Hi Chur Associates,is it possible for a non-bumi to buy a subsale bumi-lot property? Is there any legal way to convert it? If yes what are the complications? Thanks for always giving great advice.
First and foremost, we need to determine what do you mean by “Bumi-lot” property because property could actually mean land, land with building as well as a strata unit. If it is a Malay-reserved land or a Native Title land or any building including strata built on it, you cannot purchase unless you are a Bumiputra or a native.

If the said “Bumi-lot” means the specific units in a development set aside for preferential Bumiputra purchaser as a requirement of a Development Order issued by the local authority, the general understanding is that such requirement only effect the first purchaser from the developer and not the sub-sale situation.

Notwithstanding the general understanding, there are land officers that make a specific endorsement of “Bumi-lot” when issuing the separate/strata title. In these cases, the land officers will not process any effective transfer unless the buyer is a Bumiputra. There is no law that allows a proper conversion in this regard because land matters under the Federal Constitution are within the absolute discretion of the respective state.

We would advise any buyer to avoid this “Bumi-lot” property especially those with specific endorsement on the title.