NUSAJAYA, June 10:
Johor is studying the need to create an international zone for foreigners to buy property in the state.
State Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Abd Latif Bandi today said the international zone would act to control the ownership of real estate by foreigners in Johor.
It would also have a quota for land ownership for Malays.
“If we want Johor to develop, we need to consider this international zone.
“That is why the state government, over the past one year, has been trying to develop this zone, without sidelining development for Malays,” Abd Latif said.
“We will select an area in this city to be turned into a Malay reserve land. We can’t leave the Malays out of the city,” he said when met byThe Rakyat Posthere.
According to Abd Latif, the issue of land ownership by foreigners was not as serious as what people think as the locals were still ahead in terms of owning property when compared to foreigners.
Foreigners know that the real estate development in Johor is doing well, but the majority of them were more interested in buying strata properties like apartments, especially studio units, he said.
Abd Latif explained that the public must look at the bigger picture as this related to investment.
“Economy in China is on the rise now. Therefore, they are looking to invest outside their country.
“We can’t turn them away if they want to buy properties here. But even so, we control it, as they can only purchase housing properties that cost more than RM1 million.”
In efforts to make Johor a developed state, the state government is considering turning Johor into a shopping hub, an area which so far has been monopolised by Singapore.
If Johor succeeds in becoming a shopping hub, the local economy will get a boost and foreign currency will flow into the country.
“We want to turn Johor into a shopping hub for foreigners to shop here instead of having to go to Singapore.
“But, at the same time, we do not want to sideline the low-income earners,” Abd Latif added.
“Even though we build malls, we also have the pasar tani (farmers’ markets) for the Malays to conduct their business and shop. We can make Johor a real estate to be proud of.”