PETALING JAYA: The founder of a group catering to the expatriate community in the country said the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) centre in the tourism ministry has been closed “until further notice”, amid talk that 90% of applications for the programme have been rejected.
MM2H is a programme that allows foreigners to stay in Malaysia for a period of 10 years.
Last year, it was reported that the programme brought in RM40.6 billion in total revenue from the time it was introduced in 2002 until 2018.
Andrew Davison, the CEO of The Expat Group (TEG), said the closure appeared to stem from a “major disagreement between the immigration and tourism ministries about the programme itself”.
TEG is also an approved agent for the MM2H programme.
Currently, Davison said, no one was allowed to submit any application relating to MM2H visas.
“As regards MM2H visa holders stuck overseas, the MM2H centre has advised me that they will try and approve all the active cases by today,” he said in an email.
Davison said he assumed that approval would now be needed from the Immigration Department director-general.
He went on to say that this put the future of the programme in doubt, claiming that “some people in government” were opposed to it.
Davison said that up until recently, applications for renewal, transfer and new applications were processed by staff in the tourism ministry and later passed to the Immigration Department for stamps to be placed on their passports.
“Now, it is not clear what will happen as there is no place to submit the applications.”
He also said the Immigration Department might want to take over the programme which, in his opinion, would be a bad move.
Davison said a staggering 90% of applications had been rejected, adding that this was unprecedented.
“My agency had two rejections which we are confident would have been approved in the past,” he said.
Davison’s email comes less than a week after FMT reported that a MM2H dependent was turned away at the Johor Causeway by immigration officers as he had not undergone a test for Covid-19.
This was despite Muhammad Shafqat Ali possessing written confirmation from the MM2H centre that he would be allowed to enter Malaysia to join his family.
The MM2H Association, meanwhile, will hold a press conference tomorrow on the rejection of applications. Davison will also attend.
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