Forest City developer believes Dr M's statement 'taken out of context'

NST Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The developer of the Forest City mega project maintains that it has complied with the all laws and regulations with regards to approvals needed to sell their property to foreign buyers.

Responding to a statement by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that Malaysia will not allow foreigners to buy residential units in the project, Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd (CGPV), the project developer, said the prime minister’s statement did not gel with the outcome of a meeting between the company and the company recently.

The company said Dr Mahathir’s comments on the issue could have been taken out of context by the media.

“We are currently in touch with the Prime Minister’s Office for clarifications, as we believe Tun Mahathir’s comments may have been taken out of context in certain media reports.

“Today’s comments do not correspond with the content of the meeting between Tun Mahathir and Founder and Chairman of Country Garden Holdings, Yeung Kwok Keung,” said the company.

The two, according to the statement, had a 40-minute closed-door meeting on 16 August 2018, prior to the prime minister’s visit toBeijing.

“During the meeting, Tun Mahathir reiterated that he welcomes foreign investments which could create employment opportunities, promote technology transfer and innovations that could benefit Malaysia’s economic growth and job creation,” said the company.

CGPV said it had complied with all laws and regulations with the necessary approvals to sell to foreign property buyers.

The company said that pursuant to Section 433B of the National Land Code, a foreign citizen or a foreign company may acquire land in Malaysia subject to the prior approval of the state authority.

"We do not issue any permanent residency (PR) to foreign buyers of Forest City,” it said.

Earlier on Monday, Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying that Malaysia will not allow foreigners to buy residential units in the US$100-billion Forest City in Johor.

“One thing is certain, that city that is going to be built cannot be sold to foreigners,” Mahathir told a news conference in Kuala Lumpur.

“We are not going to give visas for people to come and live here,” he added.

“Our objection is because it was built for foreigners, not built for Malaysians. Most Malaysians are unable to buy those flats.”

Country Garden has developed just a fraction of the planned reclamation of 20 sq km (8 sq miles), where Chinese nationals accounted for about 70 percent of apartment buyers last year.

(File pic) Residential buildings are seen at Forest City in Johor, Malaysia, August 20, 2018. (REUTERS/Fathin Ungku)

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