Malaysiakini News

Forest City can no longer be sold to foreigners, says PM

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Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has vowed to prevent foreigners from purchasing properties at the Forest City project in Johor.

"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.

"Our objection is because it was built for foreigners, not built for Malaysians. Most Malaysians are unable to buy those flats," he told reporters at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

Mahathir did not state specifically if the ban on the sale of Forest City property to foreigners was already in force.

Built by China's Country Garden Holdings Company in a joint-venture with businesses held by the Johor sultan, Forest City was envisioned as a sprawling 13.86 sq km smart city built on four artificial islands.

The developer had projected a population of 700,000 by 2035, but the project has mostly been marketed to foreigners.

It was also advertised as a futuristic green city, offering the best in healthcare and education, and with close proximity to Singapore.

Prior to the May 9 election, Mahathir had repeatedly criticised his predecessor Najib Abdul Razak for allowing the project to go on, arguing that it would severely change the demographics of Johor.

He also argued that the project was being marketed as "freehold" property, although Najib had denied this.


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