Stop bank account closure for legal foreign residents in Malaysia!

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This petition is to address the issue of "bank account termination of legal foreign residents" in Malaysia by Maybank, CIMB Bank, and other Malaysian banks.

It is our strong opinion that the closures are based on ethnicity and race. We are ordinary people who contribute to the society of Malaysia but are victims of racism by so called reputable banks. This is ethnic profiling and racial discrimination in Malaysia.

We as legal residents in Malaysia, expect banks here to uphold the principles laid out by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Ministry of Finance, which does not deny services to all legal residents in the country. Closing the accounts is discrimination against nationality and race. This is a moral issue - banks can't simply close accounts or choose to deny banking access to legal residents. A bank account is a necessity. We are students, working professionals, business owners and home makers. We need it to get our salaries, pay tuition fees, pay rent, utilities and buy groceries.

Many services are denied to legal foreign residents not because these banks are legally bound to refuse them under local law or international sanctions but because they rather stay on the safe side for fear of running foul of the policy. Sanctions do not prohibit or target ordinary people but banking restrictions mean there is no way for normal people to use financial services.

This discrimination was initially started by Maybank Malaysia by terminating the bank accounts of Iranian, Iraqis, and Syrians. In addition Maybank Malaysia is refusing to open bank account for all citizens from continental Africa.

The selective closure of our bank accounts is affecting our daily lives as legal Malaysian residents both as employees and students. We have limited or no access to financial services but yet we are tirelessly contributing to the professional work force in the country and giving local colleges and university millions of ringgit in business. In some instances, where we are able to open bank accounts, we are not permitted to have an ATM/debit card.


As a result, we have to go to a bank counter with our documents to make a withdrawal. This is a hassle and unacceptable. For those of us who have been studying, living, working and paying taxes here for more than a decade this treatment is insulting, depressing and has affected our well-being. We came to Malaysia seeking better opportunities for work/education and a better life but we do not feel welcomed especially by banking and financial institutions. Your Prime Minister preaches inclusiveness and that the New Malaysia is a country that welcomes all citizens to work and do business here but your bigoted financial institutions are showing us otherwise.

We seek the government of the New Malaysia to rectify this situation.


Citizen of these countries are affected by this discrimination:

Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, DR Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe