Can foreigners own land / property in Malaysia?

RECENTLY, there has been an uproar on social media regarding a dispute involving the issue of land ownership between foreigners and local residents.

It follows the media report on Monday when a man believed to be a Pakistani national evicted residents in a village near Beaufort, Sabah.

The action was made on the grounds that he had already bought a piece of land in the village.

Through the 29 second video clip, the Pakistani national is seen stabbing some villagers while taking out a sheet of paper.

The paper is believed to be evidence that explains the ownership rights of the land.

Following the viral video, some questioned whether individuals with non citizen status had the right to buy real estate in their own name.

According to Malaysia’s leading loan comparison website,, the government is now encouraging foreigners to make Malaysia their second home, whether for long term, pension, or investment purposes.

It explained that foreign ownership of real estate is open with foreigners allowed to own up to 100 percent of the property in Malaysia as long as the minimum requirements are met.

Based on the law, foreigners can own any type of real estate except real estate worth less than RM1 million.

They also cannot own low and medium cost residential units designated by local authorities.

In addition, real estate located on Malay Reserve Land or real estate distributed to bumiputeras in any real estate development project as determined by the authorities is also not entitled to be owned by foreigners.

Therefore, foreigners can also own bungalows, terraced houses, condominiums, flats, houses with gardens, commercial properties, industrial properties, agricultural land (except Malay Reserve Land) and industrial land (except Malay Reserve Land).

In the meantime, the website also informed that, in general, all types of properties in each state are subject to a minimum value of RM1 million.

However, local authorities still have the right to amend the minimum values in each of their control states.

For information, the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Program introduced by the government aims to help foreigners to buy real estate at a lower price.

The program is an initiative implemented for foreigners who intend to reside in Malaysia for a long period (10 year visa).

A large number of foreigners who have worked in Malaysia have applied for this program for their retirement in Malaysia.

Before applying, foreigners under the age of 50 are required to have a minimum of RM500,000 in Savings Accounts/Current Accounts/Fixed Deposits while those over 50 must have at least RM350,000 in the same accounts.

Despite this relatively high requirement, one significant advantage is that MM2H gives foreigners real estate with a lower value,” he said.

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