ council and the Joint Management Body (JMB) regarding STRA activities were discussed during a public dialogue with the chairman of the Penang Housing and Local Government Committee, Jagdeep Singh Deo, on July 28. Members of Airbnb and its host community also provided feedback on the proposals.

Airbnb expressed their opposition to Jagdeep’s proposal for regional JMBs to impose strict restrictions on STRA activities up to three nights per week and 180 nights per year, as well as to forbid STRA in commercial strata buildings unless 75% of the owners are present at a general meeting to vote to permit STRA.

Goh added that the idea will negatively impact Penang’s capacity to compete by making it more challenging for both domestic and foreign tourists to explore the area.

She claimed that they pleaded with Jagdeep to permit STRA operations to go on in commercial strata buildings and that the JMB and landowners could introduce the necessary legislation to permit STRA activities in structures.

The STRA regulations at the state level ought to promote the travel and tourist sector rather than limiting it. They firmly think that for the benefit of all stakeholders, STRA can and should be controlled in a fair and impartial manner.

Earlier, it was said that Jagdeep had stated that the state government would implement Operating Guidelines for Private Homestays (homestays) in the Stratified Property Scheme and Above Ground Housing Scheme, which are anticipated to take effect from the beginning of January 2019.

The guidelines are currently more than 90% finished after being created in December of last year in collaboration with local governments and relevant organisations.

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