Selangor Journal

Tun M questions Forest City’s permanent ownership status

SHAH ALAM, MAR 14: Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has questioned Forest City’s permanent ownership status in Johore and expects that it is not impossible that 90% of the foreign buyers would become Malaysian citizens.
In his blog, Tun Mahathir said this is due to Forest City offering permanent ownership (freehold), as advertised on signboards across the city, to its buyers who are mostly from China.
All along the road, there are signboards on the lamp posts inscribed in the national language with the words ‘Freehold Properties’.
“Forest City residents can stay there permanently because according to Malaysian law, they can become citizens after 12 years including the right to vote. There is no guarantee that this will not happen, in fact with support from influential people, the time can be shortened.
“Malaysia is very generous. Anyone can live here. Since our independence, there have been 700,000 citizenships given to foreigners. It is true that Malaysia is a multi-racial country. And with Najib’s consent, it can become more multi-racial,” he said cynically after visiting Johore recently.
He said, Forest City is also given tax-free status and those who live there are mostly foreigners, who will enjoy this benefit when items from their countries are imported directly to Forest City.
“Many Malaysians have requested for their small lands to be given freehold status but rejected. Actually, Najib can cancel the freehold condition as it is against the national policy which states that all new property ownership must be on leasehold basis which are 30, 66, 90 or 99 years.
“It seems that foreigners can get permanent ownership. As a Malay saying goes (which we don’t’ have to bother), ‘your own child is in hunger but the monkeys in the forest are given milk’. What a pity.” he said.
He was informed that flats in Forest City can be acquired for free if the person has purchased a flat or a property in China, in addition, the Forest City Company do not have to pay tax as they are not getting profit from this.
“If money cannot be repatriated from China, buyers may borrow money from Malaysian banks. I was made to understand that a foreigner named Peter Sondakh has bought a land in Malaysia with a 90% loan from a Malaysian bank.
“Malaysians will be queried thoroughly if they borrow, withdraw or deposit RM50,000 or more before being approved. This is because the Malaysian Government is very concerned to cleanse money that have been stolen or acquired illegally,” he said.

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