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Entry requirement changes for MM2H makes state version more attractive Abdul Karim

0 month ago, 24-Aug-2021

Abdul Karim. Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (Aug 24): The latest changes to the entry requirements for the federal Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme has made the state counterpart more attractive, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He said thhat the state’s version of the programme, known as S-MM2H, will not be affected by MM2H’s new requirements and regulations which will take effect in October.

“Our federal counterpart has recently amended the guidelines and requirements for applicants as well as for those who want to renew their visa. I believe this will be to our advantage for our own programme,” he said during a press conference held at his office at Baitulmakmur II, Petra Jaya today.

On Aug 11, the federal government announced that MM2H will resume online with stricter criteria, such as an increase of compulsory fixed deposits in local banks to RM1 million; offshore monthly income of RM40,000; and a declaration of RM1.5 million in liquid assets.

There is also a requirement of a minimum stay period of 90 cumulative days per year as well as five years pass plus five years on renewal basis.

“If it wer not due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I believe there will be an avalanche of applications for our programme,” said Abdul Karim.

He said that the S-MM2H panel will independently deliberate and decide on each application and he would chair a meeting for the programme every month.

Agencies involved in the panel will include the Sarawak Immigration Department, Chief Minister’s Department, Sarawak State Attorney-General’s Office, Royal Malaysia Police, state Health Department and federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry among others.

“Since 2007 to 2020, we received a total of 1,306 participants to this programme. My ministry has enhanced new regulations and requirements for S-MM2H which came into effect on Sept 1, 2020,” Abdul Karim said.

He added that applicants from the United Kingdom constituted about 18.1 per cent of applications, followed by China (17 percent), Taiwan (12.3 percent), Indonesia (7.1 percent) and Singapore (7 percent).

Many of the applicants for the past two and three years were from China, he said.

In 2019, Abdul Karim said there had been 14 applications from Australia, Bangladesh (14), United Kingdom (25), China (45), Indonesia (17), Japan (12), Korea (29) and Taiwan (13).

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the applications had markedly reduced last year and there were only eight applications from Australia, China (seven), Ireland (six) and Singapore (10).

My ministry has been studying on why the applications for the state programme had been quite low compared with Peninsula Malaysia. Among the factors we identified was the bureaucracy which led to interested applicants not willing to come.

He also pointed out the state had never stop offering the S-MM2H programme when the federal programme was temporarily suspended in June last year to allow a more comprehensive review and re-evaluation of the programme.

Nonetheless, Abdul Karim explained the criteria for S-MM2H programme included placement of fixed deposits in local banks from RM150,000 for individuals to RM300,000 for couples.

The requirement to invest in real properties specifically for residential purpose with total amount of at least RM600,000 applies only to applicants who are between 40-50 years of age.

Abdul Karim said applicants who were above 30 years of age could also be considered if they are accompanying their children to study in Sarawak or seeking long-term medical treatment.

A minimum stay period of 15 days cumulative per year is required. A 10 years pass will be issued to successful applicants, said Abdul Karim.

As part of Sarawaks Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS), the state minister said they will continue to actively diversify tourism in Sarawak beyond leisure tourism by looking at the potential of S-MM2H in bringing quality visitors to the state.

The promotion of high yield quality tourism programme like S-MM2H by my ministry would certainly benefit the tourism sector in Sarawak. We welcome expatriates and foreigners to apply S-MM2H Programme.

Once the Covid-19 pandemic subsides and the situation stabilises, I believe there will a sharp rise in applications. especially with restrictions on the federal programme. It might lead to a drove of participants coming to Sarawak for the programme, said Abdul Karim.

All detailed guidelines and application forms are available on the states ministry website at mtac.sarawak.gov.my/.

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