KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) has proposed that the government defer the new criteria for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme to December 2022.
MIEA said this is considering the pandemic and to allow sufficient time for preparation.
"First, we applaud the Home Ministry for having reactivated the MM2H programme, which indirectly will help our nation in the economic recovery.
"While the move to reactivate the MM2H is a good move, we are of the opinion that certain new requirements need to be revisited in order to stay on course of the purpose it was intended for."
Yesterday, Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz announced MM2H will be reactivated with improvements to policies and application conditions to balance the security and economic aspects.
He said new applications for the programme would be processed and managed by the Immigration Department beginning October after all legal processes are completed.
The national body representing real estate practitioners also said all existing MM2H pass holders should not be affected by this new ruling.
"Applying this new rule to existing MM2H recipients will dampen and not practical. Policies needs to be consistent in order to promote confidence."
While agreeing with some improvements announced, such as to cap quota of not over one per cent of the Malaysian population to keep control of the limit of MM2H recipients and imposing an increased processing fee and the levy is acceptable to gain greater revenue for the country, MIEA said some changes were too drastic.
"Increase in the minimum income of RM40,000 per month from current RM10,000 per month is too drastic, perhaps different classes of applications can be tailored to cater to the various foreign applicants.
"Having liquid assets of RM1.5 million from current RM350,000 (over 50-year-old) and RM500,000 (under 50-year-old) is a dramatic change.
"Placing fixed deposits of RM1 million in a Malaysian bank from current RM150,000 (over 50-year-old) and RM300,000 (under 50-year-old) is a six-fold and three-fold increase, which is a dramatic rise.
"All these changes should be based on the different class of application."
MIEA said this sudden move would discourage foreigners to take part in the programme and it would not be a stimulus for the agents to secure them.
"Malaysia is not the only country which has similar programmes, making it harder and will drive the new applicants away. Secondly, to retrospectively apply these rules to existing pass holders will give a negative impact on our MM2H programme."
MIEA said Home Ministry should also look into different classes of applicants to cater to the various types of foreign investors to attract the right groups of people who can add value to Malaysia.
"Secondly, a review should be done in the applying of the new rules to existing pass holders to ensure, there is no disorder in the lives of the 57,000 pass holders.
"This will boost the confidence of foreign investors both in our nation and its policies."