I travel to Malaysia’s most controversial development project.
The Forest City project spans across a handful of artificial plots of land that are growing out from the shore of Peninsular Malaysia towards Singapore. When finished, it will be a new city built for upwards of 700,000 people that is intended to become a financial and commercial epicenter to rival Singapore or any other in the world.
It is being built with $100 billion — yes, billion — of investment from China’s Country Garden group, who are acting in conjunction with the construction company that’s owned by the sultan of Johor.
Through the beginning stages of the project many of the properties — which very much fall on the luxury side of the line — where bought up by Chinese investors. However, with new capital outflow restrictions that Beijing imposed in 2017, this stream of sales has pretty much dried up. The developers have now switched gears and are trying to appeal to buyers in the Middle East. Is is currently unclear how well this is working.
Right now, nobody lives in this development. However, this is mostly it is not yet open for residents to move into. Our questions revolve around what’s going to happen five, ten, twenty years down the line. Will anyone actually live here?
We’re going to have to wait to find out.
This is a video that I made detailing my visit to this new city project. It has been extremely controversial, striking chords on both sides of the debate in Malaysia.