GEORGE TOWN: Foreigners who are still interested to participate in the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme are welcome to apply once it is reactivated.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) said foreigners who wished to apply for the programme needed to abide by current requirements and were advised to pursue other visas offered by the Immigration Department following an earlier announcement that it had temporarily suspended the MM2H programme to conduct a comprehensive review of the programme, which began in 2002.
“The suspension is in line with the government’s decision to not allow foreigners to enter Malaysia following the outbreak of Covid-19.
“The programme will be reviewed based on the criteria, conditions, incentives as well as a comparative study to the equivalent of MM2H programme such as Citizenship by Investment (CBI) or Residence by Investment (RBI).
“During the suspension, Motac is unable to process any new applications, including applications that have already been submitted.
“This is because the processing of MM2H applications involves various ministries and agencies whose roles are also affected by the suspension.
“But Motac is confident that all stakeholders will benefit from the outcome of the study, which will be synergised with the existing needs of the MM2H programme.
“Motac also hopes that all related parties can support the government’s intention to improve the MM2H programme so that the revised MM2H programme will be comparable with other similar programmes internationally, ” the statement read.
Early last month, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said there would be no new applications for the MM2H programme until next year, with the review, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year, intended to improve the processes associated with the programme.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Association of Hotels Penang chairman Khoo Boo Lim does not expect the suspension of MM2H to have any significant impact on local hoteliers or tourism.
“Normally, the MM2H community would have already invested in their own properties, so they do not really utilise accommodation facilities here.
“For those who are interested in the MM2H programme, some would put up in hotels first before they go property hunting and they do spend a fair bit dining in hotels.
“But as they do not make up a significant percentage, it would not affect the numbers for hotels.
“I personally do not believe it will have any major impact on hotels and tourism, ” he said yesterday.