Criteria for MM2H programme needs to be flexible

by ASILA JALIL / pic by BERNAMA

THE Public Accounts Committee (PAC) says the policy for the Malaysia MySecond Home (MM2H) programme needs to be customer-friendly and more competitive than neighbouring countries.

“Criteria for the application needs to be flexible and based on the variety of target groups. There need to be frequent discussions with all stakeholders before a new policy is finalised,” PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh (picture) said.

The PAC had made eight findings on the programme after conducting three proceedings in relation to the issue on Nov 24, Dec 1 and Dec 2, 2021.

The committee is aware that there have been no security threats from MM2H’s participants throughout its implementation since 2002, as confirmed by the Immigration Department and the new criteria for the programme will not be used on existing participants except for processing fee of RM500 that has been set under the new terms.

The committee’s final finding is that the management of the programme has not done many discussions with stakeholders for the new terms.

It found that the National Audit Department, Home Ministry and the Immigration Department have different interpretations in the Malaysian Immigration Circular Volume 6 in 2009 regarding the age limit of children allowed as dependents for participants of the programme.

As such, the PAC proposed five measures to the government to improve the MM2H programme, such as enhancing the role of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to promote it to reach the initial aim of spurring the economy in tourism subsectors.

The PAC also urged the Home Ministry to improve the data storage application system mainly on the monitoring of participants based on new application and extended application categories, asset ownership and other issues highlighted in the report.

It also proposed for the Home Ministry to coordinate with the Land and Mines Department in all states and keep the record to ensure complete information on the purchase and ownership of property by the MM2H participants.

“The Malaysian Immigration Circular Volume 6 Year 2009 needs to be amended or changed with another circular to provide an accurate interpretation on the age limit for children allowed as dependents of the MM2H participants,” added Wong.

It also found that the management of the programme is not satisfactory where the participants’ data and documents are not kept in a systematic order.

“This caused the inability to verify the activities as well as participants’ expenditure and asset ownership,” he said.

The management also lacked a complete record to identify the total property value owned by all of MM2H participants.

“The number of MM2H participants that applied for an extension after the end of the first 10 years upon registration could not be verified.

“The Immigration Department could not generate reports that differentiate new applications and extended applications for the programme and it has yet to take actions to improve the system,” he said.