PETALING JAYA: The stricter Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) requirements may not necessarily attract "better quality" participants but could instead result in the country losing competitiveness, says MCA.
MCA spokesman Mike Chong said that the new requirements could result in people opting for other countries such as Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia and Canada.
"The new requirements have left us with no advantage over Thailand, Canada and New Zealand," he said in a press conference on Friday (Oct 1).
Chong said they agreed that there was a need to review the MM2H requirements, but said this could result in current participants leaving the country as well.
"Reopening the tourism sector, stimulating domestic spending and reviving the country's economy are immediate steps that the government needs to take in the face of the pandemic, but the new conditions seem to contradict the goals of the measures," said Chong.
The MM2H programme started in 2002 and currently there are 57,478 holders of MM2H passes, including dependents.
According to reports, MM2H participants have invested RM12bil in the country.
It was announced on Aug 11 that MM2H would be reactivated with nine new conditions after the programme was suspended in August 2020 due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The revised terms and requirements of MM2H, which takes effect in October, includes an increase in the minimum monthly income (derived from offshore sources) to RM40,000, a minimum fixed deposit of RM1mil, a minimum liquidity requirement of RM1.5mil, a yearly visa fee of RM500 and a reduction of the visa duration to five years.
Previously, participants only needed to place RM300,000 in fixed deposits while for those over 50, the amount was RM150,000.
Participants must also be in the country for at least 90 cumulative days in a year to ensure that they truly contribute to the Malaysian economy, with Chong supporting this requirement.
The Home Ministry would also take over the programme from the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry.
The latest MM2H policy has been met with concern from various parties, including Johor's Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.
Chong said that the programme was a source of income for Johor, which neighbours Singapore.
"The old conditions should be improved to achieve the original goal of building the country as the world's best retirement destination, as well as promoting the country to the international stage. It is hoped that the government listens to the views of stakeholders and reviews the conditions," said Chong.