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Task force set up to expedite stricter MM2H approvals

KUALA LUMPUR (March 4): A task force comprising officials from immigration and the police force has been established to speed up the approval process for the backlogged applications of the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi made the announcement last week following complaints from the MM2H Agents Association, whose 235 members provide visa application services to foreigners keen on the popular programme that allows wealthy expatriates to stay in the country on 10-year visas.

However, Mohamaddin conceded that Putrajaya has introduced stricter background checks for the MM2H applications, reported The Straits Times today.

Citing a Police Special Branch official, the Singapore daily said the stricter processing came about following a change of procedure which placed the MM2H final approval under the Home Ministry.  

“We are stricter now due to heightened security threats such as terrorism and (criminal) syndicates, and we wouldn’t want these people to jeopardise public order.

“A letter of good conduct (for the applicant) has been a requirement since 2002, it acts as the first line of defence,” the source was reported saying.

The daily added that the syndicates likely involve illegal casinos, betting games and financial scams led by foreign nationals, besides concern over money laundering, with foreign dirty cash parked in housing units.

*MM2H agents in quandary over unexplained hold-up in approvals

*Malaysia My Second Home applications subject to approval from Home Ministry - Mohammadin

*MM2H to attract higher quality applicants

As reported in EdgeProp.my last Monday, the delay has resulted in over 4,000 pending applications since September last year, whereas it used to take only two months for approval.

It was also reported that the MM2H Agent Association’s president, Lim Kok Sai, had said Malaysia stands to lose up to RM100 million a year due to loss of revenues from the spendings of the expats if the delay continues.  

Records from MM2H’s official website states that since 2002, the programme has approved the long-stay visas for more than 40,000 people from 131 countries. An average of 3,000 foreigners were granted long-stay visas in each of the last six years.

The conditions state that an applicant under 50 years old must have at least RM500,000 in liquid assets and a monthly income of RM10,000. He or she must also open a fixed deposit (FD) account of RM300,000 in Malaysia. Applicants above 50 must have at least RM350,000 in liquid assets and open an FD account of RM150,000.

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