PETALING JAYA: The Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) policy, incentives and benefits have to be improved to ensure they do not burden applicants, said Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.
In a statement, the Johor ruler stressed that such improvements would be crucial in positioning Malaysia among the top choices for potential long-term foreign residents.
Earlier today, Sultan Ibrahim granted an audience to tourism, arts and culture minister Tiong King Sing, Johor tourism, environment, heritage and culture committee chairman K Raven Kumar and a member of the Yayasan Sultanah Fatimah board of directors, Tan Seng Leong.
After the audience, Tiong told the Johor royal press office that the Johor ruler shared various perspectives and ideas on improving the MM2H programme.
“His Majesty provided many excellent ideas and I believe they can be implemented to enhance our tourism sector,” said Tiong.
“I will discuss His Majesty’s insights and advice to improve the MM2H programme with the home ministry and industry players.”
He added that the outcome of these discussions would be presented to the Cabinet next month.
In April, FMT reported that the MM2H programme saw a 90% drop in the number of applicants because of the tougher conditions imposed.
New conditions were introduced in 2021 to the MM2H programme, which is aimed at attracting long-term foreign residents, after a freeze during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new conditions raised the qualification level by more than three times.
Applicants are now required to have permanent savings of at least RM1 million and liquid assets of at least RM1.5 million. They must now also prove they have an offshore income of at least RM40,000 a month, up from RM10,000.
Sultan Ibrahim had previously warned that the new conditions would scare off investors and affect the country’s revenue.
Home minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail had defended the stricter MM2H requirements last month by saying the programme had netted “close to RM1 billion” over the past year after attracting some 800 “quality” applicants.
He told the Dewan Rakyat that there were security lapses in the old MM2H regime, adding that the home ministry tightened the regulations as “some (applicants) were actually spies”.