PETALING JAYA: There is no data to show that Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) scheme participants were “security threats” as claimed by the Home Minister, says Hannah Yeoh.
The Segambut MP said that the Home Ministry had not justified its review of the MM2H scheme and that it should not penalise all MM2H participants over claims that some were involved in crime.
“Out of all your applicants, how many in the last five years have been involved with crime in Malaysia and any charges made, because these are not secrets and are known to all ministries.
“So, take action on those cases but don’t generalise the entire programme,” she was quoted as saying by Malay Mail in a joint press conference with Malaysia My Second Home Consultants Association (MM2HCA) and several MM2H representatives on Tuesday (Sept 21).
Balik Pulau MP Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, who was also present, suggested for the scheme to be transferred back under the purview of the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry.
Muhammad Bakhtiar, who was a former deputy tourism minister, was reported as saying that Malaysia could not afford to lose foreign investors due to the new MM2H conditions imposed.
On Sept 15, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin told Parliament that criteria revision for the MM2H programme was done to attract high-quality participants who were genuine and could contribute positively to economic growth.
He also said that there had been improvements to the current procedures for new participants of the MM2H programme, including stricter measures for security purposes as some were found to be disguised as MM2H participants, but were actually using Malaysia as a transit to carry out illegal activities.
It was announced on Aug 11 that MM2H would be reactivated with nine new conditions after the programme was suspended in August 2020 due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The revised terms and requirements of MM2H, which takes effect in October, includes an increase in the minimum monthly income (derived from offshore sources) to RM40,000, a minimum fixed deposit of RM1mil, a minimum liquidity requirement of RM1.5mil, a yearly visa fee of RM500 and a reduction of the visa duration to five years.
Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar had previously questioned the Home Ministry’s reluctance to review the new criteria.
The Sultan had also said that he would personally take up the matter with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.