Malaysia Upgrades "Second Home" Program To Attract More Immigration
 
People’s Daily Online
 
 
Malaysia has upgraded its "second home" program in a bid to attract more foreigners to live longer-time meaningful life in the country as well as foreign investment.
 
Qualified participants to the Malaysia My Second Home Program (MM2H) will be given a social visit pass and multiple-entry visa for ten years and renewable thereafter, according to the Malaysian Tourism Ministry here on Wednesday.
 
"Both documents give MM2H participants the freedom to enter and leave Malaysia whenever they wish," it said.
 
The fresh incentives under the program implemented since 2002 in the country also included house and car purchases, tax exemption on pensions and foreign income brought into the country.
 
This year, additional improvements were also made to the program.
 
Applicants now can apply to join the program directly, instead of through appointed agents, while foreigners married to Malaysians are also eligible to apply and receive the same benefits.
 
Participants aged above 50 years old are allowed to work part-time for no more than 20 hours a week in the approved sectors. Participants are allowed to do business and invest in the country subject to local regulations and requirements.
 
"Dependents" of the participants now include unmarried children aged 21 years and below, step-children, disabled children and parents aged above 60 years old.
 
MM2H is a program launched by the Malaysian Government to attract foreigners to live and invest in Malaysia. The Malaysian Government launched the program in 2002 to replace the Silver Hair Program implemented in 1996.
 
As of December last year, more than 12,600 foreigners had participated in the MM2H, including 2,184 from China, ranking at the top, followed by Bangladesh with 1,646 participants, Britain with 1,333, Japan 842, and Singapore with 604.
 
In 2003, 521 people from China participated in the MM2H, but the figure dropped to 90 in 2007 and 120 in 2008.
 
Yet more Japanese came to Malaysia to join the program in recent years. MM2H embraced 198 Japanese in 2007 and 210 in 2008.
 
This year, more Iranians came to the country to join the program. In the first three months of this year, 46 Iranians participated in the program, ranking the top of the list.
 
On Wednesday, Former chief executive officer Jean Todt of Ferrari Co. found his "second home" here and was welcomed by Malaysian Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen.
 
He signed a document to join the program in the presence of Michelle Yeoh, a Malaysia-born James Bond girl who is widely reported to be his girlfriend.
 
MM2H is open to citizens of all countries regardless of culture, religion, gender or age, but has its threshold, for example, minimum funds requirement.
 
Malaysia expected the program would draw more people to the country this year.
 
 
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