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KUCHING, June 1: A total of 231 applications for the Sarawak-Malaysia My Second Home (S-MM2H) programme has been approved so far this year, and applications may now be made online as of today (June 1).
Sarawak Deputy Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts (MTCP) Datuk Sebastian Ting said this at a welcome dinner for 12 entrepreneurs from China that YAST Group hosted at its headquarters here yesterday.
“From 2007 to 2019, the S-MM2H programme approved 1,240 applications, with an average of 103 approvals per year.
“Despite the setback caused by the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, there were still 66 and 27 approvals in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
“In 2022, with the global pandemic situation improving and countries gradually reopening their borders, the number of applications for the S-MM2H programme has surged to 411,” he said.
Ting disclosed that last year, out of the 411 approved applications, the highest number of applicants came from Hong Kong, totaling 69 people, followed by United States of America (59 people), United Kingdom (50 people), Singapore (42 people), Japan (35 people), China (25 people), South Korea (20 people), Australia (17 people), Canada (12 people), and France (12 people).
“In 2023, we have approved a total of 231 applications; 111 of which was just approved yesterday.
“I wish to share an exciting development here—the SMM2H application is available online with effect from tomorrow, June 1, 2023.
“This is definitely an encouraging development where applications could be handled more efficiently and we expect faster approvals with digitalisation of the application process,” he noted.
Ting also emphasised that the programme is one of MTCP’s key development projects, with excellent growth potential.
“To put it in perspective, the S-MM2H programme can be seen as a goose that lays golden eggs for the tourism industry in Sarawak,” he noted, adding that in the past, the programme primarily targeted people aged 50 and above who were either about to retire or had already retired.
“However, the programme has now been expanded to attract individuals aged 40 to 49 as well who only need to fulfil an additional condition i.e. to buy a residential property of at least RM600,000 in Sarawak.
“Approved applicants are required to stay in Sarawak for at least 30 days each year.
“Individuals who are professionals or investors, they may be allowed to work, invest, and engage in business activities in Sarawak subject to the approval of the Sarawak government,” he explained.
The S-MM2H programme is open to people from all countries.
“Once approved, participants will be granted a 5+5 visa, which means they can apply for a renewal after five years and then another five-year extension. After ten years, they will need to reapply,” Ting stated, adding that the S-MM2H programme can serve as a catalyst for the development of Sarawak’s tourism industry.
“In the future, we can intensify our promotional efforts, and one of the potential markets to explore is China with a population of 1.4 billion. Therefore, we plan to promote the S-MM2H programme in China this year,” he disclosed. — DayakDaily