More than 4,480 MM2H applications approved

Each approval is subjected to requirements set out by the govt which will then be processed within 120 working days


THE government has approved 4,487 applications for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme between July 2018 and November this year — about half of the 9,439 applications received within the period.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister (MOTAC) Mohammadin Ketapi said each approval is subjected to requirements set out by the government which will then be processed within 120 working days. Both MOTAC and the Home Affairs Ministry will screen all applications, he told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Mohammadin said this in response to Wong Hon Wai (Pakatan Harapan-Bukit Bendera) who inquired on the number of MM2H applications approved for 2019.

The minister last month revealed that the MM2H initiative has drawn 43,466 applications after its launch in 2002 till November 2018. He said applications received were from 131 countries, mainly from Chinese citizens.

China dominated the list with 13,892 approvals over the period, followed by Japan (4,882), Bangladesh (4,187), the UK (2,729) and Korea (2,568).

Singapore (1,492), Taiwan (1,428), Iran (1,411), Hong Kong (1,087) and India (1,077) formed the remaining top 10.

Reuters had previously reported that the programme received some 3,500 applications in total as of Aug 20 this year, compared to 6,279 last year.

However, none of this year’s applications has been approved. Successful entrants to the MM2H programme are given a social visit pass and a multiple entry 10-year visa which can be renewed.

In its report, the newswire said interest in the MM2H programme from Hong Kong residents had increased due to ongoing anti-Beijing demonstrations in the region. The report said MM2H had attracted 251 applications from Hong Kong in 2019 against 193 approved in 2018.

Concerns of an overflow in foreign ownership on housing were piqued after Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced in the 2020 state budget of plans to lower the price threshold for foreign purchase from RM1 million to RM600,000.

The move, he said, was to reduce supply overhang of condominium and apartments which has amounted to RM8.3 billion in the second quarter of 2019.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin has since clarified on the matter and said only 15% of the participants in the MM2H programme had purchased properties in the country. Most of the buyers are from China.

She added that foreign ownership in the Malaysian property market is still under control.

She said 398 transactions from foreign buyers were recorded between January and June 2019, which accounted for only 0.4% of total sales.

Malaysian buyers still made up the bulk of the transactions at 99.6% or 99,524 buyers.