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Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Old Aug 26th 2020, 12:05 pm
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Originally Posted by ssoomro View Post
@StillSearching... before I applied for my MM2H, i did quite a bit of research ..and came to conclusion that Malaysia and MM2H has substantial advantage over the programs being offered in the region (some of the central/latin american countries offer much better overall retirement plans ..such as Panama, Ecuador, Costa Rica etc) .. Malaysia pros generally outweigh most of its cons .. here are some .. (of course from own subjective POV):

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All correct. It is why we are here for now until other opportunities will arrive.
I can't understand why expats like to stay in KL. The air pollution is so bad practically all the time. Maybe compare with some places in China, it is much better. Sarawak was in a bad condition last year because of the fires in the jungle. Sabah was a little better, but still not healthy.
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Old Aug 26th 2020, 5:58 pm
  #17  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Originally Posted by WiredTight View Post
I'm a bit late on the this... but here's my take:
I think the first item on the agenda, is the closing of the loop hole between Peninsula Malaysia and Sarawak. Too much Peninsula Tax money being lost. Close the Sarawak program but keep the 5 year option and move it into a new program.
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I think you have this completely backwards. Sarawak only gets a few hundred ringgits from issuing visas for those that reside in the peninsula.I'm not even sure if that isn't Federal Money. All the Peninsula money in taxes still goes to the Peninsula. The condo taxes, the sales taxes (GIS/VAT), the hotel tax, plus all the economic benefit of having someone who used the backdoor (which is only valuable because the bureaucracy on the Peninsula is glacial or cocked up by suspending the program).

Almost no taxes are paid by MM2H recipients...not income tax especially...except for property or vehicles, or items where they DO LIVE.

So all those "backdoor" people that enter via Sarawak are actually bringing their $£¥ into the Peninsula when instead they'd be sitting on their hands at home waiting to be accepted. Their money isn't going into Sarawak. It's going into the Peninsula...when...if they were not getting their MM2H they'd be bringing in nothing at all. Who bene=fits from the Sarawak MM2H when a recipient lives in the Peninsula? The Peninsula. When a Penang or KL condo landlord rents to a recipient of a Sarawak MM2H its THAT landlord, in the Peninsula, that benefits. When a car dealer sells that person a car...its the peninsular car-dealer that gains. And they (or the SMM2H recipient) pays the taxes into the Federal budget.

The Federal government still gets the benefit of the conversion of foreign currency to ringgits whichever bank the in Malaysia it's deposited into. People who live in the Peninsula cannot even exploit the withdrawal...since the car, school or medical care has to be in Sarawak. So they are saying for that out of pocket when they live in the Peninsula.

The MM2H visa was structured just like any other visa...it allowed travel and residency in the Peninsula but required additional (or separate) application to enter Sarawak or Sabah. The same system applies to employment visas, tourist visas, and even West Malaysians have to go through Sarawak/Sabah immigration to enter East Malaysia.This is because Sarawak and Sabah have a number of independent Ministries and these were Constitutionally Protected when Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak joined with the Malay States to form Malaysia. So the right for Sarawak and Sabah to establish their own Immigration policies is protected in the Constitution. Peninsular Malaysia cannot simply "do away with" Sarawak's MM2H program.

I personally think that it's wise that applicants to Sarawak (and Sabah) should have a residency requirement. The risk of doing that is losing an applicant who may spend a year or two in Sarawak/Sabah/Malaysia but travel the world for work and pleasure. But maybe requiring a 12 month residence spread out over the five years to obtain a renewal would be a reasonable expectation. That would mean they could switch over and apply to the MM2H if they prefer not to get the renewal in Sarawak. Or they could spend 10 weeks a year in Sarawak, reapply, and then move to the Peninsula after renewal.

Remember, the principal benefit of MM2H is the economic benefit by people actually spending their foreign-earned cash in Malaysia. It's like long term tourism.

Last edited by RedApe; Aug 26th 2020 at 6:58 pm.
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Old Aug 27th 2020, 12:03 pm
  #18  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Originally Posted by WiredTight View Post
The two tier option is a long shot. Most likely the New program will double one time application fee's, Remove the Tax-free FD perk, and some type of once a year Health / Security checkup requirement (Tax)
I don´t understand. Application fee is zero, double would still be zero. FD is tax free for all Malaysians and foreigners, this is no perk.

Anyway I only see one chance for MM2H and that is a two tiered program.

Tier 1: Green countries that qualify for 90 day visa free stay in Malaysia
Tier 2: all others

Tier 1 can still follow the old or even friendlier rules, for Tier 2 it will be much more expensive and difficult.

That solves their main problem in a elegent way as even Hong Kong will be Tier 2.
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Old Aug 27th 2020, 12:51 pm
  #19  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Originally Posted by eCdD View Post
I don´t understand. Application fee is zero, double would still be zero. FD is tax free for all Malaysians and foreigners, this is no perk..
Bingo...investment accounts in banks are tax free. Period.

One problem with FD's is that the better they are as an investment vehicle (for the wealthy) the less likely they are to be drawn upon. If the goal is to get the MM2H applicant to spend lots of money in Malaysia..,.the FD is a crummy instrument to do that. It's good for balancing the currency exchange market, not much else, if it's "parked". If the recipient leaves the program the government needs to find a replacement individual. In fact that is the major problem if the 40,000 or so with MM2H were to becoming discouraged with the program and leave. That's 40K * RM250K (saying half the MM2H beneficieries are under 50/half over). That's MYR 10,000,000,000 that would have to be balanced through other sources. Not to mention the interest accrued that would walk out the door with them.

Originally Posted by eCdD View Post
Anyway I only see one chance for MM2H and that is a two tiered program.

Tier 1: Green countries that qualify for 90 day visa free stay in Malaysia
Tier 2: all others
Tier 1 can still follow the old or even friendlier rules, for Tier 2 it will be much more expensive and difficult.
That solves their main problem in a elegent way as even Hong Kong will be Tier 2.
So are you linking applications to the Covid-19 situation? I can see some short term benefit to this if people are coming in and going out to their home countries...but wouldn't everyone be tested upon entry? If a country is Green you might be a bit looser with quarantine, I suppose. But isn't what they are trying to do is get Green status tourism for everyone? Not sure if this relates to MM2H requirements. What if Hong Kong goes to Green status? You'd still have a lot of people applying because of political conditions. Does it solve the "problem" in any sort of an elegant way, then? China is, I believe "Green". So not sure if it impacts the xenophobia issue. But it could switch to "Red" quickly. So you'd have a rapidly changing set of qualifying/non-qualifying countries for MM2H visa categories. What happens if the process stretches out over months? Someone who was one Green Tier One is nowRed "Tier 2". "Please, sir, could you delay my evaluation another month...maybe it'll go back to Green".

I think that the evaluation process of Green Zones/Red Zones might work for tourism (if you had a team evaluating health/testing situations and relaying that to airlines and immigration authorities quite rapidly)...but it seems impractical for MM2H. Red Zones will either be barred entirely from entry, or everyone will face testing and quarantine,. In fact everyone on MM2H should get tested as part of their Health Check...and when there's a safe and effective vaccine they should get that (unless they can establish zero illness, a preexisting immune condition, and are willing to confront quarantine).

But not sure if the tier system as suggested resolves the racial xenophobia issues or the false ideas that MM2H folks are crooks or begpackers.

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Old Aug 27th 2020, 1:47 pm
  #20  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Originally Posted by RedApe View Post
So are you linking applications to the Covid-19 situation? .
No, this has nothing to do with covid 19, this is the visa map of Malaysia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:V...f_Malaysia.png
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Old Aug 27th 2020, 4:34 pm
  #21  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Oh I see...I didn't realize you were referring to a Wiki Map colour-coding system. Too much talk about Green, Yellow and Red zones nowadays.

This indeed would be doable...although the system is set-up mainly to prevent those coming in on tourist visas from "shopping for jobs". That already had a somewhat xenophobic subtext.

In the past MM2H allowed in large numbers of wealthy Iranians, Indians and Bangladeshis who were actually fleeing social conditions in their countries. If one looks at the pattern of admissions by nationality for MM2H you see various peaks and dips, some quite dramatic relating to these issues (and sometimes the governments then tightening the screws to prevent loss of capital).

This article has an interesting map showing the trends by country. China is the red line The violet peak in 2005 are Bangladeshis which was actually the number one nation in 2005. I heard that there were issues with the legitimacy of the applications however. That's why the big drop. The same happened with Chinese applications at the same time. There were some fake documentation being submitted. The greater scrutiny caused drops, but China has recovered immensely. I'm wondering if there is lingering suspicion of the legitimacy of Chinese applications?

Japan is orange (peaked in 2011 but fallen considerably since). UK is light green (fairly steady between 6-7% of total approvals)) , Iran darker green (peaked between 2007-11 but fallen...probably to almost zero today due to financial issues and US sanctions). Korea sky blue and had been accelerating since 2016), Singapore off red (fairly steady but less than 5%). Others Navy Blue which is actually the second most applicants and should be broken down further. It's an odd bag of Taiwanese, Hong Kong, Europeans, Australians, Indians, Arab States, Canadians and Americans.

https://www.edgeprop.my/content/1452...ity-applicants

Some of these peaks and climbs also related to policy changes by MM2H...eliminating sponsors, allowing agents (which started recruiting in certain countries like Japan and China), and reducing the application age. Sarawak retained the old system and its program has stagnated compared to the Peninsula.
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Old Aug 27th 2020, 4:35 pm
  #22  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

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Old Aug 28th 2020, 3:51 am
  #23  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Interesting excerpt from the same article (https://www.edgeprop.my/content/1452...ity-applicants) ... "Meanwhile, the ministry has been engaging with existing MM2H participants to address their issues, while ensuring agents that serve the applicants give out the right information."
Has anyone from this forum been "approached" by the Ministry ?

While the article is dated, but this is the VERY reason for this thread... to discuss potential changed to the qualifications and benefits of the MM2H program.. just in case existing and/or potential applicants views are solicited. Of course a better idea will be to provide an online feedback/comments section on the govt MM2H site to allow people to anonymously drop off these ideas. Hope someone with access to 'right people' will pass on some of the more constructive comments here to the "right people" ..

Back to the discussion, the talk about green/red/purple zones and visas reminded me of another thread I started a few months back regarding "MM2Hers" not being allowed to return to their Malay homes etc during the early days of Covid. I am glad we have seen some resolution to that issue. For the most part people are being allowed back ....with some restrictions and quarantine/Stay At Home.... requirements etc.

IMHO (In my humble opinion), this is one of the key points to raise in terms of "equity" when revising the program, MM2H participants need to get some preferences (NOT GUARENTEES) of access to home etc in situations like the pandemic/natural disasters etc.
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Old Aug 28th 2020, 9:33 am
  #24  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Originally Posted by ssoomro View Post
Surge in Indian applicants will not sit well with Malays either .. similar to Chinese applicants.. i think (sorry for race undertones) .. MM2H was targeted at "wealthier European/Americans" .. Indians surge will cause fear of ethnic imbalance ..again
Interesting that you say this: for many years have most of the new MM2H applications and approvals come from China, followed by Japan. Both Europe and US were trailing far behind those two. Unfortunately does the new MM2H government website no longer have those statistics.
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Old Aug 28th 2020, 10:10 am
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Originally Posted by SushiFan View Post
Unfortunately does the new MM2H government website no longer have those statistics.
And we all know why
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Old Aug 28th 2020, 11:05 am
  #26  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

While indeed its true that the ethnic Chinese form the largest single group of applicants and recipients of MM2H, they have also been the target of most criticism and vitriol by the anti-MM2H pols and locals. There are some threads in the MY forum discussion local hostility against this group and stories about JB developers targeting Chinese buyers with promise of MM2H and PR etc leading to senior Malay politicians criticizing the MM2H program itself.

Local politicians have long played the race card openly to inflame bumiputra sentiments. Chinese and to a lesser degree Indians are the key target of this rhetoric..I am by no means against any single group' participation no matter how large, i was just pointing out that like Chinese, Indians presence in MY is somewhat 'sensitive', increase in Indian applications will have similar response from the local opportunistic pols.
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Old Aug 29th 2020, 2:52 am
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Originally Posted by ssoomro View Post
.. MM2H was targeted at "wealthier European/Americans"
I really doubt that many Americans will be attracted to live in MY while Puerto Rico offers no federal taxes. Americans who live anywhere in the world still need to pay to the feds. If federal taxes for some Americans are very minor, then these Americans can't fit to MM2H requirements. And these Americans move e.g. to Mexico or Ecuador.
Basically, rich Americans likely not be thinking to retire in MY for financial reasons.

Originally Posted by ssoomro View Post
Finally the statement about MM2H being the "best retirement visa in the world" is debatable ... There are some amazing incentives offered by places like Ecuador (like subsidized health care, even discounted transport (train/planes etc) ) and long term visa + equity .. (getting PR/dual citizenship if desired) .
Regarding Ecuador-
1) Ecuador is prone to some very nasty earthquakes, and the Andes are sprinkled with massive volcanoes. There is also a risk of tsunamis.

2) Heath care rating, which is important for retirees, by categories from wikipedia:
Ecuador 93 133 107 97 96 111
Malaysia 89 49 55 93 86 49
The last number is an overall score.

3) Spanish, not English language. Do you want to learn Spanish before you move there?

So, poor but subsidized health care is a concern. Discounted transport is not a list where you really can save money.

Interestingly, Malaysia is considered at higher crime rate than Ecuador (60% vs 50%) according to numbeo. But the US is 47 and UK is 43- not really far.

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Old Aug 29th 2020, 4:12 am
  #28  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

You bring up some good points... a quick google search on "Best countries to retire to" brings up dozens of different lists .. The answer to the question is highly subjective .. based on what works for you in terms of cost/climate/lifestyle..and proximity to 1st home..so many of those lists will show central/Latin american countries (Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador etc) topping the list ..because the last (proximity) criteria carries a lot of weight for lists generated with North Americans in mind. or Portugal/Spain etc for northern Europeans in mind. Nevertheless, IMHO in pure apples to apples comparison, i think the central/latin american countries do offer somewhat better set of benefits.

Retrospectively, I supposed i should have said "Creators of MM2H were "hoping to attract wealthier westerner retirees ...not fellow Asians fleeing socio-economic conditions"....instead of . "MM2H was targeted at "wealthier European/Americans".

I also agree that most Americans are not lining up in droves for MM2H or MY .. largely for 3 key reasons.. 1: Distance from family/kids etc 2: Cultural differences (MY being a Muslim majority country ..plays a big part) .. 3. Security (again connected #2) .. Americans seem to prefer 1: Philippines, ...2: Vietnam ... 3 Thailand over MY in their choice in Asia .. Again because they are somewhat familiar with those countries (Major US bases as well as common location of R&R during Vietnam War....etc).. ..Anyways .. I think we are getting a bit further off the discussion .. thanks again for your comments
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Old Aug 29th 2020, 6:19 am
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Malaysia’s recovery movement control order extended to Dec 31, tourists still not allowed in: PM Muhyiddin



I like the idea of retiring in Malaysia. The healthcare seems pretty good and affordable along with cost of living.
close proximity to other travel destinations. Dont have to learn Spanish. My wife is From China so she can speak English and Chinese. It works out good for us. Close to China too for us to visit her family.
reasonable cost for international schools. With lots of choices. Thailand did have a few in Chiangmai but the cost was way too expensive. Thailand doesn’t have as many English speakers. Malaysia makes the most sense for us. Medical being a big draw, language.

Last edited by meched55; Aug 29th 2020 at 6:27 am.
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Old Aug 31st 2020, 3:51 am
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Originally Posted by StillSearching View Post
I really doubt that many Americans will be attracted to live in MY while Puerto Rico offers no federal taxes. Americans who live anywhere in the world still need to pay to the feds. If federal taxes for some Americans are very minor, then these Americans can't fit to MM2H requirements. And these Americans move e.g. to Mexico or Ecuador.
Basically, rich Americans likely not be thinking to retire in MY for financial reasons..
Puerto Rico doesn't tax US income "as a state" (neither do many other States...like Texas). I used to live in California. I don't pay state taxes anymore. Puerto Rico does tax earnings acquired in Puerto Rico.

That's the same in Malaysia. Earn money in Malaysia (except in interest from bank accounts which are exempt) and you'll be subject to Malaysian taxes.

The USA is a citizenship based tax system. If you are a citizen you can be taxed based on earnings from ANYWHERE. The only way to reduce that is if the countries have tax treaties or through two special deductions/credits to avoid double taxation. Or to conceal the earnings by moving them to a tax shelter (St. Kitts, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, etc.). Or to renounce ones US Citizenship...large fees, and they will audit you in perverse detail and still hit you for the next three years...and in which case you had better have a back-up passport and residency.
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