Mahathir: No Permanent Residency for the 700,000 Chinamen and Chinawomen in Forest City, Johor…

Forest City is a RM100 billion futuristic smart city project that caters mainly to investors from China.

The Forest City project is the biggest of 60 developments in Iskandar Malaysia, and comprises four man-made islands in the Strait of Johor facing Tuas in Singapore.

It had RM11.54 billion (S$3.6 billion) in sales last year and sold 15,000 units, with Chinese nationals accounting for 70 per cent of the buyers.

2 September 2018

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — Putrajaya is reviewing the multi-billion dollar Forest City project in southern Johor because Malaysia does not stand to benefit from it, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali disclosed today.

Azmin said there was a deal that would see all financial transactions over the sale of properties from the project going to the Chinese government and not to the Treasury here.

“What happened was the transaction was not done in Johor or Malaysia.

“There is a special programme where if you invest a certain amount of money in China, you get a free unit in Forest City.

“So, certainly, we cannot allow that as they pay taxes in China and the transactions were done in China. It does not benefit us,’’ he told a news conference after attending the Congress on the Future of Bumiputera and the Nation 2018 held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here.

Forest City, by developer Country Garden Holdings Co, comprises apartment blocks, landed houses, office towers, hotels and shopping centres and is reported to cost some US$100 billion (RM410 billion) to build.

It was expected to have 700,000 residents.

In March 2017, before he became PM again, the warning signs were there but he was ignored.

March 2017
Mahathir Mohamad warned that the housing, commercial and industrial development, which will eventually occupy 20 square kilometres of reclaimed land, amounted to a “foreign enclave”. The Sultan of Johor, in whose state the project lies and an investor in Forest City, accused the former prime minister of “playing the politics of fear and race”.


28 August 2018


The Prime Minister’s Office has clarified that foreigners are allowed to make Malaysia their place of permanent residence under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) scheme.

“Conditions are clearly spelt out for those interested and information on this programme is also publicly available,” the PMO said in a statement.

“On property purchased by foreigners, irrespective of nationality, Malaysia imposes certain conditions and information on these existing conditions are publicly available.

“Purchase of properties, however, does not guarantee automatic residency in the country,” it added.

The PMO issued the clarification after Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad caused a stir yesterday when he stated publicly that foreigners are not allowed to purchase property in Forest City, Johor.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister’s Office said today there is no guarantee that anyone purchasing properties in Malaysia will automatically get residency, two days after the prime minister said foreigners cannot buy residential units in the Forest City project.

A statement from the PMO said certain conditions were imposed on the purchase of property by foreigners, irrespective of nationality, and that this information was publicly available.

“Purchase of properties, however, does not guarantee automatic residency in the country.”

27 August 2018

The prime minister says Malaysia will not give visas for foreigners to live in the country.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will not allow foreigners to buy residential units built at the US$100 billion Forest City project in Johor, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

The project has been wracked by uncertainty since Mahathir’s coalition scored a shock victory at the May 9 general election, as developer Country Garden Holdings Co looks to revive faltering demand for its plans to build a city that would be home to 700,000 people.

“One thing is certain, that city that is going to be built cannot be sold to foreigners. We are not going to give visas for people to come and live here,” Mahathir told reporters at a press conference.

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

March 2017

Mahathir Mohamad warned that the housing, commercial and industrial development, which will eventually occupy 20 square kilometres of reclaimed land, amounted to a “foreign enclave”. The Sultan of Johor, in whose state the project lies and an investor in Forest City, accused the former prime minister of “playing the politics of fear and race”.


Anthony Adam Cho, Rehda council man: foreigners who stayed at Forest City could live there forever and there was no ruling that would prevent them from becoming citizens after living there for years.

21 March 2018

Forest City developer doubles profit

March 21, 2018

China’s Country Garden Holdings does not expect development to slow down this year despite Beijing’s tightening measures.


HONG KONG: China’s Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd said annual core profit doubled to a record on robust domestic sales and was hopeful about a high-profile property project in Malaysia despite a sharp drop in sales to mainland Chinese buyers.
Country Garden’s core profit, which excludes non-recurring income and revaluation gains, grew to 24.7 billion yuan (RM15.3 billion) on a 48% surge in revenue.

Based in the southern Guangdong province, Country Garden ranks as China’s top property developer by sales although those sales figures include total revenue garnered at joint ventures.
One area of concern for Country Garden has been its Forest City project in Malaysia, which includes homes, office towers, malls and schools and is touted to worth some US$100 billion (RM392 billion) in investment over 20 years.

Originally geared to appeal to mainland Chinese looking to resettle overseas, sales slid last year to eight billion yuan, compared with more than 10 billion yuan the previous year as China’s capital curbs slammed the brakes on outbound investment.

Chief financial officer Wu Bijun said development will not slow down this year.

“We have set up 23 sales offices overseas; we expect to see sales growth this year,” she said.

The developer also said it hopes to capitalise on what it expects will be government efforts to promote the development of long-term property leasing.

Country Garden, which set up a long-term property leasing department late last year, said 3,000 such apartments were under construction in top-tier cities in 2017. It aims to build one million apartments to be leased in three years.

Recent developments

…reports in various media outlets and channels stated that following Beijing’s imposition of capital control measures to stem an outflow of funds from China, mainland investors are now caught in a bind with their investments overseas.

In response to the Chinese government’s capital control move, Country Garden Holdings stopped all travel-related support services by its sales galleries in China for mainland Chinese travelling to Forest City since March 13.

“This means those buyers who are interested in the Forest City project will have to find their own way to our sales gallery in Iskandar Malaysia,” the company said.

7 April 2017

Forest city unit buyers who default, cancel sales and purchase agreement, to pay penalty

KUALA LUMPUR — Country Garden Holdings Company Ltd, the property developer behind the Forest City project, has said the penalty clause applicable to buyers of certain promoted residential units who default on payment, or cancel their sales and purchase (S&P) agreement, is in accordance with the law – and is tantamount to breach of contract.

In an emailed statement on Thursday (April 6), the company said that it outlines these terms and conditions in the S&P for buyers, as required by Malaysian laws and standards, and that they are available in both English and Chinese at all its sales galleries in China.

“The penalty clause, ranging from between 10 per cent and 30 per cent, only kicks in when a buyer, who has decided to purchase certain promoted residential units, decides to default on payment or cancels their sales and purchase agreement,” the statement read.

Country Garden Holdings said the note was issued to provide clarification in response to media reports and questions brewing around Forest City.


6 April 2017

Forest City project: Fewer than 60 buyers from China want to cancel bookings, says developer

SINGAPORE – Fewer than 60 buyers from China want to cancel their bookings of apartments in the mega Forest City project in Malaysia, according to its Chinese developer Country Garden.

Country Garden said in a press statement on Thursday morning (April 6)that they are in discussion with this these buyers.

Chinese buyers of properties at the US$100 billion (S$140 billion) Iskandar Malaysia development have been caught out by China’s introduction of tighter rules to stem capital flight from the country, with many being unable to service payments after placing deposits.

24 March 2017

Bad news for Forest City

March 24, 2017

An economist sees Beijing prolonging capital control measures, preventing those who have bought units in the Johor project from taking their money out of China.

PETALING JAYA: An economist has predicted that China will prolong its capital flight control measures, which is bad news for Chinese real estate developer Country Garden and its Forest City project in Johor.

Hoo Ke Ping, the author of several books on international economics, told FMT the outcome of the recently concluded G20 meeting could result in China’s decision to maintain those measures for an indefinite period.

“At the G20 meeting, the finance ministers of the major economies didn’t renew their stance against protectionist measures,” he noted.

“So what you are likely to see is the United States implementing protectionist measures, which will in turn affect China’s trade. If this happens, China’s foreign reserves will dwindle and Beijing is likely to prolong capital control measures.”

He said this would mean those who bought properties in Forest City might not be able to repay their bank loans because they would be prevented from taking their money out of China.

Hoo said Forest City wouldn’t face tough times if all the Chinese buyers had bought their units with cash or if they had stashed a lot of money outside China. But this wasn’t the case with most Chinese investors, he added.

Hoo’s latest comments come less than a month after a press interview in which he predicted that many housing projects catering to Chinese buyers would end up being abandoned.

21 March 2017


South China Morning Post

How China’s overseas property dream turned into a nightmare

Capital controls mean people who signed up for flats in Malaysia cannot send money from mainland

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 March, 2017, 5:07pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 March, 2017, 6:09am

Middle-class mainlander Laura Zhang found the idea of owning a home overseas irresistible after being bombarded by commercials for an affordable project “near Singapore”.

The Forest City project in the southern Malaysian state of Johor, the subject of the advertisement , is being developed by Country Garden, China’s third-largest home builder.

Zhang said she was told a flat in Forest City, the developer’s flagship project Malaysia, was not only an asset that would appreciate in value but also one that offered a tropical, garden city lifestyle, access to high quality international education for her son, and a chance for the whole family to become permanent residents of another country.

However, capital controls introduced by Beijing have turned the dream of a Malaysian property into a nightmare for many mainlanders.

Zhang, who lives in Hefei, the capital of Anhui province, was enticed by Forest City commercials in early 2016, when China was witnessing the largest wave of outbound investment the country had ever seen, with its foreign exchange reserves, a rough gauge of capital outflows, falling at a record pace.
“I’m not so rich that I can afford those properties in North America or Australia, but I was very interested in buying an apartment abroad for my child’s education or possible emigration in the future,” Zhang said. “That’s why I joined the tour. Besides, the Forest City project is very famous among Chinese as you can see its advertisement everywhere in China.”

Zhang discovered this year that no bank on the mainland would help her pay for her overseas property dream. When she attempted to transfer money to the vendor’s bank account in Hong Kong in January, her local bank told her the Hong Kong account was “not correct”. However, she had managed to pay 20 per cent of the amount she owed for the property to the same Hong Kong account in October.

She told the Post she was now trapped in limbo and was trying to get a refund. Other purchasers are taking the same course of action.

“Now we understand all further instalments need to be paid abroad. But this is not allowed due to the foreign exchange controls from the Chinese government,” said another Forest City purchaser, Vicky Wu from Guangzhou. “If we do so, we will be put on the government’s black list.”


Some China Forest City purchasers in limbo

March 21, 2017

At least 40 buyers of the massive development project in Johor are seeking refunds as China’s tightening of money outflow has made it difficult for them to raise money, says report.


KUALA LUMPUR: Some buyers of Forest City properties are seeking refunds as they cannot raise money from banks in China following stricter money control measures by Beijing.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports that about 40 buyers have joined a WeChat group “to quit Forest City and get refunds”. The group was set up two weeks ago by one of the purchasers, Leo Wang from Hunan.

SCMP reports that these 40 and some others had made down payments for Forest City apartments but were now unable to transfer money out of the mainland or get their money back.

22 March 2017

It’s like treason to believe Forest City ‘lies’, Sultan tells Johoreans

Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar has likened Johoreans who believe “lies” peddled on the Forest City development in Pasir Gudang, to individuals who committed treason.

“For Johoreans who are influenced, it is like they have committed treason.

“All my hard work, my love, my efforts visiting all the districts every year, if this is what they show me, it is like they have disobeyed me,” he said in an interview with the New Straits Times.

The Pasir Gudang development on four reclaimed land islands is fodder for political debate, with the opposition questioning the sale of freehold land to foreigners.

Sultan Ibrahim clarified that the land is indeed freehold, but the title is held by the company, not the buyers.

The buyers only hold the strata titles, which is also freehold.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak earlier said the Forest City properties were sold on a 99-year lease, but the developer has advertised it as freehold properties.

“We are not giving away Malaysian citizenship. The ones who came up with the Malaysia My Second Home concept was not me.

“Go ask the person who came up with it,” the sultan said.

He was likely referring to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was prime minister when the Malaysia My Second Home concept was introduced.

“My advice for people from outside Johor, whether they are in politics or otherwise, is do not interfere with Johor’s matters.

“To the outsiders who come and divide the people of Johor or Johoreans who live in Kuala Lumpur and have political ambitions and return to divide the people, I say get lost, you are not welcome here,” he said.

16 March 2017

Only in Forest City, get freehold titles on ‘leasehold’ land

YOURSAY | ‘It looks like now there is a privileged class of Chinese in M’sia and it’s not Chinese M’sians.’

Mahathir visits Forest City, questions ‘freehold’ signs

Anonymous #44199885: Ninety-nine years is a long, long time and enough for at least three generations to multiply and grow – three generations of foreigners who are alien to our shared culture, customs and values.

Why should millions of them who do not contribute to our economy and nation building be given tax-free status?

Mind you, if they enjoy tax-free status, then it is Malaysians who will bear the cost and expenses via higher taxation to support the supply of services and infrastructure for them.

Doc: It looks like freehold, sounds like freehold, marketed like freehold, feels like freehold but it is not freehold because Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak says so.

Tony Soprano: At an average of, say, 2.5 persons per household and 700,000 units, that would result in a population of over 1.7 million people on 1,400ha (3,500 acres).

By comparison, Manhattan consists of 21,600 acres with a population of 1.6 million. And Manhattan is the most densely populated area in the United States.

Can you see the outlandish planning involved here? The population of Manhattan squeezed into 1/6 the space on some finite islands?

Does anyone really think they can plan an infrastructure to handle all that? Not if people live there permanently.

True, Manhattan is the business centre of the largest capitalised economy in the world, so it handles a lot of outside commuters in addition to its resident population. And true, Kowloon is even more crowded than Manhattan and still survives – somewhat wretchedly, I might add; it’s not “the good life” there.

Nevertheless, Manhattan grew organically. Forest City is another instant city that seems to me an outlandish and stupid project.

Legit: Forest City has an extraordinarily beautiful landscape indeed and so is the Country Garden Danga Bay. We should be proud to have such a beautiful project in Malaysia.

If the properties in the Forest City project can be sold (and be affordable) to Malaysians and other foreign nationals besides the Chinese, then it could be a nice project to have on Malaysian soil.

On the freehold land status, we are told this project is done on a newly man-made island and therefore it doesn’t really matter. Even 99-year lease is as good as freehold.

There must be some attraction if you want foreigners to come and invest and live here. Just make sure it is not all Chinese from China. Get the Indians, Japanese, Europeans and Americans too.

Let’s face it, the alternative is most of the land in the country becoming Malay reserve land and zero development, if that’s what you want.

Anonymous 2441911478511303: Yes, now Chinese no need to “balik China”, just go Johor. Thank you, Umno, making Malaysia more Chinese.

RM2.6 Billion Turkey Haram: Next they would put a signboard, ‘Selamat Datang di China’, besides those advertisements.

And to top it, all the signage would be written in Chinese. Not bad. Can you feel the changes in the air? No more Chinese bashing. Hooray!

Not an inch of Forest City land given as freehold, MP rebuts Dr M

P Dev Anand Pillai: How on earth is one going to have freehold strata titles on leasehold land? A lease is subject to state authority approval, whereas a freehold land is free from state authority intervention when one wants to sell.

So if you aim to sell it to the foreigners, no foreigner in his right mind will want to buy properties if it is not freehold.

Bamboo: Sekijang MP Anuar Manap’s eagerness to bend backward to defend the Johor Umno government exposed his stupidity. Freehold strata titles on non-freehold land? What nonsense.

Ahbengkia: This is the first time I hear this nincompoop statement: strata titles freehold, the land underneath is not.

15 March 2017


Some people should not speak without engaging their brain first…

Yes, go back to school; he misses Dr Mahathir’s point which is about PR status for owners of freehold property. 

Go back to school if you cannot read BM, Dr Mahathir tells BN MP


30m30 minutes ago

MP admits Forest City’s freehold status, but says it’s reclaimed land

Lu Wei Hoong

Clearing the air over his earlier explanation regarding the “freehold” status of Forest City in Johor, Sekijang MP Anuar Manap said the properties were constructed on reclaimed land, and not on existing plots in the state.

“It is built on reclaimed land. Forest City did not take existing land and make it a strata land. They reclaimed the land; it did not exist before,” he added.

He also explained that there are Malaysian buyers, so the accusation of selling Johor land to foreigners does not arise.

“Let’s say there are 100 houses, not all the owners are foreigners. As this is strata property, it is a shared land, (and this) does not belong to the foreigners,” he told Malaysiakini.

14 March 2017



Tun Mahathir lawat sendiri Forest City yang menurut pemimpin UMNO bukan hak milik kekal warga China 🇨🇳


14 March 2017

15h15 hours ago

Go back to school if you cannot read BM, Dr Mahathir tells BN MP

In his trademark style, Dr Mahathir Mohamad issued a stinging response to a Johor Umno lawmaker who rebutted his remarks on signs advertising freehold properties in Forest City.

The former premier said perhaps Sekijang MP Anuar Manap does not understand the Malay language (Bahasa Malaysia) signs.

“In everyone’s eyes, the land is freehold. It (the sign) says that very clearly.

“But if he doesn’t understand (the Malay language), he must go back to school,” he told reporters at the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) headquarters in Petaling Jaya this afternoon.

Earlier, Anuar accused Mahathir of attempting to provoke the people who have a lesser understanding of the issue with his claims.

The Sekijang MP said the freehold status was only for strata titles and not the land.

“Yes, it is a freehold title but it’s not for the land, but for the strata. Not an inch of of Johor land is given out as freehold in this case,” he added.

Meanwhile, Johor PKR deputy chief Jimmy Puah, a lawyer who deals with property matters, claimed that Anuar was confused.

According to him, only a freehold land could issue freehold strata tittles.

“The only material difference between a normal freehold property and strata property is that for strata, you cannot pay for your individual quit rent, you have to pay collectively with the other owner.

“Other than that, their rights are the same.

“You will own the property in perpetuity unless the land office forfeits your title perhaps for using the house for commercial purposes or not paying quit rent,” he told Malaysiakini.

The Bukit Batu assemblyperson claimed that there are properties in Forest City which are landed strata as well.




COUNTRY GARDEN PACIFICVIEW SDN BHD THE DEVELOPER – COUNTRY GARDEN PACIFICVIEW SDN BHD (“CGPV”), is the developer and operator of Forest City Project, which Joint Venture between Country Garden Group (“CG”) & Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd (“EDSB”). CGPV is 66 percent owned by the China-based giant through Malaysian registered subsidiaries Country Garden Waterfront Sdn Bhd, Country Garden Danga Bay Sdn Bhd and Country Garden Real Estate Sdn Bhd. The state government’s share of the project, or more specifically KPRJ, is purportedly through Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd, which holds a 34 percent stake in CGPV.


Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd (EDSB), a Johor State government’s direct holding company which is also a shareholder of the Iskandar Investment. The largest shareholder of Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd, with a controlling stake of 64.4 percent, is in the name of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ismail, thus effectively making Forest City a joint venture between Country Garden and the Johor monarch. Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor (“KPRJ”) holds 20 percent stake. The remaining 15.6 percent stake is held by Daing A Malek Daing A Rahaman, a member of the royal court of advisers to the Johor sultan. The Johor sultan and Daing A Malek are directors in Esplande Danga 88. Daing A Malek is also a director in CGPV.


11 Feb 2017


24m24 minutes ago

Spooked by anti-China talk, Forest City developer courts other buyers

KUALA LUMPUR: The Chinese developer of a mega-project in Johor is trying to dampen fears sparked by China’s rising visibility in Malaysia.

Forest City, which has seen thousands of flats sold since construction began exactly a year ago, has been the subject of some alarm in the country as potential buyers from mainland China flock to the Iskandar Malaysia zone.

Leaders such as former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad have warned that the development will amount to a “foreign enclave”, while others say the project may weaken property prices.

In a Financial Times report today, though, developer Country Garden said it would work on expanding its client base to include buyers from Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East. About 70% of buyers so far have come from mainland China.

The report quoted Country Garden chief strategy officer Runze Yu as saying that the Chinese cared about the local community and environment.


19m19 minutes ago

$100bn Chinese city set to house 700,000 people rises from the sea – in Malaysia

On the southern tip of Malaysia, just across the strait from Singapore, the vast $100bn Chinese-built Forest City is rising from the sea.

Every week, busloads of potential buyers from mainland China are taken on tours of the well-tended lawns, spacious shopping arcades and glossy apartments being built on reclaimed land. The privately backed and funded development will house 700,000 people when it is fully finished in two decades’ time.

But with thousands of flats already reported sold, the first residents, many of them retirees and parents with young families, are expected to move in as early as next year.

Xing Han Jiang, 62, a small businessman from Shanghai, has bought two. “I fell in love with the greenery, the beach and the weather,” said Mr Xing, owner of a boat building business. “In Malaysia there’s no winter — but China gets very cold in winter, which is no good for my body. The distance isn’t very far between Malaysia and China, and there’s no language barrier.”

Two-bed apartments in Forest City sell for Rm780,000 ($175,000), less than similar apartments in Hong Kong, Vancouver or Sydney, other prime destinations for Chinese property investors.

“I checked out properties in Australia, America and Japan,” Mr Xing said. “If I bought in America it would be very foreign to me in terms of language. In Malaysia there’s not much of a culture shock and the price is reasonable. ”

For Malaysians, the giant Forest City development is the most visible example of China’s expanding financial might.

About 220,000 people are expected to work in Forest City, one of several mainly private construction projects in the Iskandar Malaysia zone, a special economic zone offering tax and regulatory incentives for investors.

The scale and ambition of the project has caused some alarm.

Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad warned that the housing, commercial and industrial development, which will eventually occupy 20 square kilometres of reclaimed land, amounted to a “foreign enclave”. The Sultan of Johor, in whose state the project lies and an investor in Forest City, accused the former prime minister of “playing the politics of fear and race”.


© Bloomberg

37m37 minutes ago

Johor’s Forest City seeks to diversify ownership amid Chinese dominance: Report

February 11, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR — The developer of Forest City, an upcoming posh residential and commercial enclave in Johor Baru, is actively courting more buyers from other parts of Asia following complaints that virtually all of its buyers are wealthy Chinese nationals.

Developer Country Garden’s chief strategist Runze Yu said the people behind the project are seeking to woo other home buyers from South-east Asia, India and the Middle East to balance out the Chinese ownership, which is currently at 70 per cent, The Financial Times reported on Friday (Feb 10).

“There is a conventional image about the Chinese and China companies: Money-driven, hardworking and cheap — not good quality,” Mr Runze was quoted saying.

But he was also reported to have highlighted that local participation in the project is high with employees standing at 70 per cent, in a bid to provide quality housing to the 700,000 people who are expected to live there once the project is complete in 20 years.

Here’s the water sports area – still developing. But the swimming pools you can use for free.


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1 Response to Mahathir: No Permanent Residency for the 700,000 Chinamen and Chinawomen in Forest City, Johor…

  1. Pingback: The China Chinese are coming to Malaysia. In their thousands! | weehingthong

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