There is currently in place a very unfair decision made by the Malaysian government which we strongly feel needs to be corrected.
There are a number of people living here with a Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) visa, people who have chosen to make Malaysia their home and place of permanent residence. Under the existing Movement Control Order (MCO) these residents are now being denied entry to the country simply because they do not hold a Malaysian passport.
These MM2Hers are generally older people who are retired, notably because the programme does not allow people to work in Malaysia with very few exceptions. A few people have jobs overseas and use Malaysia as a base.
The MM2H programme has over the years attracted over 40,000 people and the government often talks about it as successful programme; however there is big difference between the people who acquire the visa and occasionally visit and those who apply so they can relocate their home and their lives here.
Many people who hold the 10-year MM2H visa do not actually make their home in Malaysia. These occasional visitors adds to the number of approved applicants, so people can say the programme is a success but most of them do very little to help the Malaysian economy.
The second group, however, have set up homes here and collectively contribute billions of ringgit to the economy; something the country really needs right now. They buy houses here, buy cars and other capital items like furniture and household equipment. On average, based on research TEG Media conducted in 2019, MM2Hers living here spend around RM10,000 a month – or around RM120,000 a year – in the country. It is easy to see how, when you have a few thousand people like this, its very good news for the economy of Malaysia. Our research also revealed that 60% of the people who have relocated here plan to spend the rest of their lives here. In other words, they have chosen to make Malaysia their permanent home.
But now the government is inexplicably turning its back on this group.
One of the many things people like about living here is the ability to take vacations to the many interesting countries surrounding Malaysia. At the time of the implementation of the MCO, a number of MM2Hers were out of the country, certainly never thinking that the government would not let them come back to their homes.
Now some are stranded overseas with nowhere to go and the immigration authorities refuse to let them back into their homes because the government says they are not welcome. They have done the same to people with employment passes, but they are generally not facing the same problems as the MM2Hers who live here permanently. All the immigration officers have to do is ask the MM2H or employment pass holder if they have a permanent home here and if they do, give them the same Covid-19 screening given to Malaysian citizens, and ask them to stay home for a few weeks. But they will not.
We are only talking about 100 or so people, and we cannot understand why no one cares about them now the country has a health problem.
Apart from the sheer inhumanity of not letting them return to their homes, this is a terrible message to send the international community about the Malaysia My Second Home programme. They were enthusiastically welcomed, met the stringent terms of the visa, and are the ones who gave the most to the country by making it their permanent home – and they are now being refused entry back into the homes they created here.
TEG Media, and specifically its CEO Andy Davison, have been involved with the MM2H programme for many years, and are now trying hard to get the government to change this policy and at least allow those MM2Hers back into the country who own or rent a home here. It’s very hard to understand why they are not permitted to do the self-isolation in their own homes.
If you or someone you know is being adversely affected by the Malaysian government’s decision to bar MM2Hers and resident expats from re-entry into the country, please drop us a line at [email protected].
In the meantime, we will continue our efforts to persuade the government to reconsider this unfortunate and confusing decision.
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