I was very happy when MM2H was reactivated with an enhanced set of requirements. I will be writing about it soon. Let’s just say that to me, MM2H is not just about getting people to come to Malaysia but it’s also a very good branding as well. The more people talk about us positively, the more we will be on top of their mind as a place to visit. Period. More about this soon. Let’s now look at views from the Malaysia Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA).
Reactivation of MM2H
In the first instance, we applaud the Ministry of Home Affairs to have reactivated the MM2H programme which indirectly will help our nation in the economic recovery plan.
Being a real estate association that represents the fraternity at large, we are always concerned as to how real estate laws, policies and programs can play a role in helping to strengthen the real estate market at which ever point the market is at.
We wish to establish that there are currently 57,748 MM2H holders having contributed RM11.98 billion to the economy. While the move to reactivate the MM2H is a good move, we are of the opinion that certain new requirements needs to be revisited in order to stay on course of the purpose it was intended for.
Our observations and recommendations are as follows;
1. The quota of not more than 1% of the Malaysian population is acceptable to keep control of the limit of MM2H recipients.
2. The imposition of an increased processing fee and levy is acceptable to gain greater revenue for the country.
3. Increase in the minimum income of RM40k per month from current RM10k per month is too drastic a move. Perhaps different classes of applications can be tailored in order to cater to the various types of foreign applicants.
4. Having liquid assets of RM1.5 million from current RM350,000 (over 50yrs) & RM500,000 (under 50yrs) is a dramatic change and should be applicable based on the different class of application.
5. The tenure of the visa shall remain at 10 years to provide stability.
6. Placing fixed deposits of RM1m in a Malaysian bank from current RM150k (over 50yrs) & RM300k (under 50yrs) is a six-fold and three-fold increase which is a dramatic rise. This again should be based on the different class of application. This sudden move will discourage foreigners to participate in the programme and it will not be a stimulus for the agents to secure them.
7. Applying this new rule to existing MM2H recipients will be dampening and not practical. Policies needs to be consistent in order to promote confidence. We propose that all existing MM2H pass holders should not be affected by this new ruling. It is more so to show our credibility in the laws we introduce and uphold it as there exists trust and goodwill from those who participated in the programme. It is important to state that we are involving people’s lives.
8. In the light of the pandemic and in order to allow sufficient time for preparation,we proposed to defer the new criteria to Dec 2022.
9. The real estate market is reeling due to COVID-19 and the lockdown. We should have plans for the recovery of the real estate sector and we see that MM2H will play an important part if we play the cards well.
10.Malaysia is not the only country which has similar programs, making it harder will drive the new applicants away and secondly to retrospectively apply these rules to existing pass holders will give a negative impact on our MM2Hprograms.