Carousell rallies landlords to offer rent-free rooms to Malaysians stuck in SG

Singapore-based eCommerce platform Carousell has launched its #ChooseToGiveShelter campaign, which aims to rally its community of landlords on its platform to offer free short-term room rentals for Malaysian citizens.  With the listings under Carousell's #ChooseToGiveShelter campaign, Malaysian workers can initiate a chat with selected landlords to verify their situation and secure a free room rental.

In a statement to Marketing, a Carousell spokesperson said it reached out to direct landlords who have listed their rooms for rent on the platform, and those who have responded have had their listings curated in its #ChooseToGiveShelter collection. The pricing remains on their listings for all other Carousellers. 

The spokesperson added that the campaign is aimed at connecting Malaysian workers with landlords at a time of need. To safeguard its landlords, Carousell has asked them to note down the workers' details (including name, passport number, and a full-face photo), just as they would when screening any other tenant. The landlords will then verify the workers' identity with a reference, by contacting the company that they work for or the school they may be studying at. The spokesperson also told Marketing that the campaign is in compliance with all of HDB’s rental rules and regulations, and that the listings will be made available until further notice.

To promote the campaign, Carousell has placed a banner at the top of its official website. It has also posted a blog post article, calling any Malaysians who need a place to stay. A quick check by Marketing also saw an online post on Carousell's Facebook page, urging Singaporeans with rooms to share to provide shelter for the Malaysian workers. The online post is accompanied with the caption "In times of uncertainty, it is what we do that makes a difference. With little acts of kindness, we can make a better community for all and inspire others to #ChooseToGive". 

This campaign comes after the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it will not be providing Malaysian workers with temporary housing support after 31 March. This follows the extension of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia- which restricts Malaysian workers from travelling in and out of the country. Carousell said short-term room rentals usually need a minimum occupancy of three or six months, and thus is not viable for the Malaysian workers affected by the temporary lockdown. 

The MCO in Malaysia was extended to 14 April, approximately three weeks after its initial lockdown which was until 31 March. Since the lockdown, brands have been launching initiatives to help Malaysians through this period of time. Fave Malaysia collaborated with local celebrities including Ean from Hitz FM, Altimet, Sasi The Don and comedian Harith Iskander to rally Malaysians to help their favourite merchants during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period. Titled "Save Our Fave", the campaign was said to provide respite for many of Malaysia's eateries and outlets affected by the virus outbreak. The local celebrities also shared their messages of solidarity in a YouTube video and their social media platforms to unite Malaysians.

Meanwhile, KFC Malaysia also voiced its support for delivery riders who are still hard at work during the two-week lockdown. In a Facebook post, KFC said the abang-abang delivery are "as strong as steel" and they salute the delivery riders who have consumers' backs, and are satisfying consumers' cravings whenever and wherever possible. "Terima kasih for your utmost dedication during these trying times so that we can #DudukRumah. Without you, our cravings could never be satisfied," the post added, and was accompanied by a picture with the words "Standing together to serve the nation". WONDA Coffee is also holding its first-ever concert-from-home in an effort to keep everyone entertained amidst the Movement Control Order (MCO). Through Konsert #WONDADiRumah, WONDA Coffee wants to encourage everyone to remain at home, stay entertained and more importantly, keep everyone safe.

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