The Sabah government must take firm action to come out with its own requirements on revised the Malaysia My Second home (MM2H) programme or risk losing millions of investments, according to Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (SHAREDA).
Its president Datuk Chua Soon Ping said the state government should emulate Sarawak on the MM2H which are setting their own requirements, aptly known as Sarawak-MM2H (S-MM2H), not following the federal revised criteria that is now seen driving foreign investors away from Malaysia.
Not only this, he said the new terms set by Putrajaya could lead to an exodus of expatriates and foreigners who have already been in Sabah for a long time.
“The new MM2H terms contradict the spirit of the MM2H program, which is to promote Malaysia and attract foreigners. The new terms appear to "penalize" the foreigners.
Sabah government must take a firm stand and not follow the new terms introduced by Putrajaya that are set to be implemented in October,” he said in a statement here today.
The measure taken by Putrajaya deemed unfair, include a minimum monthly income increase to RM40,000 (300% increase), a minimum fixed deposit increase to RM1 million (600% increase), a minimum liquidity requirement increase to RM1.5 million (400% increase), a yearly visa fee increase to RM500 (600% increase) and a duration of MM2H visa reduce to 5 years.
On August 24, Sarawak in response to the MM2H programme decided to come out with the Sarawak-MM2H (S-MM2H). The Borneo state has its own independent panel to deliberate and decide on the applications.
Some of the terms include a placement of fixed deposits in local banks from RM150,00 to RM300,000 for couples, property investment for residential purposes of at least RM600,000 for applicants between 40 and 50 years old and applicants above 30 years old are also considered if they are accompanying their children to study in Sarawak or seeking long-term medical treatment.
Chua said it would be a disappointment if Sabah does not take an active approach over the MM2H programme, saying many foreigners think Sabah as a highly liveable place with the clean air, nature and low cost of living.
“We have what it takes to attract quality foreign migrants,” said Chua, as he proposed Sabah to come out with their own version of MM2H named it as Sabah-MM2H (SB-MM2H).
He said the time is now for Sabah to woo more foreign investments to support the growth of our local economy.
Chua said a localised MM2H program can effectively help boost the tourism, property sales, business, cash inflow into the state and domestic spending.