Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah at the Malaysia My Second Home (S-MM2H) programme held here at Baitul Makmur building, Kuching. Also present was Permanent Secratary Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hii Chang Kee (left), Datuk Sebastian Ting (second left), and Sarawak Malaysian Immigration director, Datuk Ken Leben (right).
BY NATASHA JEE & ALVERDTEKOSTER ANYAP

KUCHING: The Tourism, Arts, and Culture Ministry has enhanced the regulations and requirements for the Sarawak-Malaysia My Second Home (S-MM2H) programme, which took effect on Sept 1.

Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the ministry had obtained approval from the Sarawak  Cabinet on June 18.

He added that this was in view of Sarawak expecting more foreigners making it their second home, and the number of MM2H applications were also expected to increase dramatically based on the S-MM2H statistics.

“The main enhancements are mainly to strengthen and safeguard Sarawak’s interests and public security, and at the same time, to relax the age limit and accompanying dependent and the use of agents,” he said at a press conference here on Friday (Sept 4).

With the new regulations and requirements, the S-MM2H programme is open to citizens of all countries that have diplomatic relations with Malaysia (except Israel), in line with the federal government’s policy on foreign diplomatic relations.

“For the age eligibility, a new category for those aged 40 to 50 are eligible to apply, with investment in properties specifically for residential purposes with total amount of at least RM600,000.

“There must be submission of Letter of Good Conduct from relevant governments authorised in the applicants’ home countries for all new applicants, to safeguard the interests of Sarawak and in line with federal governments policy.

“We need the Letter of Good Conduct, we do not want those who are involved in money laundering or have committed offences in their own countries and use Sarawak or Malaysia as their dumping ground…or buying properties here for criminal activities. We do not want that to happen. Therefore, the S-MM2H pass can be revoked if the participants are involved in criminal offences.”

Furthermore, he said the imposition of security or personal bonds to act as a refundable security deposit in case of any breach or non-compliance to the Immigration Ordinance or Regulations or when unexpected incidents happened to S-MM2H participants and would be used for cost of deportation if necessary.

“To benefit the Sarawak economy, the fixed deposit amount has been increased from RM100,000 to RM150,000 for individuals and from RM150,000 to RM300,000 for couples.”

He said the minimum amount of the residential house purchase had also been increased from RM350,000 to RM600,000 for Kuching Division and from RM300,000 to RM500,000 for other divisions in Sarawak.

“All S-MM2H pass holders need to stay a minimum of 15 days per year in Sarawak to qualify them for a renewal of S-MM2H pass after five years.”

He added that there would be an establishment of a One-Stop Panel comprising multiple government agencies to approve S-MM2H applications, as this would ensure that all applications are processed and approved promptly and efficiently.

“Agents registered with MOTAC Sarawak are now allowed to submit the application on behalf of applicants. This is to not only help the applicants who have difficulties in finding the sponsor but also help the tourism agencies in Sarawak to be the S-MM2H agents.”

Abdul Karim also said applicants’ parents and children below 21 years old and not married were allowed to accompany the applicants.

“And lastly, applicants are required to purchase medical insurance for themselves and dependents.”

For further enquiries of the S-MM2H programme, contact MOTAC Sarawak S-MM2H Unit at 082-442226 or visit their website at https://mtac.sarawak.gov.my/

Applicants can also contact the Immigration Department Malaysia, Sarawak S-MM2H Unit at 082-410436 or visit their website at www.imi.gov.my