Malaysian Megacity Project Slows Down amid Pandemic

Malaysian Megacity Project Slows Down amid Pandemic 

China-funded $100 billion megacity that is being built in Malaysia off the coast of Singapore has been hit with a major delay in development due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Malaysian megacity, which is a four-island integrated city in the state of Johor, is struggling to market property products to core investors in China and Singapore.

Following the economic slowdown due to the pandemic, Malaysian megacity’s development has almost come to a halt. Thus, it has become difficult to attract buyers.

“Before coronavirus, the sales showroom is always crowded and sales were very positive, even some phases were sold out,” a member of the Forest City sales team said. “But since March, sales have dropped over 90% with typically no visitors.”

Prior the coronavirus outbreak, many foreign buyers expressed interest to invest in the Forest City, however, the dramatic economic downturn has turned buyers cautious. Forest City, which is being built at the southern tip of Johor, consists of four man-made islands totalling 1,740 hectares – almost three times the size of Singapore’s historical Sentosa island.

Chinese property giant Country Garden owns two-third stake in the Malaysian megacity project, while a local Malaysian firm controlled by Sultan Ibrahim Ismail of Johor holds the rest of the stake.

“Located next to Singapore, Forest City will play a part in Singapore’s development, allowing residents to enjoy the conveniences of big-city Singapore along with the relatively cheaper cost of living in Malaysia,” states Country Garden on the Forest City sales website.

The Malaysian megacity’s development has been planned in eight phases, out of which just the first phase has been completed and second is going on. Upon the completion of the fourth island by 2035, about 700,000 residents are expected to reside in the Forest City.

The second island that covers an area of about 2,000 acres is being built as the development’s central business district and tourism zone, consisting a central park, sports park, hospital and ferry terminal.

The project developers hope to attract buyers from South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia also.

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