GEORGE TOWN, 8 July– The International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) Malaysia Chapter hoped the Federal government would reconsider resuming Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme and start accepting applications from expatriates again.
FIABCI Malaysia president Michael Geh today said the MM2H programme has played a crucial role in the country’s economy, including property and development, tourism and other businesses.
“I fully understand the Federal government’s concerns which would want to review the MM2H programme, especially due to the global pandemic (COVID-19), but suspending the programme for six months could lead to a detrimental impact on the country’s economy,” he told reporters here.
He said the six-month period could serve as an opportunity to recover the national economy, especially within the property and business market.
However, he also warned that it would be more difficult for Malaysia to recover its welcoming image overseas should the MM2H programme does not reopen soon.
“Our potential expatriates would think that we are giving them the “cold shoulder” treatment and begin to lose interest in moving to our country, especially due to the high rejection rate of MM2H applications (between September and November last year).
“We would also lose the competition between our neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Thailand because if Malaysia does not welcome them (expatriates), they will very likely move into either two of these countries instead,” he added.
The MM2H programme is a Federal government initiative to allow foreigners who fulfil certain criteria to stay in Malaysia on a 10-year renewable social visit pass with multiple-entry visa.
On July 2, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Nancy Shukri announced that the MM2H programme has been temporarily frozen until year-end for review and further improvement.