ISKANDAR PUTERI, Aug 30 — Foreigners are welcomed to purchase residential property in Johor but that does not mean that they will be granted automatic residency, said Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian.
He said Johor welcomes all foreign home buyers, including buyers from China, as the state government does not discriminate between nationalities or those from other countries.
“However, these (foreign) buyers will still be subjected to our rules and regulations when buying residential property here as they are only allowed to purchase those priced above RM1 million,” said Osman at the ground-breaking ceremony of the RM162 million road interchange in Gerbang Nusajaya in Melia Residences today.
When asked about Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir’s remarks that foreigners were barred from buying residential property at the Forest City project, Osman said there was some confusion on the statement.
“We need to clarify that foreign home buyers will not automatically receive Malaysian residency status when buying property in Johor.
“We have already put in place a ceiling price of RM1 million for foreigners keen to purchase homes in Johor and the state government may increase the amount to RM2 million to protect local buyers,” he said.
The previous Barisan Nasional (BN) state government had introduced a threshold ceiling price for foreign residential property buyers in Johor.
Previously, the figure was capped at RM750,000 from RM500,000.
Singaporeans have traditionally made-up the majority of foreign home buyers in Johor, but recently, Chinese nationals have become the main buyers of residential properties developed by China-based companies such as Forest City, Country Gardens and also R&F Princess Cove.
Osman said a federal government committee will be set up to address the issue of foreign buyers.
He said that he would be part of the committee that will be chaired by Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.
On Monday, Dr Mahathir was reported to have said that Malaysia will not allow foreigners to buy residential units built at the US$100 billion (RM410 billion) Forest City project in Johor.
However, on Tuesday, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in a statement clarified that the purchase of properties did not guarantee automatic residency in Malaysia.
The statement said Malaysia imposed certain “conditions and information” for foreigners purchasing properties, irrespective of nationality.