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Gov’t Opposed To Foreigners-Only Townships, Says Lim

In clearing the air on the government’s stance on foreign property buyers, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said Malaysia welcomes foreign property investors, but is opposed to the development of townships exclusively for foreigners, reported The Edge.

“Foreign buyer buy the property is not a problem, we welcome that because they are bringing money in Malaysia,” said Lim at his keynote speech in REHDA Institute CEO Series 2018.

“However, building a township exclusively for foreign citizens, where they do not even buy property in our country but they are given away as free units when they buy properties in a foreign country, how does that benefit Malaysia?”

He explained that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is not against foreigners purchasing property in the country, but to townships built exclusively for foreigners.

Meanwhile, Lim noted that it is challenging to raise homeownership as banks are very strict in approving mortgage applications due the country’s high household debt.

A recent report by the Finance Ministry showed that household debt in Malaysia stands at 89 percent of gross domestic product as at August 2018– making it the highest in Asia.

Residential housing loans accounted for half of the household debt.

“We have spoken to Bank Negara, they are reassessing their lending guideline. We understand their concerns on the rising household debt [but] we believe that not all debts are bad,” he said.

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