Can a West Malaysian own land in Sarawak?
This is a common question in our conversation with West Malaysian friends, be them the government servants or just business associates.
If you read the Sarawak Land Code, it is complicated. So, I put it as easy to understand manner below.
- Non-Sarawakians are NOT allowed to own Agricultural Land in Sarawak.
- Non-Sarawakians who are permanent resident of Sarawak can own Agricultural Land in Sarawak
- With consent of the Minister (Sarawak Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources who is also the CM), a foreigner can still own land (under certain class and with conditions).
- Non-Sarawakian (who are Malaysians or foreigners) are allowed to own mixed zone land other than agricultural land in Sarawak. This includes residential and commercial land (Special Development) with special conditions.
- A native Sarawakian can own most types of land in Sarawak.
For example, you have a friend – a Penangite, who is interested to purchase a Condominium in Kuching which costs RM400,000, this is perfectly okie subject to State Authority Approval.
A common scenario would be this Penang friend of yours prefers landed house, as properties in Penang Island is way too expensive to buy. So, he also wants to purchase a single storey semi detached house with 60 years lease which could cost him RM450,000. This is also okie (again subject to SA approval). However, if he wants to purchase a plot of land (classification Agriculture) for oil palm plantation (RM8 mio), he has to be a Permanent Resident Status to acquire that land.
Tomorrow, I will write more on the Swk Land Code which is involved in this discussion.