There are members of the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme who are currently stranded abroad due to the movement control order (MCO), says the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac).
“In view of the seriousness of the imported cases that could wreck the current protocol to control the pandemic, the decision taken is that the MM2H participants who have been stranded abroad will have to wait till the lockdown is lifted, ” she said when contacted.
The MM2H programme is under the purview of the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry.
The country is currently in its third phase of the MCO, which started on March 18 and is expected to end on April 28.
During this period, those on temporary work visas, student visas, employment passes and long-term social visit passes are allowed to leave Malaysia. However, they will not be allowed to return during the MCO.
Many expatriates have been reportedly stranded abroad and unable to return to their homes in Malaysia.
Nancy said this restriction is necessary to protect citizens as well as others, including the MM2H community.
"The MCO has resulted in positive outcome, leading to the move towards the flattening of the curve of Covid-19.
"However of late, the return of the Malaysians who were stranded abroad has a possibility of spreading the virus.
"New measures are being undertaken to deal with such imported cases which have yet to yield, ” she said.
The minister said a concerted effort from all communities is needed to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We therefore would then like to seek for your kind understanding on the decision taken by the Malaysian authorities.
"We will continue to revisit the matter as the pandemic subsides and would certainly be glad to have you return safely to Malaysia, ” Nancy said.
Since the inception of the MM2H programme in 2002, the government has given approvals to some 48,000 foreigners to reside in Malaysia.
Participants of the programme enjoy the privilege of the Social Visit Pass, notably a multiple entry of 10 years and renewable visa.
To date, the MM2H programme has gained popularity and has become one of the world most popular Residence By Investment Programme.
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Read the full story on StarLifestyle this Friday (April 24).