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‘It’s our only home’: Malaysia’s changes to MM2H visa scheme throw expats’ plans into chaos


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Existing participants of the Malaysia My Second Home programme say they can’t meet stricter financial criteria to renew visas


The scheme, which is popular with those from mainland China, has been revised to attract more wealthy foreigners but visa agents say the new rules are too prohibitive

 

After Mansur and Moina Khan from Bangladesh secured long-term visas to reside in Malaysia in 2014, they bought a condo worth at least 1 million ringgit in the heart of the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and moved there in 2017.


“We invested our life savings in Malaysia,” said Mansur, who like his wife, is in his 60s and retired.


“We loved living here, its multiracial people and food. We are law-abiding visa holders and wished to spend a hassle-free retirement in Malaysia,” he added.


But for the past 14 months, they have been stuck in Dhaka, having gone there to attend to a family emergency. Despite being fully vaccinated and having made numerous appeals to the Immigration Department, the couple cannot return to Malaysia as the Southeast Asian nation has banned incoming travellers from 23 nations including Bangladesh due to their Covid-19 caseloads.

 

Full story: https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3145410/its-our-only-home-malaysias-changes-mm2h-visa-scheme-throw

 

-- South China Morning Post - 19 Aug 2021

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This article is so misleading as far as I know the couple mentioned can not return due to there finances but due to Covid as Malaysia allow them to return doesn’t matter if they have a 10 year visa at the moment due to Covid they cannot return that is still happening in a lot of countries 

Edited by crazykopite
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2 hours ago, hotchilli said:

Many in the same situation... 2020 my mother died of old age in UK...

I made the choice not to try to return for the cremation... it's a personal choice,

they made theirs and have to live with the consequences.

Yes, I had to make the choice too, My mother died in the Netherlands June last year 97yrs old . Didn't go because of the C 19 trouble travel problems .

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1 hour ago, mruniverse said:

You didn't read the article - click through the link.

I didn't want to read the article.  I just wanted an accurate summary.  That wasn't provided.

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49 minutes ago, mvdf said:

 

 

Malaysians being Malaysians. No wonder Singaporeans know them for who they truly are. 

Flip-flop policies and flip-flop government like what's happening now. I wouldn't be suprised if this new financial requirements for the MM2H visa scheme will be rescined by the new government. 

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4 hours ago, hotchilli said:

Many in the same situation... 2020 my mother died of old age in UK...

I made the choice not to try to return for the cremation... it's a personal choice,

they made theirs and have to live with the consequences.

Exactly the same for me; 2000, Mother....  If I had gone back, I might still be there, I said my goodbyes from here during the funeral.  These are hard decisions you have to make.  You and I got it right, this guy didn't.

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I take it that will mean that all those Mainland Chinese that moved to Johor Bharu en masse and brought properties there will probably have to go too, there will be so many empty apartments in Malaysia per se,real estate prices will take a tumble and they will lose so much money from O/S and without tourism the economy will suffer, the Malaysians have really shot themselves in the foot.You would think they would be bending over backwoods trying to get expats to move to Malaysia,however the bottom line is the Malaysian Govt. cannot and will not be trusted again.

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Maybe Thailand will benefit from all those that have to sell thier properties and move out because they can't meet the financial reuirements.

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Does any one know why the Malaysian Government has changed the rules for The Silver Hair Programme?  Has there been any announcement with supporting reasons??  Any controversy??  Any political push-back - say negative impact on housing affordability?? 

 

There must be some background to explain such a drastic change.     

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4 hours ago, newnative said:

     Apparently the Malaysian government is even more clueless than the Thai government.  I don't think anybody I know, including myself, could meet a monthly income requirement of US $9400.  And, if I could, I likely would be somewhere other than Malaysia--something Malaysia should be considering with totally unrealistic requirements such as this.

Proof that Bureaucrats are a group of " Out of Touch with Reality "  people , sitting in their comfy chair , thinking about ideas to make them

popular with their boss -- for the next promotion .....

USD 9,400.- monthly pension income  ?   they must be joking .....

maybe if they live in Venus ( the Gold planet ) ..... 

plus MILLION RINGGIT in the bank , doing what  ?

Edited by kg1947
spacing ......
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47 minutes ago, dinga said:

Does any one know why the Malaysian Government has changed the rules for The Silver Hair Programme?  Has there been any announcement with supporting reasons??  Any controversy??  Any political push-back - say negative impact on housing affordability?? 

 

There must be some background to explain such a drastic change.     

Most likely political as the target retirees originally planned were not meet. Chinese nationals who weren't in the original target were dominant. Thus the tussle to gain control between the agency from the tourism ministry who was managing the program and the Ministry of Home Affairs. Obviosly the latter won and made those changes. 

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20 minutes ago, Eric Loh said:

Most likely political as the target retirees originally planned were not meet. Chinese nationals who weren't in the original target were dominant. Thus the tussle to gain control between the agency from the tourism ministry who was managing the program and the Ministry of Home Affairs. Obviosly the latter won and made those changes. 

Absolutely understand that possibility - but <deleted> didn't they impose nationality quotas (same maximum number for each country) rather than go for this nuclear option that will kill the Programme stone dead????

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Never, ever burn the bridges back home. 10 years ago I hated Canada with passion, but now I appreciate  I didn't act like a fool and sold my assets. If I ever return I will have a condo and free healthcare for life. Even if I return home broke the money can be made as long as I have a place to live. 

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I read that some agents say this can only mean 1 thing.  They don't want foreigners.  An outright ban may cause some diplomatic problems but just raising the goalposts accomplished the intent.    Also how will these people sale there condo and move to Thailand?  Will there be any demand for their condos at fair market price?  I doubt it.   After getting burned like this would you look at Thailands leadership and attitude towards foreigners and take the risk? 

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Well incase you guys have not noticed the visa requirements for most SE Asian countries have been tightening more and more and more for at least 10 years........

 

To raise the financial requirements this much in one go with no grandfather is a human rights violation......Its throwing people out on their azz who trusted Malaysia...

 

Please dont be kind and say they are stupid.....They know 100% what they are doing and the ramifications...

 

Thailand shows no signs of relaxing visas......

I would hate to see something like this happen in Thailand but I would not bet the farm that it would never happen here......

If it did happen there would be absolutely loads of farang on permanent overstay.....

Edited by redwood1
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3 hours ago, newnative said:

    Yes, very out of touch.  Malaysia and Thailand both seem hell-bent on formulating new policies to only attract high roller millionaires.   It seems they would rather bring in 1 millionaire retiree rather than 100 normal retirees on average retirement pensions.  I guess they are thinking that 1 millionaire retiree will somehow be more beneficial than 100 regular retirees.  

   What they forget--and where they are out of touch with reality--is taking the local economy into consideration, and the local, everyday workers trying to scratch out a living.  One millionaire retiree coming to town means 1 barber or hair stylist gets 1 customer every week or so.  100 normal retirees also need hair services and will provide more benefit to the local economy.  Those 100 normal retirees will also eat out more than the 1 millionaire; will buy or rent more houses and condos; will buy more vehicles, furniture, electronics, etc.; and will hire more maids, gardeners, pool cleaners, handymen, and other service workers.  

     There is nothing wrong with trying to attract some high rollers with a special visa category.   But, in tandem with that, there should be good visa choices, with reasonable financial requirements, for regular retirees, as well.  With covid still raging, both countries should be going in the other direction--looking at ways to streamline and relax requirements to both retain and attract more regular retirees--who contribute a lot to local economies.  

Why compare Malaysia with Thailand ?

Seems to me that Thailand gives an opportunity to each segment of the Retirement Market . ( At least for now ) .

I see  Thailand seeking and mulling further opportunities in the high segment of the Global Retirement market .

Seems to me that the recent mulling of letting Retirees own a piece of land and 10 year visas if certain amounts is invested doesn't come by case .

 

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7 hours ago, Edwin Cameron said:

I take it that will mean that all those Mainland Chinese that moved to Johor Bharu en masse and brought properties there will probably have to go too, there will be so many empty apartments in Malaysia 

There are plenty of mainland Chinese and escapees from Hong Kong who are ready to take up the slack.......

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