PETALING JAYA: Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has come to the defence of the Forest City project, insisting that it has increased the value of real estate in Johor.
Speaking to the New Straits Times, Sultan Ibrahim said, “The value of real estate (near Forest City) has increased. In the past, people in Pontian used to only pick buah duku, but now people in Pontian own Mercedes Benzes.
“In the past, an acre (0.4ha) of land used to cost RM100,000, but now, it is valued up to RM3 million.”
He also denied that land could be sold to foreigners in Forest City’s international zone.
“It does not mean they purchase the land to bring it back to their respective home countries,” he told the daily.
“In Forest City, we do not sell the land, we sell the strata (titles) and these strata (titles) are for permanent ownership in Johor.”
Sultan Ibrahim maintained that the Forest City project would provide much revenue for the state government, which could then be used in ways that would benefit Johor residents.
“When Forest City is completed, the assessment, quit rent will go to who? Who will get the jobs? There are transportation (initiatives), businesses and job opportunities,” he was quoted as saying.
Forest City is a futuristic smart city project being built in Johor on four man-made islands spanning 1,385.6ha. Costing US100 billion, it is expected to be completed within 20 years and will have a range of facilities, including housing units, offices and shopping malls.