Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar of Johor urged the government to immediately review the new conditions for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, describing it as being too restrictive.
He said the new requirements will dampen foreigners’ interest in coming to Malaysia and force existing MM2H pass holders to leave the country.
“This means massive revenue loss for Malaysia,” Sultan Ibrahim cautioned.
The 63-year-old state monarch said the review was supposed to make things better, but the new criteria is only going to drive investors and tourists away from Malaysia.
“This is very disappointing, especially for us in Johor as we have a long history with Singapore and her people.
“The new requirements will turn them away from investing in Johor,” Sultan Ibrahim said in a post on his official Facebook page today.
Since its inception in 2002, only 57,478 foreigners have been granted MM2H long-term passes. However, the programme was halted in September 2018 for a review, with new rules announced last week.
Under the sweeping new regulations, foreigners must prove liquid assets of between RM500,000 and RM1.5 million depending on their age. They must also have a monthly offshore income of at least RM40,000.
Additionally, they must stay a minimum of 90 days in the country per year. The MM2H visas are also now valid for only five years, instead of 10 previously.
Sultan Ibrahim said the new revisions are very negative and it was ridiculous to subject existing MM2H pass holders to the new conditions.
“When we continue to flip-flop on conditions, how can we promote Malaysia as an investment destination?” he questioned.
Sultan Ibrahim said the government should be more compassionate to foreigners who are keen to settle and make Malaysia their retirement home.
“When you keep shifting the goalposts, foreigners will lose confidence in Malaysia. This is not the right time to raise fees.
“Let us help put Malaysia back on the world map as the best place to live for high net-worth foreigners.
“Drastic changes like this will tarnish our image and will make us a laughing stock of the world,” he warned.
Long-term MM2H visa holders are said to have invested nearly RM12 billion in the economy since 2002. They reportedly spend around RM10,000 a month, with many having purchased high-end properties in Johor. – MMO