Sarawak welcomes foreigners who find federal’s second home requirements too demanding

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (centre) speaks during a press conference.

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Aug 25: Foreigners who wish to stay in Sarawak need not worry as the new requirements and regulations of the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme by the federal government effective October 2021 is not applicable to the Sarawak’s MM2H (Sarawak-MM2H) programme.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah explained that although the federal government has temporarily suspended the MM2H programme since June 2020 to give way for comprehensive review and reevaluation of the programme, Sarawak never stops the Sarawak-MM2H programme.

“This is because my Ministry has enhanced new regulations and requirements for Sarawak-MM2H effective Sept 1, 2020.

“The S-MM2H programme has its own independent panel to deliberate and decide on applications. The panel meets once a month,” he told a press conference at Baitulmakmur 2 building in Kuching today.

The panel is chaired by the Ministry includes Sarawak Immigration Department, Chief Minister’s Department, Sarawak State Attorney General’s Office, Sarawak Royal Malaysian Police, State Health Department and Motac and other agencies.

On Aug 11, 2021, the federal government announced that the MM2H programme will resume online in October 2021 with stricter criteria such as an increase of compulsory fixed deposits in local banks from RM 150,000 (age over 50) and RM300,000 (age less than 50) to RM1 million, offshore monthly income increases to RM40,000 from RM10,000, the declaration of RM1.5 million instead of the previous RM500,000 liquid assets, a minimum stay period of 90 days cumulative per year and five years pass plus five years on renewal basis.

Meanwhile, the Sarawak-MM2H will continue with the existing criteria such as placement of fixed deposits in local banks from RM150,000 for individuals to RM300,000 for couples, and the requirement to invest in real properties specifically for residential purpose with total amount of at least RM600,000 which applies only to applicants who are between 40-50 years of age.

Additionally, applicants who are above 30 years of age could also be considered if they are accompanying their children to study in Sarawak or seeking long term medical treatment.

A minimum stay period of 15 days cumulative per year is required and a 10 years pass will be issued to successful applicants.

“Some programme participants might fear renewing their visa and some might think of moving back to their home countries or moving to other countries because they couldn’t afford the new restrictions and requirements.

“However, Sarawak still maintains the reforms that we introduced since September last year, so this might drive the MM2H participants in the Peninsular to come to Sarawak,” he added. — DayakDaily