After keeping existing MM2H visa holders dangling for more than a month, Malaysia’s government has at last clearly stated that the new programme requirements will not be applied to them.
Though there has been no shortage of heated criticism over Malaysia’s new requirements for the soon-to-relaunch Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, the fiercest pushback has come on behalf of the thousands of existing visa holders currently living in the country, nearly all of whom would be forced to pack up and leave their homes in Malaysia if the new rules were applied to them, despite assurance in the past that this would never happen.
Indeed, a big part of the MM2H programme’s appeal had been the promise that once approved, visa holders would not be subjected to future rule changes; the rules under which they were approved would continue to apply to them.
Following intense criticism, Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin made grudging statements that the government would consider exempting existing MM2H pass holders on a “case by case basis,” but for critics — and certainly for the MM2Hers themselves — that simply wasn’t good enough.
In response to a growing storm of backlash, the government has finally stated that those who already hold a valid MM2H pass will not be subjected to the revised requirements.
We had hoped to receive a written declaration from the government on this key point, but to date, that has not been forthcoming. We must hope that public statements made on this matter have been in good faith and will be adhered to. Many MM2H visa holders have noted that the trust they had placed in Malaysia’s government has already been damaged; the breach would almost certainly be irreparable if they backtracked yet again.
For now, it certainly seems that existing MM2Hers, most notably those living in and contributing to Malaysia, can finally breathe a much-needed sigh of relief.
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