Malaysiakini News

Forest City developer claims Dr M told its boss differently

Published:  |  Modified:

Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd (CGPV) has cast doubts on media reports quoting Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as stating that foreigners are no longer allowed to purchase Forest City properties.

In a statement, the Forest City developer said Mahathir's comments "may have been taken out of context".

"We are currently in touch with the Prime Minister’s Office for clarifications, as we believe the prime minister's comments may have been taken out of context in certain media reports.

"Today's comments do not correspond with the content of the meeting between the prime minister and founder and chairperson of Country Garden Holdings Yeung Kwok Keung," the company said.

Country Garden Holdings is the Guandong-based company which has a controlling stake in CGPV.

According to CGPV, Mahathir had told Yeung during the 40-minute meeting on Aug 16 that Malaysia welcomed foreign investments which could create employment, promote the transfer of technology and encourage innovation.

Meanwhile, the company said Forest City complied with the necessary laws and was allowed to sell its products to an international audience.

"Pursuant to Section 433B of the National Land Code, a foreign citizen or a foreign company may acquire land in Malaysia subject to the prior approval of the state authority.

"We do not issue any permanent residency to foreign buyers of Forest City," said CGPV.

Earlier, Mahathir was asked by reporters this morning on whether his administration would review the Forest City project, to which he replied: "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 added.

The Forest City project had courted controversy because it was aimed primarily at high-net worth investors from China.

Mahathir had repeatedly criticised the project in the past on grounds that it brought no value to Malaysia and had the potential to severely alter Johor's demographics.

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