MP questions if cabinet approved new MM2H conditions

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Masjid Tanah MP Mas Ermieyati Samsuddin questioned if the latest Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme’s perks were decided and approved by the cabinet before it was announced.

In a statement responding to Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Tiong King Sing, Mas Ermieyati alleged that the application and approval process of the conditions were “lax” and would open the nation’s doors to an influx of foreigners.

“As a sovereign country, it is our responsibility to ensure that every grant of a permanent resident (PR) status in this country is carefully scrutinised and not just dependent on the ability to place a fixed deposit.

Bernama

“Meanwhile, the general process for PR applications is more comprehensive – including assessment of ability to speak Malay, academic qualifications, value of investment brought in and work experience in Malaysia,” she said.

Yesterday, Tiong called for a sedition probe on Mas Ermieyati after the latter alleged that China nationals who joined MM2H would immediately be eligible to become permanent residents.

The PN lawmaker’s allegation appeared to be based on Tiong’s announcement on Friday that the government was introducing a “special edition” of the MM2H.

The special edition introduces new relaxed conditions for MM2H applications, which are now split into three tiers – silver, gold, and platinum.

The platinum tier requires applicants to put RM5 million into a fixed deposit, which they can take out 50 percent of after one year to buy property (valued at RM1.5 million or above) or for tourism and medical purposes.

Those who qualify for the platinum tier are also eligible for PR status after they get their MM2H pass.

The PR perk is not offered to gold and silver-tier participants.

Tiong said that the special MM2H edition coincided with Malaysia’s upcoming 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties with China.

However, he said applications for the programme were open to citizens of all countries.

Tiong explained that the applicants for the programme – aimed at boosting the nation’s economic recovery, and applicants – would undergo a thorough inspection before being approved.

He said every applicant must pass a strict review process, including financial screenings and background checks before they are eligible to receive a pass according to conditions imposed by the Immigration Department.

“Mas Ermieyati’s seemingly slanderous statement should be probed under the Sedition Act,” Tiong posted on Facebook on Saturday (Dec 16).

“Aside from confusing the facts, her comments against the MM2H programme also created a racial issue, when in fact the programme is contributing towards the country’s economic growth,” said Tiong.

“Why must Mas Ermieyati confuse the public and claim that the programme only sides with applicants from China? What is she trying to convey through provocations by picking on a specific country?

“Every applicant, irrespective of nationality, must fulfil terms in the Platinum category before they are allowed to apply for permanent residence.

“Mas Ermieyati’s comments show her ignorance on numerous matters, and this is a way for her to gain political attention,” he said in a statement.

Mas Ermieyati also cited national security as a cause of concern from the programme, alleging that North Korean spies had entered Malaysia under the MM2H programme before 2020.

She said that the MM2H programme was originally introduced to encourage foreign retirees to choose Malaysia as a place for retirement.

However, she said that the new conditions – which lowers applicants’ age eligibility to 30 – may cause job competition among the youth.

Meanwhile, several ministers have slammed Mas Ermieyati for insinuating that the revamped conditions for the MM2H programme will give automatic PR to applicants from China.

Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli also hit out at Mas Ermieyati, saying he was shocked that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman had made such allegations based on hearsay.

“When I was the Opposition, there were all kinds of stories that were shared with me. But 90% of the time, it will be rejected because they are not backed up by evidence.

“Once I get the evidence, I will investigate it.

“Shame on you, can you please be more hardworking if you want to do an expose against the government?” the PKR deputy president said.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said the Tourism Minister had denied the allegations and the PAC chairman should stop spreading fake news.

“The Tourism Minister is ready to explain it to her if the Masjid Tanah MP still does not understand,” he said.

The revised system made several changes to the eligibility criteria.

Applications can only be submitted through licensed MM2H agents accredited by the ministry under the Tourism Industry Act 1992 as a way to make the process more streamlined and secure.

Another significant change is an expanded list of eligible dependents.

In addition to spouses, children below 21 and children with disabilities, the programme now covers all children aged between 21 and 34 who are not working in Malaysia or married.