Malaysia says foreigners not guaranteed automatic residency with property purchase

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 28): The Malaysian government today clarifies that Malaysia imposes certain conditions, irrespective of nationality, on the purchase of properties by foreigners, and that information regarding these conditions are publicly available.

"Purchase of properties however, does not guarantee automatic residency in the country," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement today.

"For foreigners wishing to make Malaysia their permanent residence, there is a government programme called Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H). Conditions are clearly spelt out for those interested and information on this programme is also publicly available," the PMO said.

The statement was issued following Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir's pronouncement on Monday that the US$100 billion (RM444 billion) Forest City development in Johor is not for foreign buyers, and that the government would not be giving visas for foreigners to go and live there.

Meanwhile, the PMO also said Malaysia has not imposed any restrictions on foreign tourists to the country, and that it welcomes all — including those from China — as long as they meet all necessary immigration requirements imposed by Malaysian authorities.

"In the case of China, tourists are given a single-entry 30-day visa to the country. In 2017, Malaysia attracted some 2.3 million Chinese tourists and is looking to attract up to 10 million in the coming years," it said.

It also reiterated that it welcomes foreign direct investment that contributes to the transfer of technology and the setting up of industries, and provides employment for locals.