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Whether you fear it or admire it, Forest City at Iskandar Malaysia is a mega-development that will transform the property market and place Malaysia on the world map as a destination for tourism, economic opportunities, education, and healthcare.

Though you have to see Forest City for yourself in order to see why international investors are pouring their money into the development, here are 5 things to know about the city in the sea and why it’s set for greatness before taking that trip down south:

1. Government-supported incentives

Did you know that Forest City has been granted duty-free status? Much like Langkawi, Labuan and Tioman, Forest City will be a prominent attraction to tourists and locals alike, which will spur economic activity in the development and ultimately, the country. Who wouldn’t want GST-free and tax-free shopping? Chinese online luxury shopping platform, Secoo, has also established its first brick and mortar flagship store at the Harbour Commercial Streets. More retail outlets are expected to follow suit, making Forest City a shopping destination in its own right.

At Forest City, corporate tax incentives are also offered to Iskandar Development Region (IDR) status companies in the sectors of tourism and MICE (meeting, incentives, conference and exhibition), education and healthcare, which will encourage them to establish their operations there. This includes a reduction in corporate taxes, as well as the waiving of requisites for equity ownership. No doubt, the population of Forest City will flourish with the emergence of employment opportunities.

In addition, tax incentive for green developers and green development managers will also be introduced, all part of the government’s efforts to encourage sustainable development and eco-friendly cities.

2. Education and healthcare

In the pursuit of creating a highly liveable community, education and healthcare are some of the most essential components not overlooked at Forest City. The developer, Country Garden Holdings has signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a range of global education providers, including Shattuck-St. Mary’s School to set up institutions of learning, as well as University of the Incarnate Word (UIW), to offer world-class healthcare.

The presences of opportunities for education as well as the convenience of health care will undoubtedly draw families and expatriates alike, where tropical seaside living and the convenience of education and healthcare are all in one place.

3. Medical tourism

International Living magazine has named Malaysia as the top country for medical tourism, as well as offering “the best healthcare in the world” in its Annual Global Retirement Index 2017, with statistics showing that the country has received more than 1 million medical tourists in 2016 itself.

Penang and Kuala Lumpur are the most popular destinations for medical tourists, but with Forest City’s strive to provide top of the range healthcare, Forest City at Iskandar Malaysia may prove to become the next spot for medical tourists.

The developer has also sealed an MoU with MJ Group, one of Asia’s leading healthcare institute, while future plans to spur medical tourism in Forest City encompass nursing apartments, a health conditioning centre, nutrition and diet therapy, among others. These efforts along with Malaysia’s medical costs which are about 50% to 75% less than those in Singapore and the United States, will ensure that Forest City is a feasible and sustainable form of investment.

4. Transportation infrastructure and the movement of people

Forest City has an extensive plan for transportation within the development, aiming to be a car-free city where 80% of the development is within a 10-minute walking range of public transportation. The multi-layer approach will seamlessly integrate pedestrian walkways and public spaces with transit centres, all through a 4 million square meter rooftop that will also enable people to move from parcel to parcel, all in a car-free surrounding.

The forms of transportation which will be available within Forest City include light-rail and busses, where the light-rail will link to Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), as well as the Malaysia-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) in the future, and even a ferry network!

5.) New CIQs and bridge for easier travel to and from Singapore

Country Garden Holdings Ltd, estimates that 400,000 people travel through the Malaysia Singapore Second Link on a daily basis, and has made efforts with the state authority to set up additional Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities. Forest City has been given the green light to establish 2 new CIQs, one by land, and the other by sea. This will enable more convenient and quicker travel between Forest City and the Lion City, while a direct bridge to the Tuas immigration checkpoint of the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link will contribute to initiatives for better accessibility.


Despite the hesitations of Malaysian buyers in Forest City, the development is without question a city designed for the future and to spur the economy of the country. Though most units at Forest City have been sold to international buyers, it shouldn’t stop you or any other Malaysian from buying a home there and settling down, where education, healthcare, leisure, and transportation make it a liveable city, while also being an investment for the future.

Want to find out more? Don’t just read about it, join the PropSocial tour to Forest City by signing up here and see the site for this marvel of a city yourself!


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Z  9b59b6 small

Why do I feel like u wrote this so hard-selling the project. How much commission or you're being paid to do this? lol

Own dp small

Propsocial is just there to share what's offered there. No harm pushing a project with great benefits to the crowd around that area though

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If really all the pros which is mentioned in this article really materialize within 5 years from now... I will give the benefit of doubt, saying it is a success story.

James bond craig junio2006 small

Well, there's always both sides of any story :)  I guess they are just trying to share what's good about this project, nothing offensive. However, as a buyer you still need to conduct your own due diligence and weigh to see if this investment suits your appetite or not. 

This aside, I always believe that a project in a non-developed area, does not mean it will be the same forever and stagnant. Last time about 20 years ago everyone also said Bandar Sunway, Kota Damansara and Puchong will be a flop. But look at them now! Must have patience and holding power :)

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Heard that the chinese developers will focus on other markets in the region to invest in their Forest City and Danga Bay projects... as the saying goes, don't put all your eggs(hopes) in one basket...

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from what i know, not sure whether it is true or not, there are some major investor from foreign country was stuck in this project as they could no longer allowed to transfer the fund out from their banking account to serve the interest or pay the down payment causing some hiccups there?

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Ouch! What a hefty penalty clauses of 30% for pulling out of the deal... is that even legal to include such a clause to "protect" the developer instead of the investor?

What would you do if you stuck in such sticky situation?

Z  9b59b6 small

I won't get stuck in such situation ever because I always stick to the rule of refraining from deals that often easily sound too good to be true. Whenever you come across such deals, always scrutinize the very details no matter what. Although certain clauses may not apply to local citizens but when other non-citizens get caught up in such situations, it may affect the entire project overall and yourself if you have invested in it as well.

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It had RM11.54 billion (S$3.6 billion) in sales last year and sold 15,000 units, with Chinese nationals accounting for 70 per cent of the buyers. - The Straits Times

It's going to be a disaster so please don't simply promote this project.

James bond craig junio2006 small

I don't think this affect us, this applies to only China buyers. Their government banned them from investing out of the country, therefore it affected Forest City's sales. Doesn't really affect us.

@zurichm, you said "the deal seems too good to be true". The property prices start from RM600k for 700++sf unit. Not that cheap for that kind of location, but I guess it's because of the amenities, facilities and entire township management that makes it luxury. So, not that good of a deal till the extend that it's unbelievable. 

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The most important facilities of them all. The planned Immigration complex which directly link Forest City to the 2nd link bridge towards Singapore. It will definitely entice Singaporean to buy. 

James bond craig junio2006 small

Yup, they definitely will have to focus more on Singaporean and Malaysian investors instead. 

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For your information, the local municipal council proudly declares that they will earn quite a handsome sum of money in Quit Rent and Local Taxes from these man made islands.

Own dp small

There goes another place for investor to throw their money and making that place not affordable by bringing up the value. =(

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I wonder how much is the psf going price now @ Forest City?

Own dp small

@domng NO Idea Dom, I would love to know too if there's anyone willing to share what's the status and price psf there running now?

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I wonder if the psf pricing @ Forest City rivals the Suasana Iskandar development... Which is from RM1000+ psf...

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Is higher at $1.2-1.4k psf.

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Forest City really selling at an ALL-IN FUTURE price...

Z  9b59b6 small

  Forest City, the US$100bn city rising from the sea next to Singapore has hit a roadblock: China’s capital controls. The crackdown on outflows of money from China has spooked some buyers. While Chinese citizens are allowed an annual foreign exchange quota of US$50,000, the government said in Dec that all buyers of foreign exchange must sign a pledge that they won’t use their quotas for offshore property investment. Violators would be added to a watch list, denied access to foreign currency for three years and be subject to a money-laundering investigation. (Bloomberg)  

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Wow, so the annual foreign exchange quota of US$50,000 is for business trading and holiday purpose only?

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RM1 billion just for an international school in Forest City? Imagine what you can do with that much money!

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@admin_ps good sharing