MM2H agents become jittery as March 31 looms


PETALING JAYA: The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry plans to regulate Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) agents, requiring all of them to re-register but the update of their operating licence has been on hold since Dec 15 last year, leading to uncertainty among many agents.

MM2H Consultants Association president Anthony Liew said members were instead given a grace period until March 31 to await further instructions.

Liew said the licence of more than 30 agents expired starting in December but the ministry allowed them to continue operating and assisting existing clients with visa renewal.

Nevertheless, with the deadline rapidly approaching, uncertainty prevails due to a lack of further instructions, considering the need to run their companies and pay employees’ salaries.

The association, boasting more than 200 active members, faces a situation where many are unsure about the legality of their operations post-March 31 and the timeline for licence renewal.

“Many of them are very anxious, unsure if they will still be deemed legal after March 31 and when they will be allowed to renew their licence,” Liew said when contacted.

He expressed the members’ willingness to cooperate with the government’s measures, including re-registration.

Alia Windya, a director at AAlia (MM2H) Sdn Bhd, is concerned about her company’s future as her operating licence expired in February.

“I have been involved in MM2H intermediary services since 1999 and it is the first time I have encountered such a situation. I feel lost,” said Alia, adding she could only wait for further instructions.

Alia said they are currently assisting customers with visa renewal and applications for additional procedures but she is unable to help new clients seeking MM2H assistance.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing had earlier disclosed that the ministry will regulate agents or consultancy companies for the MM2H programme with all agents being required to re-register.

He noted that the ministry will not simply continue with the existing agents but will scrutinise their backgrounds.

Those deemed unsuitable will not be allowed to renew their operating licence.

“The ministry has received complaints from MM2H programme applicants who claimed they paid significant agent fees, only to later discover that their applications were unsuccessful.

“The applicants were not provided with a fixed fee by the agents.

“In some cases, it started at RM20,000 but after approval, the fee suddenly increased to RM30,000,” said Tiong.

In light of this, the ministry intends to standardise the fees collected by agencies but a final decision has not been reached at present.

It is understood that the Cabinet has instructed the relevant ministries to assess the situation, with a decision expected in two weeks.This includes the potential resumption of the MM2H programme and the regulation of agents.

The ministry unveiled a revamped version of the MM2H programme with three tiers – Silver, Gold, and Platinum on Dec 15 last year.

The MM2H programme was reactivated on Aug 11, 2021, with revised conditions, after being put on hold for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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MM2H , Motac , Tourism , Arts and Culture Ministry , Agent

   

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