Category: Tourism News
Foreigners buying up Penang’s heritage properties
Gerakan tells the state government to impose controls to protect the right of the locals.
GEORGE TOWN: Gerakan has urged the Penang government to stop foreigners and non-Penangite Malaysians from buying heritage properties in the state.
Penang Gerakan Secretary Oh Tong Keong suggested this as a first step towards a general control to protect the right of Penang-born Malaysians to own properties in the state.
“Such control will also control the surging property prices in Penang,” he told FMT today.
He claimed that outsiders had been buying up “rows of heritage structures” in the Unesco-recognised inner city heritage zone, covering Lebuh Muntri, Love Lane, Lebuh Chulia and the surrounding vicinities.
He warned that ownership of heritage properties by outsiders would compromise the state’s international heritage status.
“The state government should enforce policies to allow only locals to buy up heritage properties,” he said “Or else the state government should buy and develop such properties.”
He suggested that the state government limit outsiders to ownership of one property each. The limit should cover corporate purchases, he added.
Oh complained that property prices in Penang had gone up to “extraordinary levels” and blamed this on the state’s liberal policy on foreign ownership.
He said it was the state government’s duty to protect the right of Penangites to have affordable and comfortable homes in the state of their birth.
He alleged that state policies on property ownership favoured outsiders above locals and many locals had been forced to leave Penang for other states as outsiders swarmed in.
“Fear has grown among Penangites that outsiders would soon own most of the properties on the island,” he added.
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