JOHOR BAHRU, Dec 5 2016 : The allegation by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that more than 700,000 Chinese nationals will be brought into Forest City does not make sense, said Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri
Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
He said it was made only as a provocation to scare Johoreans and as a tactic to see Johor fail to achieve its aspirations.
Mohamed Khaled said the Forest City project would take about 30 years and among the attractions of investment to Johor were the low cost of doing business and living compared to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
“After 30 years, maybe there will be 700,000 foreigners in Johor but it is unlikely all of them will be Chinese nationals,” he told reporters after closing the 2016 Goodwill Games of Air Biru Rukun Tetangga here yesterday.
Dr Mahathir had claimed that the Chinese citizens would be given identity cards to enable them to vote in the coming general election.
Mohamed Khaled said he was confident that Johor residents would be able to think logically and he reminded them not to be easily swayed by illogical propaganda.
According to him, Dr Mahathir did not understand the Johor way and did not want to see Johor progress.
“We in Johor do not want to be the backyard of Singapore, we want to develop on our own efforts, our capability, strength and on the position of Johor itself,” stressed the menteri besar.
Mohamed Khaled said Forest City encompassed the development of facilities for business, tourism, hotel, residence, services and others.
The 1,386-hectare Forest City will be built on four man-made islands in Iskandar Malaysia.
“Marketing for residential properties in Forest City is not concentrated in China but also in Australia, Middle East and other countries and it is only offering 10,000 units,” he said.
He said the purchase of properties by Chinese nationals was approved based on the investment policy apart from being a getaway during winter.
“When Pak Lah (Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) was prime minister, Pak Lah created development according to the regions…it was without doubt an idea of Pak Lah and it can not be denied there was no such idea during the time of Tun Dr Mahathir,” said Mohamed Khaled. – Bernama