Associations call for quick relaxation of Malaysia's 10-year visa policy

By Hoang Phong   May 4, 2023 | 12:11 am PT
Associations call for quick relaxation of Malaysia's 10-year visa policy
Tourists visit the Sky Bridge in Langkawi, Malaysia, September 16, 2021. Photo by Reuters
Various associations have called on the Malaysian government to quickly resolve issues in its 10-year visa program to help raise government revenue.

Datuk Firdaus Musa, president of International Real Estate Federation, said that due to strict rules for the Malaysia My Second Home program, over 90% of high-net-worth individuals had shunned Malaysia as a second home option, New Strait Times reported.

The federation urged the government to allow the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to be in charge of the program, instead of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

"Returning the program to the tourism ministry does not mean the country's security will be compromised," he said as cited by Free Malaysia Today.

In the long run, the influx of high-net-worth individuals into Malaysia will help raise government revenue, especially in terms of tax collection, he added.

"We will continue to work closely with the tourism as well as the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure that participants follow the rules set by the government," he said.

Penang executive councilor for tourism and creative economy Yeoh Soon Hin had called on the government to urgently relax strict rules of the program to attract foreigners.

The visa program, which was launched in 2002, allows foreigners to stay in Malaysia for up to 10 years.

In August 2021, the government imposed stricter conditions, requiring applicants to provide proof of RM1.5 million ($338,000) in liquid assets and a minimum of RM40,000 in monthly income.

Previously, applicants only needed savings of between RM300,000 and RM500,000.

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