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Sabah Announces Its Own MM2H Programme

Sabah is one of Malaysia's most naturally beautiful states | Image Credit: Berita Harian
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Full details were not provided, but are expected soon as the final bits of the new programme are being worked out.

The East Malaysian state of Sabah, like its neighbour Sarawak, has chosen not to follow the national Malaysia My Second Home programme offered by the federal government, but rather to create and offer its own programme.

Sabah and Sarawak, by the terms of the agreement that saw the two states in Borneo join the Peninsula to form Malaysia in 1963, control their own immigration, distinct from that of the Peninsula. Accordingly, these states occasionally break with the federal government on such matters.

According to Chief Minister Hajiji Noor, Sabah will launch the Sabah Malaysia My Second Home (SMM2H) soon. This will join Sarawak’s programme, which is abbreviated as S-MM2H. He said that Sabah’s state Cabinet has approved the programme, which is to be launched once the final details are firmed up and adjustments made.

Though there will surely be some confusion and moments of clarification needed when we talk about S-MM2H and SMM2H in the future, it’s encouraging to see that even if the central government doesn’t appear to see the value that MM2Hers bring to the country, the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak do.

“With our own SMM2H, we hope to see high-value foreigners and talents moving to Sabah, and creating economic spin-offs,” Hajiji said when announcing the programme.

Though specifics on SMM2H have not yet been announced, based on Hajiji’s remarks, it seems we can reasonably expect the terms to be more favourable than those of the national programme, which have been widely criticised since the programme’s retooling. “Sabah’s programme will not follow the new requirements meted out under the federal MM2H programme,” he said. “With SMM2H, we aim to make Sabah more attractive to foreigners wishing to move to and live in the state.”

This statement also seems to infer a residency requirement, but time will tell. Sarawak recently increased the residency requirement for its own programme from 15 days per year spent in the state to 30 days per year. We will advise on the new SMM2H visa programme as more details are made available.

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