Reports by MARTIN CARVALHO, HEMANANTHANI SIVANANDAM, RAHIMY RAHIM and TARRENCE TAN
SEVERAL lawmakers have called on the government to speed up the approval process under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, in light of 4,000 backlog applications.
Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) said approval for the MM2H should not rest solely with the Home Ministry.
“The problem is a lot of decisions are dependent on the ministry. This will lead to delays in the approval process,” he told the Dewan Rakyat.
Dr Wee suggested that MM2H be placed under the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry as it would be easier for the programme to be better promoted.
He noted that it was crucial as the MM2H programme was linked to investors, property development and the economy.
“If we leave it entirely to the Home Ministry, it will only make it hard for the Tourism Ministry to promote it,” he said.
Wong Hon Wai (Pakatan-Bukit Bendera) also urged the government to expedite the application process.
“The standard operating procedure for the application process is 90 days.
“But there are applications which have exceeded this period,” he said.
Wong said delays had affected MM2H applicants and agents.
On the backlog, Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik told lawmakers that the Home Minister had approved 286 applications since Sept 5 last year.
He said there were still 3,634 applications, that were made last year but were still being looked into.
“As for this year, there are 1,092 applications as of March 25,” he said, adding that the Cabinet had decided that MM2H applications would be supervised by both ministries, with the final approval coming from the Home Minister.
A shouting match also erupted in Parliament yesterday when opposition lawmakers questioned allocations that were promised to them under the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto so that all lawmakers could carry out their responsibilities in their respective constituencies.
“When YB Langkawi became the Prime Minister, he announced an allocation of RM100,000 for all opposition MPs.
“Who cancelled this? Not even one sen is given to us,” said Dr Wee.He said Pakatan MPs were given RM1.5mil and an additional RM300,000 for their service centres, but nothing was given to the opposition lawmakers.