MIRI (Oct 22): A drastic increase in the number of applications for Malaysia My Second Home–Sarawak (MM2H-S) programme shows that the programme is successful in attracting more foreigners to come to Sarawak, said Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts I Datuk Sebastian Ting.
Ting disclosed that 281 applications were received from foreigners from January to September this year, as compared to 66 applications in 2020.
Among them, those from the United States (USA), Hong Kong and the United Kingdom constituted the highest number of applicants, followed by applicants from Singapore, Japan, China, Australia, France and South Korea. There were also applications from other countries such as Canada, Netherlands, Taiwan, New Zealand, Indonesia, Italy, Iran, Austria and Denmark.
“In fact, comparing the numbers to previous years, tracing back as far as 2007, the highest applications recorded were 224 in 2019, yet this year, the number had exceeded it all,” he said when speaking at a press conference after launching the Miri 2022 Sheda Home & Property roadshow at Bintang Megamall yesterday.
The factors contributing to the influx, he explained, is the lower mandatory fixed deposit of RM150,000 (for individual) and RM300,000 (for couple); as compared to RM1,000,000 required by MM2H in Peninsular Malaysia.
“Another benefit of our programme is that MM2H-S pass holders can live anywhere in Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak or Sabah), with the requirement that they must fulfil a minimum stay of 15 days a year in Sarawak.”
Having said that, Ting emphasised on the need for local housing developers to build more housing to meet the need of the market in view of the increasing number of MM2H-S applications.
“MM2H-S pass holders are allowed to purchase a residential house in Sarawak at minimum price of RM600,000 per unit (for Kuching) and RM500,000 per unit for other divisions.
“Units with prices below that are strictly disallowed and reserved only for locals,” he added.
Ting also stressed on the need to build more affordable housing to cater for B40 and M40 groups, which has been among the concerns of Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, by launching the Housing Deposit Assistance Scheme (HDAS) and looking at having more houses built throughout the state to benefit the groups.
Also present at the launching were Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Sheda) chairman James Hii, councillor Dr Vincent Huang representing Pujut assemblyman Mayor Adam Yii, chief executive officer of Mutiara Mortgage and Credit Sdn Bhd Shaharony Mat Nor and organising chairperson Chriz Chan.