KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government will continue allowing foreigners to buy freehold properties in Forest City, in line with the ruling issued by the National Land Council in 2014, says Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar.
“Regarding the Forest City issue, I said earlier that foreigners can buy freehold properties. This is pursuant to a ruling made by the council effective March 2014,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He was responding to Hassan Abdul Karim (PH-Pasir Gudang) who asked about the government’s stand on allowing foreigners to acquire freehold properties, especially in Forest City.
Hassan also asked whether this would breach the country’s national land code.
Xavier said the approval was in line with Section 344 (b) of the National Land Code which says the state authority has the right to grant foreigners approval to acquire properties subject to guidelines issued by the Economic Planning Unit. The council had agreed to the guidelines.
The minister said if the government wanted to stop the sale of freehold properties in the Johor project, the National Land Code would have to be amended.
In March last year, Dr Mahathir Mohamad wrote on his blog that then-prime minister Najib Razak was trying to confuse the public by saying the project would not affect Malaysia’s sovereignty as the properties sold were by way of 99-year leaseholds.
Mahathir said many Malaysians had failed to convert their small plots of land to freehold status although foreigners could easily do so when they bought properties in Forest City.