The Straits Times, Photo Credit to The Straits Times
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Foreigners Can Buy Forest City Units, but Will Not Be Issued Residential Visas: Mahathir


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On Tuesday (Sept 4), Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that foreigners could be able to purchase residential units at Johor's controversial Forest City development, however, they will not be issued visas to reside in the country.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday (Sept 4) that foreigners can buy residential units at Johor's controversial Forest City development but they will not be issued visas to live there.

“They can buy the property, but we won't give them visas to come and live here,” Tun Mahathir told reporters after an event at the National Art Gallery.

The prime minister had caused quite a stir last week after he announced that foreigners would be barred from buying properties at the US$100 billion (S$137 billion) Forest City, which is developed by Chinese company Country Garden and the Johor state.

Later, his office clarified that what Dr. Mahathir meant was that the purchase of properties would not guarantee foreigners automatic residency in Malaysia.

About two-thirds of units sold so far in Forest City are held by Chinese buyers, while a fifth are from Malaysia and the rest are linked to 22 other countries.

Earlier on Tuesday, Johor's chief minister announced that foreigners are indeed welcome to buy property in Forest City.

Forest City is a 30-year project that provides jobs for Malaysians, Menteri Besar Osman Sapian said.

“The Johor government believes that Malaysia has comprehensive laws that protect the rights of foreign investors and companies, including purchasing property,” Datuk Osman said at a briefing.

“The Johor government believes that the federal government is able to be fair in protecting foreign companies that run operations in Malaysia,” he said.

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