Taylor’s Deepavali film illuminates mutual respect and understanding

Taylor’s has recently announced the release of its much-awaited Deepavali festive film. Titled ‘Not For Rent’, the cinematic piece explores the real-life experiences of the Malaysian Indian community and carries a profound message about fostering understanding and respect, all in the spirit of Deepavali – a time to celebrate unity, the triumph of good, and the pursuit of knowledge.

The rich cultural mosaic of Malaysia has been greatly enhanced by the invaluable contributions of its Indian community. Yet, the community is still facing unique challenges. The most notorious being the subject of rental housing.

Analysis of a local property rental website revealed that 45% of listings in Klang Valley explicitly rejected Malaysian Indian tenants, demonstrating the persistence of racial discrimination in housing. Furthermore, a survey found that 46% of Indian respondents reported facing discrimination during the rental process, emphasising the urgent need to promote inclusivity and understanding[1].

Through the power of storytelling, the film hopes to inspire a more inclusive future – championing the triumph of knowledge over ignorance consistently showcased throughout all Taylor’s Deepavali fims such as Curious Kumar (2020), The Thief (2021), and Purpose (2022).

Ben Foo, Taylor’s Group Chief Marketing Officer, highlights the institution’s steadfast dedication to shedding light on critical societal matters through the institution’s festive films, with the aspiration that the broader community will unite to foster empathy, understanding, and a more inclusive society.

“While traditional festive ads often touch upon familiar themes of family love and kindness, at Taylor’s, we ardently champion the idea that engaging in more profound conversations is the key to igniting positive societal change, and ultimately, forging a future that is not merely inclusive but boldly equitable for all.

This film delves unflinchingly into the real challenges confronted by the Malaysian Indian community, reinforcing the powerful notion that unity and progress truly stem from a bedrock of deep understanding.”

At the heart of the film lies the narrative of Mr. Chandran, a Indian father on a quest for a place to call home. Amy, a property agent, becomes the key player when Mr. Chandran reaches out to arrange a property viewing. What unfolds is a compelling odyssey, one that shatters the barriers of discrimination born from ignorance.

The film vividly illustrates the challenges faced by Mr. Chandran and his family during their search for a new home. It is a powerful portrayal of how empathy and an open mind can transform stereotypes into the building blocks of a more radiant, all-encompassing future.

The dual narrative of the film emphasises the pivotal role of mutual respect and understanding, underscored as foundational elements to dispel ignorance and foster an inclusive and equitable Malaysian society.

It imparts two primary messages: first, it sheds light on the authentic experiences of communities confronting distinct challenges, particularly spotlighting the hurdles faced by the Malaysian Indian community, especially in securing rental properties.

Secondly, it accentuates that discrimination often finds its roots in misunderstandings and can only be dispelled through the cultivation of deeper mutual understanding, driven by knowledge and education as the keys to enlightenment and progress.

[1] In Spotlight On Indians’ Home-Renting Difficulties, Lawyer Says No Law In Malaysia Against Individuals’ Racial Discrimination, Malaysian Insititutes of Estate Agents, 23 Dec 2020

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