News | New MM2H terms will cause great exodus, survey shows

KUALA LUMPUR: Many Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) pass holders may pull out from the programme and head elsewhere, especially Thailand, if the government insists on new conditions announced on Aug 11.

Malaysia My Second Home Consultants Association (MM2HCA) president Anthony Liew told a press conference today that surveys conducted with TEG media and the Japan Club of Kuala Lumpur (JCKL) found that most MM2H participants do not meet the new RM40,000 offshore income requirement.

In a TEG Media survey with 925 respondents (mostly from Western countries), only 21% of them reported being able to meet the minimum offshore income requirement, while 44% would be able to meet the minimum RM1 million fixed deposit requirement.

Only about 2.26% of respondents said they could meet both the new conditions.

Meanwhile, a survey with 799 Japanese retirees said that over 90% of them do not have the minimum RM40,000 in monthly offshore income required.

Another survey involving 686 MM2H pass holders found that 55% of existing participants plan to pull out from the programme if the new terms come into force, with 497 of them saying they would opt to move to Thailand.

Some have also reported that they would move to the Philippines (145 respondents) under the Philippine Special Resident Retirees Visa (SRRV) and Bali, Indonesia (119 respondents) under the Indonesia Retirement Visa (ITAS).

The government recently reactivated the MM2H programme with several new requirements that were supposedly put in place to attract high-quality participants who could contribute to the economy.

Among others, the participants must be in the country for at least 90 cumulative days in a year, and are also required to have an offshore income of at least RM40,000 a month, compared to RM10,000 previously.

They must also have a fixed deposit account with a minimum of RM1 million, with 50% maximum withdrawal allowed for the purpose of buying property or spending on health and children’s education.

Previously, participants only needed to have RM300,000 in fixed deposits while for those over 50, the amount was RM150,000.

Liew urged the government to exempt existing MM2H pass holders from the new conditions. He argued it would be unfair to subject them to new conditions as many have been living in Malaysia and contributing to the economy.

He also urged the immigration department to accept the 5,396 backlog applications made, but not processed, when the previous conditions were in place.

Based on current projections, these applicants may contribute up to RM6.39 billion to the national economy in the next five years.

This is inclusive of children’s education (RM121.4 million) and household expenditure (RM485.6 million).

Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh also hoped the home ministry would engage MM2HCA on the new criteria.

“We cannot allow this uncertainty to linger as many will have to make business decisions on whether they want to pack up and go or stay.” – FMT

by Ainaa Aiman

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