The policy of ownership of flats (sarusun) or apartments for foreign citizens, as stipulated in article 144 of the Job Creation Law is seen as controversial.
The Consortium for Agrarian Reform (KPA) has said that the opening of foreign ownership of apartments or flats is contrary to agrarian reform.
However, this statement was denied by the special staff and spokesperson for the Ministry of ATR/BPN, Taufiqulhadi. According to him, the rules of ownership of apartments by foreigners has nothing to do with agrarian reform issues.
“This opinion has no correlation at all. Apartments for foreigners are one thing, agrarian reform is another matter,” said Taufiq.
Furthermore, he explained that the provisions on apartment ownership for foreigners in the Job Creation Law are deliberately presented to welcome foreign investors to Indonesia and allow them to own a home.
“It’s estimated that many foreigners will come to Indonesia in line with the presence of their investment,” he said.
For example, if an Australian made an investment on a large scale, they may want to buy land and houses at the same time. However, Indonesia is not that liberal, even though there are regulations that provide opportunities for foreigners to own property, but only as leasehold.
“Even though we provide the opportunity to own property in Indonesia, it is only a house in the sense of space rights. Foreigners cannot buy flat as well as land,” added Taufiq.
Apart from that, there are other requirements which are contained in the government regulation (PP) which is currently being drafted. According to Taufiq, the first condition is that foreigners can only buy apartments that are built on land use rights (HGB).
“It is regulated in the PP that apartments for middle and low-income people cannot be bought by foreigners,” added Taufiq.
Another requirement is that foreigners can only buy apartments in a certain price range, which will be stipulated in a Ministerial Regulation (Permen) later.
Previously, the Secretary-General of the Agrarian Reform Consortium (KPA), Dewi Kartika, criticised the policy of apartment ownership. He said that the policy was against the agrarian reform that was being intensively carried out by President Joko Widodo, one of the programmes was the distribution of land certificates.
“The house ownership rules for foreigners are of course unfortunate because, in the midst of the Jokowi government, they are aggressively making agrarian reform efforts,” said Dewi.
He continued to argue that the expansion of apartment ownership rights for foreigners would make it more difficult for poor people to access. “Many poor people do not have access to and rights to land. But amidst the agrarian reform agenda, the Job Creation Law appears with a business orientation for foreigners and foreign business entities,” said Dewi.
Of course, he continued, this policy has an impact on the inequality of land tenure structures in Indonesia because that will benefit foreigners and foreign business entities.
For information, Article 144 paragraph 1 of the Job Creation Law states that ownership rights to apartment units can be given to:
1. Indonesian citizens
2. Indonesian legal entities or citizens of foreign countries who have permits in accordance with the provisions of national legislation
3. Foreign legal entities that have representatives in Indonesia
4. representatives of foreign countries and international institutions that are located or have representatives in Indonesia.
Paragraph 2 of the same article states that ownership rights over apartment units can be transferred and guaranteed.