International News

    Mahathir bans foreigners from buying Forest City residential units in Malaysia

    Malaysia will not allow foreigners to buy residential units built at the US$100 billion Forest City project in Johor, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Monday.
    The project has been wracked by uncertainty since Mahathir’s coalition scored a shock victory at a May general election, as Chinese developer Country Garden Holdings Co looks to revive faltering demand for its plans to build a city that would be home to 700,000 people.
    “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,” Mahathir said.
    “Our objection is because it was built for foreigners, not built for Malaysians. Most Malaysians are unable to buy those flats.”
    Many of the people buying into the residential side in the past few years have been middle-class investors from China, lured a massive promotional campaign promising an affordable project “near Singapore”.
    Between 2016 and last year, state television, railway station billboards and screens in tower block lifts were blanketed in advertising extolling the pleasures of a tropical island home.