indepth

MM2H: Time is running out

Citing an internal survey, Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Consultant Association president Anthony Liew said 90% of the existing MM2H visa holders would not renew their visas if the new terms were applied to them.

“I agree that we need a review on the terms and a move-up of some bars such as fixed deposits and incomes as the terms haven’t been reviewed since 2002, but the changes have to be reasonable, for example, the 90-day stay in Malaysia in a year.

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“MM2H is not a PR (permanent resident) visa. The initial objective was to provide flexibility and multiple-entry. It is okay to set the minimum days to stay but 90 days seem to be for another visa requirement,” Liew shared.

He also thought the RM1.5 million-liquid-asset was a tough requirement as many applicants would have to sell all their tangible investments to gather the RM1.5 million cash to fulfill the requirement.

Taking Hong Kong applicants as an example, the chairman of “Hongkongers in Malaysia” Facebook group Gary Crestejo said if the applicant had a 500 sq ft apartment in Hong Kong, he would fulfil the requirement immediately once the property was sold. However, selling a property is a long process. “Even if they were able to fulfill the requirement, they might not do so as they had lost confidence and it would be too much to sacrifice.”

International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) Malaysia president Datuk Seri Koe Peng Kang urged the government to quickly settle the issue to avoid greater damage to the country’s economy and image.

“The government should have talked to the stakeholders, and have all the details and guidelines ready before making the announcement. If there is no detail, better not make any announcement yet to create a crisis of confidence like now.

“We should quickly settle the internal issues and move the programme before the potential applicants turn to other countries. Thailand would be the biggest beneficiary if we were to implement the new terms next year,” Koe said.

He also hoped the government would be fair to the existing MM2H visa holders.

“I hope the government will consider fairness to the existing visa holders, who have been loyal and good ambassadors for the programme and the country. If the much stricter new rules applied to them, you would be turning them into very bitter people, which would hurt the country’s image forever,” Koe concluded.   

This story first appeared in the EdgeProp.my E-weekly on Sept 24, 2021. You can access back issues here.

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