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Expat News- April 2011

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PAHANG LOWERS MINIMUN PRICE FOR FOREIGNERS BUYING PROPERTY
An expat reader was kind enough to advise us that the Pahang State government has lowered their minimum purchase price for foreigners wishing to buy property to RM500,000 from RM750,000. We confirmed this with the State’s Land office. Some readers may recall we raised this issue when Pahang suddenly raised their minimum price to RM750,000 which was 50% higher than the Federal guidelines set by the Prime Minster of RM500,000. The high minimum in Pahang caused problems for a few MM2H apartment buyers. They had bought into a new complex and were trying to get approval before taking possession. To their dismay, they found the minimum price for foreigners had been raised and they could not get approval. It should be noted that land is a State matter in Malaysia so the Federal Government can suggest changes but the final decision rests with the State authorities. Possibly, we played a small part in this current policy change because we advised the Government about these MM2hers’ plight and they said they would raie it with the appropriate people in Pahang. Whatever actually caused the change, it will be welcomed.

Selangor continues to have the most attractive minimum price of RM250,000. We still get enquiries from expats saying they have been told it is RM500,000 but the latest information from the State land office is that the lower limit remains. The only other State which has a lower limit is Penang, but that is only applicable to expats with a Malaysia My Second Home visa.

HOW CAN YOU GET PERMANENT RESIDENCY
There are now five ways to qualify for Permanent Residency in Malaysia:

1. If you place a Fixed Deposit in Malaysia for US$2 million and leave if for a period of 5 years.
2. If you are considered an expert in your field. Essentially an International Organization would have to regard you as world class in your area of expertise.
3. If have a professional qualification and have demonstrated outstanding skills practicing it.
4. If you are married to a Malaysian citizen for at least 5 years
5. If you meet the point system (see next news item)

Clearly some of these are quite vague so it would be necessary to check with the Immigration Department if you think you might qualify. In the past many expats have told us they were told not to even bother applying for PR but it seems that this may be changing. If anyone has current (2011) experience making an application then please share your findings with us.

THE POINT SYSTEM FOR PR
In order to meet the point system you have to score at least 65 out of 120 possible points based on seven broad criteria.

You can see more details at the new immigration department website www.imi.gov.my

 

 

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MEETING WITH PEMANDU
Pemandu, which stands for Performance Management and Delivery Unit, is a relatively new department which was set up in 2009. Its primary job is to oversee the Government Transformation Programme (GTP). It has just over 100 staff and many were recruited from the private sector. The people we have met show a lot of enthusiasm for the Government’s new strategies and are clearly very dedicated to making the strategy work. There are already signs of progress in making the GTP a reality, not just in the anti corruption area, which we have covered in other issues, but also in crime reduction, addressing education issues and many other areas. The reported increases in private investment, which is an integral part of the new economic plan, are also very encouraging.

Pemandu has promised to keep us advised of developments particularly those which impact resident expats and the international community. They are also happy to answer any questions which we care to raise with them. Of course, they emphasise that achieving the targets set for this new economic model will be difficult and take time, but clearly there is a very strong desire to see it happen.

In next month’s issue, you can read our interview with the Minister heading this department, YB Dato Idris Jala, who was formerly CEO of Malaysian Airlines. He will share his views on working for the Government, the Government Transformation Programme and hopefully answer a few other, tougher, questions we have posed to him.

The Expat would like to congratulate the following winnners of lucky draw prizes for their participation in our corruption survey:
Willem A.C. Whitlau, Brian Cracknell, Shin Deock Yong, Rofl Seibl, Shivani Desai

They can choose from one of the prizes:
a. RM100 Jusco Voucher
b. 1 bottle of Konrad Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (retail price RM96)
c. 1 bottle of Saint Claire Marlborough Pinot Noir (retail price RM96)
d. Membership for The Expat Card (worth RM175)
e. Subcription to SENSES of MALAYSIA for a year

Source: The Expat April 2011
This article has been edited for ExpatGomalaysia.com
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