KUALA LUMPUR,. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today reiterated that foreigners can buy properties in Forest City, a mega residential development project in Johor.
However, he stressed that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government would not issue them visas to make Malaysia their home.
“They can buy the property, but we won’t give them visa to come and live here,” he said when met by reporters after officiating the National Art Gallery’s 60th anniversary here.
On August 27, Reuters reported Dr Mahathir saying that Putrajaya would not permit foreigners to buy residential units in the US$100 billion (RM410 billion) Forest City project.
“One thing is certain, that city that is going to be built cannot be sold to foreigners.
“We are not going to give visas for people to come and live here,” he reportedly told a press conference, adding that the government’s objection was because the project was aimed at attracting foreigners, and not Malaysians.
However, a day later, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) clarified that foreigners are free to buy homes here, but are subject to certain conditions.
It said any such purchases would not automatically grant the buyers residency, but foreigners can apply through the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) government programme.
Forest City, the most ambitious project in Johor’s Iskandar economic zone, is still at an early stage of development and reclamation work is currently ongoing.
Four artificial islands will be created from the waters of the Johor Straits, covering a total surface of 14 square kilometers and bringing Malaysia’s shoreline closer to Singapore.
More than 700,000 foreigners, who are the project’s residents, are expected by 2050.