KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — The Forest City development in Johor’s Iskandar region is expected to deliver over 20,000 units to buyers this year, saying previous concerns prompted by the prime minister’s remarks about foreigners have subsided.
According to EdgeProp, the units sold by Country Garden Pacificview (CGPV) — a joint venture between Country Garden and a sister firm of Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor — are priced between RM13,000 and RM18,000 per sq m.
CGPV already delivered 482 units at its Cerulean Bay development last year and is now aiming to add to the 4,000 or so buyers who have taken possession of their property here.
“Due to Dr Mahathir’s comments last year, many international investors have taken a wait-and-see approach towards their investments in Malaysia. [Because of] this condition, Forest City was inevitably affected,” Zhou Jun, Forest City’s brand management general manager, was quoted as saying.
After taking office following Pakatan Harapan’s surprise victory, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said foreigners would be banned from purchasing property in Forest City.
However, he later clarified that he meant property purchases would not entitle foreign buyers to Malaysian citizenship. Since then, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has also directed developers not to launch projects that exclusively target foreign buyers.
According to Zhou, buyers of Forest City are not solely from China but include Malaysians as well as nationals from over 30 countries.
“Over time, we understand that the Malaysian government continues to welcome foreign investments,” Zhou was further quoted as saying.
“Thanks to the comprehensive legislative system, Forest City was not badly impacted despite the prime minister’s remarks. On the contrary, as we are able to contribute to the Malaysian economy, create job opportunities and promote technology and knowledge transfer, we have received a lot of support from the government.”
The development has also sought to raise its contribution to the local economy by handing out jobs to Malaysian contractors, Zhou said when noting that RM1.6 billion in work at Forest City was awarded to Malaysian firms.
Forest City also paid RM300 million in state and local taxes, he said, and spent RM10 million on donations and corporate social responsibility projects.
During the launch of Forest City’s 18-hole golf course last month, Zhou noted that his firm’s involvement in the local community was acknowledged by the federal government.
“We are the only foreign-invested company who have received recognition from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in February for our corporate social responsibility initiatives in Malaysia,” Zhou said then.
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