Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskander today called for a revision of the new requirements for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, saying they are too restrictive and will dampen the interest of foreigners in coming to the country.
In a statement on Facebook, he said the new conditions would also force existing pass holders to leave Malaysia.
“The review was supposed to make things better,” he said. “But the new criteria are only going to drive investors and tourists away from Malaysia.”
The new conditions require foreigners to prove the possession of liquid assets worth RM500,000 to RM1.5 million, depending on their age.
They must also have a monthly offshore income of at least RM40,000 and must stay a minimum of 90 days in the country each year. Meanwhile, visas issued under MM2H are now valid for five years whereas they used to be valid for 10.
Sultan Ibrahim said loss of interest by foreigners would mean massive revenue loss for the country.
“This is very disappointing, especially for us in Johor as we have a long history with Singapore and its people,” he added.
“The new requirements will turn them away from investing in Johor.”
He also said the government should be more compassionate and lenient towards foreigners looking to settle and retire in Malaysia.
“When you keep shifting the goalposts, foreigners will lose confidence in Malaysia. This is not the right time to raise fees,” he said.
“Let us help put Malaysia back on the world map as the best place to live for high net-worth foreigners. Drastic changes like this will tarnish our image and will make us a laughing stock of the world.”