Escape from China’s ‘Ghost City’: A Malaysian Tenant’s Regretful Move

A year ago, 30-year-old IT engineer Nazmi Hanafiah made the leap to Forest City, a massive Chinese-built housing project in southern Malaysia. Excitement turned to disappointment as he found himself living in what he calls a “ghost town.” Forest City, a $100 billion mega-project under China’s Belt and Road Initiative, was meant to be an eco-friendly metropolis, but its isolated location earned it the nickname “Ghost City.” Only 15% of the project is complete, and just over 1% is occupied, showcasing the impact of China’s property crisis beyond its borders.

The project, launched in 2016, promised a dream paradise but targeted primarily Chinese buyers. Forest City’s duty-free status attracted some locals, but the deserted beaches, closed shops, and eerie atmosphere drove tenants away.

With China’s property market turmoil, major developers like Country Garden face challenges, leaving projects like Forest City unfinished. The Malaysian government’s visa restrictions for Chinese buyers and political uncertainties added to the project’s woes.

As China grapples with a property market in disarray, ambitious overseas ventures like Forest City struggle to attract residents.

This tale of ambition versus reality reflects the broader challenges in China’s property crisis. While Country Garden insists on the project’s stability, the completion of Forest City hinges on Chinese government support.

Recent reports suggest financial aid for developers, indicating the intertwined fate of projects like Forest City and the Chinese government’s influence on their future.

For tenants like Nazmi, leaving Forest City was a choice to reclaim life amid the uncertainties of China’s property market. (Credit: Source – BBC)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *