Much of the land in Langkawi has been designated as Malay Reserve Land by the Malay Reservations Enactments. Essentially, the authorities are seeking to maintain a situation whereby particular areas and land parcels remain in the hands of Malays. However, some experts believe that there are ways around this particular stipulation.
It appears that with the help of legal experts, land designated as Malay Reserve Land can have its title changed and can then be bought by a foreigner and used for building a villa, or indeed permits the purchase of land with a villa in place. One means through which this has happened in the past was when Malay Reserve land parcels on Langkawi parcels for other similar-sized parcels elsewhere in the country.
The Malay Reservations Enactments can thus be circumvented and a secure freehold legal title established, and the process has been successfully used on a number of occasions. Also, parcels of land may be re-designated by the local authorities and then made available for purchase by non-Malays.
However, extreme care should be taken when attempting to buy into Malay Reserve Land as buyers who do not seek out and use the best legal advice available could find themselves paying out for a land parcel they have no legal right to.
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