Johor govt to brief PM on Forest City project

Construction works going on normally at the mammoth Forest City project in Gelang Patah in Johor.

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The state government will brief Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the status of the multi-billion ringgit Forest City project in Gelang Patah here, the Mentri Besar says.

Datuk Osman Sapian said Dr Mahathir might not have the accurate information on the state’s policies pertaining to the project.

He said the state government would provide information on the policies in the special committee chaired by Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin on the project.

“We always welcome foreign buyers, including those from China, to purchase residential properties in Johor, but at the same time we will safeguard the interests of locals,” he said.

Osman was speaking to reporters at the groundbreaking ceremony of the RM162mil Gerbang Nusajaya Interchange here, a joint project between UEM Sunrise Bhd and Mulpha International Bhd with each contributing 60% and 40% of budget respectively for the project.

He was responding to the recent remarks by Dr Mahathir that foreigners could no longer buy homes at Forest City, a project by Chinese developer Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd.

“Johor does not discriminate or segregate foreign investors or property buyers according to regions or countries of origin,” he said.

However, Osman pointed out that they were subject to rules and regulations when buying houses in the state including within Iskandar Malaysia’s economic growth corridor.

“The policies are already in place and clearly indicate they are only allowed to buy houses priced RM1mil or above,” he said.

Osman said the RM1mil threshold, which was introduced a few years ago, was increased from RM500,000 and RM750,000 previously.

The state might even increase the threshold to RM2mil as Johor was progressing and developing, he added.

Osman stressed that foreigners buying houses in Johor would not be given Malaysian citizenship.

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