After Forest City, Johor moves to clarify housing rules

Ben Tan
Residential buildings are seen at Forest City in Johor August 20, 2018. — Reuters pic

JOHOR BARU, Sept 5 ― The Johor government will formulate clearer guidelines on residential development in the state and especially on the area of gazetted international land.

It is understood the initiative was prompted by perceived inadequacies in existing laws and guidelines on this matter, which arose from the controversy surrounding the US$100 billion (RM415.3 billion) Forest City project in the state.

Johor Housing and Rural Development Committee chairman Dzulkefly Ahmad said the state government has assembled a task force to examine weaknesses and loopholes related to the overall housing development in the state.

“Johor’s current housing policy, especially those concerning international lots for foreigners such as the Forest City project, is seen to have some weaknesses.

“The task force will also identify the other shortcomings with regards to the overall housing development in the state,” he told Malay Mail when contacted today.

Dzulkefly said the task force will gather feedback from various parties before it can recommend changes to policy.

He said the task force already convened yesterday during which they met internally with the state government’s housing unit.

“By this week, the task force will also approach other related government agencies such as the state economic planning unit for feedback.

“The final part is for the task force to engage with developers and also the various housing associations to look at the overall situation,” said Dzulkefly, adding that the task force hopes to complete their findings by next month (October).

Dzulkefly, who is also the Kota Iskandar assemblyman, said the findings will allow the state government to develop a holistic approach in addressing any issues before the recommendations will be proposed to a committee.

“This will include strategies for developing a coordinated housing system and also guidelines that will safeguard state land,” he said.

On the state government’s meeting with the Housing and Local Government Ministry regarding Forest City, Dzulkefly said the meeting was postponed on Monday.

He said a rescheduled meeting will take place soon and the state government hopes to propose their plans, especially concerning the 30 per cent Malaysian quota, to the federal government representatives.

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