Hidden camera in Malaysian Airbnb sparks outrage and tightens homestay regulations

Image courtesy of Khaosod Online.

A startling discovery of a hidden camera in an Airbnb room in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, alarmed a newlywed Chinese couple. The couple’s shocking claim, which went viral on the Chinese social media platform Xiaohongshu in mid-September, sparked widespread online discussions.

The Chinese couple reported their unsettling find to the local police on September 7. Kota Kinabalu police Chief Zaidi Abdullah confirmed the report and mentioned that the authorities are actively seeking the individuals responsible for the hidden camera, which was cunningly concealed in a wall power socket in the Airbnb room. The camera was positioned to have a clear view of the bed.

The couple had arrived in Kota Kinabalu around 2am on September 6 and were shocked to discover the hidden camera in the room’s USB socket on the wall facing the bed. Despite their initial intention to share their experience online, they claimed that the police advised them to remove the post. However, Zaidi Abdullah denied these allegations.

Malaysia’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Tiang King Sing, assured that strict actions will be taken against the wrongdoers or the homestay owners.

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Tiang highlighted that such acts not only break the law but also tarnish the image of Malaysia’s tourism industry.

In addition to this, the Ministry will strictly monitor all homestay owners registered with them. Non-compliance could lead to license revocation and a downgrade of the accommodation.

All Airbnb operators must adhere to guidelines and conduct background checks on their employees. The minister did not deny the occurrence of such an incident and suggested it could be the actions of employees or workers of Airbnb. The Ministry will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Sabah’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Christina Liew, stated they are coordinating with relevant officials to investigate the incident.

In the meantime, police seized the hidden camera and are conducting a probe at the premises. Zaidi mentioned that the police are investigating this case under suspicion of outrage of modesty, and are making efforts to identify the involved suspects, reports Khaosod Online.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.