The MM2H Ambassadors want to say BOLEH! - November-December, 2010
Our agents have been to various countries around the world to promote MM2H Program in a very loyal manner as true Malaysians! Not knowing the outcome of their promotions, the challenges to be encountered and having to bear their own expenses, such are the sacrifices our faithful licensed companies pursue to contribute towards the success of this program.
In London, we are faced with the high costs of promoting MM2H. The British are familiar with our country as we are under the Commonwealth of Nations. However, he RM10,000 we are allowed to charge as service fee is simply not possible to do a viable business promotion there. Even to cover the costs of promotion and paying agents here to market this program is not practical. The Middle Eastern market like Dubai and Bahrain are good for the MM2H as we share the same Muslim faith with them. At the same time, they are rather fascinated by Malaysia’s success story. To move forward more efficiently, we need a more concerted effort from the various Ministries to help spearhead the promotion, especially in the medical tourism and education of higher learning sectors. These two sectors have vast potential to generate revenues for our private hospitals and local universities. Tourists from these countries have been steadily visiting Malaysia but much can still be done to promote Malaysia to our Middle Eastern friends. Recently, we also see a steady inflow of Iranians participating in our MM2H program. The Chinese market is quite a selective one. Guangzhou and Hong Kong are good markets for MM2H. Our experiences in Beijing and Shanghai only received lukewarm responses as most Chinese are not familiar still with Malaysia. Most have not even visited our country and are skeptical for they feel it is a Muslim country.
In this respect, we must improve our promotional efforts in this vast populace country and educate the Chinese that we are a multi-racial country comprising various religions and culture. On the flip side, the MM2H program is popular one in Taiwan and this is a good destination to venture into. Despite the large Japanese population in Malaysia, the Japanese market still possesses a vast untapped potential. The Japanese are familiar with our country and they like our country. The low cost of living is a major contributing factor for the Japanese to join MM2H. About 48% of them is above 50 years’ old and this is one country with a serious aging population! Every concerted effort is encouraged to further promote this program to the Japanese as a retirement haven. A word of caution here is that the Japanese much prefer to deal with their own people; so you must tie up with a good Japanese local as your agent there. MM2H participants want to feel secure in this program and the constant changes in the policies by the government agencies only create suspicions and frustrations to the participants. Since these participants are high profile individuals, they should be accorded the due recognition. They want to feel Malaysia as a “real” second home and be accorded the same privilege enjoyed now by our senior citizens in this country. With better incentives and due recognition given to our special guests under MM2H, this will further enhance Malaysia as the most preferred country to retire or as a second home to our foreign visitors. This will not only generate good tourism revenue, and into the billions of ringgit, but also help to activate the 300 over related services as required by our foreign participants. Within this context, I feel it is imperative for the government to give due recognition to all our agents whom have tirelessly gone overseas at their own expense to promote MM2H all these years. These are the true “ambassadors” of the MM2H Program and they should be rewarded for their efforts. We have plans to move into other potential countries but our resources are limited. Nevertheless, our plight goes in line with our nation’s tagline, Malaysia Boleh!
MM2H in Medan
At the recent FIABCI Asia Pacific Summit in Medan, Indonesia, a talk on the MM2H program was given. The participants have
benefited from the talk and found it to be very informative and attractive. In fact, the Organizing Chairman would like to invite me to Jakarta once again to present it to the Minister of Housing.
I personally believe that Indonesia has great potential because of the following:
1. We are very close neighbors and are easily accessible to each other via budget flights.
2. Culture and language are easily adoptable.
3. Availability of good international schools,
(especially the twinning programs) for their children.
4. Many of them are making use of Malaysia’s private
hospital facilities for medical treatment. Availability of
high standard treatment with much cheaper prices
as compared to Singapore.
5. Many of their family members are already in Malaysia.
6. Availability of quality properties at very affordable prices.
7. We are politically stable and secure.
However, more promotion and publicity need to be conducted to the potential MM2H clients to obtain the desired results.
First Vice President,
MM2H Agents’ Association
Home Finder - Getting Your Rent
When dealing with property, experts will always remind you to clarify the purpose of owning the property. For those who invest for rental income, collecting rents is an essential part of the investment since it will be the main income generated from the property.
Sit down for a cuppa as Loke Fu Wah, principal of Bridge Realty and Jaslyn Sim, Principal of Richmond Realty share with Yuki Ling what to look out for in this form of investment.
Visiting your tenants for rent collection is no longer in trend nowadays. With a full time career in hand, owners are not likely to spend their extra time collecting rent unless the property needs other services.
Both Loke and Jaslyn think that rental payment through the convenience of banking services is the best. Thus, saving both owners and tenants a lot of time and energy.
“If your tenants are staying next door from you, then it is advisable for you to pay a visit to collect your rent. This is not only to ensure your property is in a good condition but also to build rapport between you and your tenants,” adds Loke.
Busy; Need a Representative?
However, what if you are too busy to collect the rents on your own; does it make sense to appoint a representative to do the job?
“Those who appoint a representative are usually owners who are living in overseas,” said Loke. As a local property owner, Loke shares that it will be such a waste of money for local owners to appoint a representative as local owners can manage their properties on their own.
However, if need be, owners usually are required to pay 5% to 10% from the rent collected to the representative. Towards the end of the month, the representative will send a full report to owners to keep them abreast with the conditions of their property.
Ensure Your Rental Collection
“To make sure your rental collection is being paid promptly, it is advisable for the owners to maintain a separate savings account solely for the purpose of rental collection,” Jaslyn advises. This ensures that the amount paid is correct and to prevent unnecessary arguments from taking place.
Loke also reminds that it is best if owners can state the mode of payment clearly prior to the commencement of tenancy so that there is less hassle to handle in future. In addition, owners can include the penalties for late payment.
While taking legal action on bad tenants seems viable, it is certainly not the best way, says Jaslyn. Quoting an incident, not only did a case stretch up to three years, the owner lost the case as well as the rents!
Loke concludes that no matter tenants or owners of the property, they should learn how to give and take. While owners try to fulfill the needs of the tenants by providing furniture or other equipment, tenants should also learn how to take care of them.
Effective 1 June ,2007, all applications are to be submitted through licensed agents only. No individual applications nor third party applications will be entertained . Kindly refer to 'Licensing' page for a list of licensed agents. Thank you.
New Improvement (18 March 2009)
In line with the Immigration Circular No. 6 of 2009, the following improvements have been made to the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Programme, with effect from 13 February 2009:
1. Qualified MM2H participants aged 50 and above with specialised skills and expertise that are required in the critical sectors of the economy, are allowed to work not more than 20 hours per week.
The approval to work part-time is subject to the following conditions:
a) The application is approved by the MM2H Special Committee;
b) The work contract needs to state that the MM2H participant is working part time and to attach the work schedule; and
c) Total number of hours of week does not exceed 20 hours.
2. MM2H participants are allowed to invest and actively participate in business, subject to existing Government policies, regulations and guidelines which are in force for the relevant sectors.
3. Foreign spouses of Malaysian nationals are eligible to apply for MM2H, subject to the terms and conditions of the MM2H programme. Alternatively, they have the option to apply for the Spouse Programme.
4. The ten-year Social Visit Pass is extended to all Silver Hair and MM2H participants who were previously approved under the five-year Social Visit Pass, subject to the validity of their passports.
5. Employment Pass holders who wish to participate in the MM2H programme are exempted from the “cooling off period” on the condition that their application to participate in MM2H programme is submitted 3 months before the expiry of the Employment Pass.
6. ID-Cards will be issued to MM2H participants with permanent address in Malaysia. This is validated by submitting the Sales and Purchase Agreement or Tenancy Agreement in Malaysia.
7. Age limit of unmarried dependent children is raised from 18 years to 21 years.
A declaration stating that the child is unmarried and all expenses during the stay in Malaysia will be borne by the principal participant of the MM2H program is required.
8. ‘Dependants’ include unmarried children aged 21 years and below, stepchildren, disabled children and parents.
Malaysia My Second Home Center(16 Jan 2007)
1. House Purchase : Effective 23 December 2006, the minimum price allowed for purchase of residential units has been standardized at RM250,000.00 for all states, except for Sarawak. The minimum house purchase for participants in Sarawak has been maintained at RM350,000.00.
2. Financial criteria: An important criterion is possession of sufficient funds to maintain a fixed deposit (FD) account. kindly ensure that you have documented proof of your financial capability, for example, authenticated bank statement from home country for the last three months, and any other instruments that he may have to enable you to live in Malaysia.
In the case of applicants aged 50 and above, who choose the option of showing proof of monthly off-shore income, please ensure that the applicant has a regular income source, the most acceptable being government-approved funds. If the applicant is receiving funds from other sources, for example, rental, bond, equity, insurance companies & etc. kindly verify that the provider is a reputable well-respected company.
3. Foreigners married to Malaysians:
3.1 Foreigners married to Malaysians are not eligible for MM2H programme, but can instead apply to be placed under the Immigration Department’s Spouse Programme.
3.2 Should an participant who applied after 1 April 2006, marry a Malaysian during the course of his/her stay here, he/she will not be able to renew under programme upon expiry of his/her visa, but will be eligible to apply for the Spouse Programme.
3.3 Foreigners who are married to Malaysians and who were approved on programme before 1 April 2006 will continue to enjoy status, should they apply to renew on the programme upon expiry of their current visa.
4. Renewal: Renewal of visas may be made at Immigration Department’s Headquarters in Putrajaya or at the Immigration Department branches at State level.
5. Voluntary service: Should candidates who are keen to provide their expertise on a voluntary basis, please inform Centre accordingly.
Expatriate Lifestyle (August 2006)
There are some requirements to be met and successful applicants will be given a 10 years Social Visit Pass and Multiple Entry Visa (renewable). The candidates get the freedom & privilege to stay and stavel as they please under this program.
Malaysia is both politically and economically stable. It is a Land strategically located with so much to see, do and experience, exciting nature adventures, world class sporting events, it has a good infrastructure and offers excellent medical facilities, International schools and universities, warm weather with friendly people and offers the most diverse type of food in the region. Its relatively high standard of living with one of the lowest cost of living, hence, good home at much lower price compared to other regions. One should not miss on this opportunity of obtaining this wonderful programme.
There are several requirements in order to ensure eligibility for the program, such as undergoing a medical checkup and being properly insured. The basic financial requirements are as follows :-
People under 50 must place a fixed deposit of RM 300,000 with any bank in Malaysia, after one year up to RM 240,000 can be withdrawn for the purchase of houses, children's education or medical expenses. For people aged 50 or over, the figures are RM 150,000 and RM 90,000 respectively. Although it is also acceptable for people over 50 to show proof of monthly off-shore income of RM 10,000.
There are then further requirements dependent on maintaining a certain bank balance and period of residency. For full information on these and with all Malaysia My Second Home queries, it is best to contact one of the government approved agents.