Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak has said that the value of property would be enhanced if foreigners are allowed to purchase land in Malaysia.
“That does not give the foreigners sovereignty over the land they bought. They are still on Malaysian soil,” he said in his latest blog posting.
He was commenting on a blog posting by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad who said currently, FDI meant foreigners were bringing in money to buy land and develop towns and cities where their people would come and stay.
Dr Mahathir said that this would not benefit Malaysians as it would now be owned and occupied by foreigners, making it foreign land, warning that they would eventually demand for citizenship and take part in Malaysian politics including elections.
Salleh added that attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) came in many forms including manufacturing plants, trading companies, property investments, resorts and clubs.
“All attract FDIs. Mahathir somehow has the notion that FDI only means factories. Even golf courses set up by foreigners attract FDIs,” he said.
Salleh cited the example of United Kingdom, particularly London where a lot of property was owned by foreigners.
“But the UK still has sovereignty over all that property. Only in cases of foreign embassies does it differ,” he said.