PETALING JAYA: A relocation agent has urged the government to cut income conditions by half for foreigners applying for long-term residence in the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme.
Gideon Yap hoped the programme would be made more affordable for potential applicants. The government should reduce the monthly income threshold from RM40,000 to RM20,000, he said.
Yap, who is the managing director of a relocation agency, said foreign retirees would be unable to meet the requirement of a RM40,000 monthly income, “even if they make money out of rented properties or share dividends”.
Yap said applications for the programme had dwindled to roughly 10 a year, amounting to a 90% reduction in sales, because of restrictions introduced in 2021. “It has affected us quite badly,” he said.
On Friday, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, in tabling the 2024 budget, said the government had agreed to relax the conditions for MM2H applications, which is expected to increase investment activities in the Malaysian financial market and the country’s real estate industry.
The MM2H programme, introduced in 2002, is aimed at attracting wealthy foreigners to live in Malaysia and contribute to the economy through their high purchasing power or niche skills.
In 2021, the government announced stricter conditions for the programme, such as increasing the monthly income threshold from RM10,000 to RM40,000.
Donal Crotty, chairman of the Irish Chamber of Commerce Malaysia, hoped that the government would revert to the programme’s original conditions.
He also suggested a more cohesive approach to the visa application process, whether for work or tourism. “Rather than having piecemeal changes to the individual elements of what are visa programmes, have a series of programmes and see how they fit together,” he told FMT.
Crotty said the government’s pledge to revisit the programme meant “the government is planning changes to make Malaysia attractive again for people”.