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Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Old Aug 31st 2020, 4:22 am
  #31  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Another element in Americans preferring to retire "close to the US" is that the Medicare system is not portable. One has to return to the United States to make use of the benefits. However Medicare is a rather crappy system. Retirees still must pay a monthly premium of @US$140/month/person and then it covers about 80-90% of the costs. And there are still some co-pays. So some expats decide to simply drop the coverage and pay over-the-counter. Panama and Costa Rica actually offer coverage in their government health care scheme if you get in their pensionado or rentista programs. I don't think that's true in Mexico.

A very good book on the "bennies"/requirements that various programs that countries offer for retirees (although like Malaysia it can be a bit of a moving target) is Kathleen Peddicord's "How To Retire Overseas". Here's here entry on special benefits for retirees (not some of these are related to their age) "Foreign retirees in Ecuador are eligible for discounts of 50% off for all public transportation...national and international airfares...cultural, sports and recreational events...electricity, water and telephone, a discount on property tax, relief from Ecuadorian income tax, discount on vehicle tax...judicial fees...refund on VAT. Best of all, you never have to stand in line; seniors always go to the front."

Peddicord's book should be mandatory reading by whomever is crafting a retirement program to get a taste of what the "competition" is offering....if the goal is actually to encourage more applications and to make the program more attractive.

Retirement tourism is probably the one form of tourism (vs. mass tourism) that could be relatively controllable during the Covid-19 pandemic. People are more likely to be willing to undertake quarantine (esp. home quarantine) in a Covid-"Green" locale: Malaysia). They could be tested...provided services at a serviced condo - Delivered meals, newspapers, books, literature about properties, videos about tourism, etc.)...while their paperwork was processed. Health check could be done at the condo or while the nasal swabs are taken. Arrange for the FD transference by a visit with a special manager who would witness the signing of the forms from a safe distance. Special immigration officer if needed. Make the quarantine actually useful for the applicant. Not dead time.
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Old Aug 31st 2020, 4:34 am
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

By-the-by here is something I wrote up on the history of the Malaysian Silver Hair program to its evolution to MM2H.

Also a link to a study done by Stuart MacDonald the Penang Institute from which some of it was drawn (see pp.17)

https://penanginstitute.org/wp-conte..._inflation.pdf

“Statistical Assessment of Silver-Hair and MM2H in Response to Reforms/Revisions with a note on the Potential of the Sarawak MM2H”

Dr. Jerry Drawhorn (Professor Emeritus, Biological Anthropology)
California State University, Sacramento


[email protected]



Historical Background: 1987-1996: The Malaysia Retirement Program was originally only available for those over 65, and required a sponsor. A renewable one year visa, was issued. Although no annual statistics were taken, it had virtually no applicants. It appears that about 169 individuals received these visas nationwide over that decade.

1996-2001: In 1996 the program was rebranded as the “Silver-Hair Program” and given some advertising coverage. The minimum age was lowered to 50 years and above. The visa was extended to a 5 year renewable program. It still required a Malaysian sponsor and nationals from Developed Nations were targeted (Japan, Europe, Australia). From the below chart applications remained below 50 per year nationally. Between the whole period 1987-2000 there were only 482 cumulative recipients. This means that even with these reforms there were only a total of 313 recipients over this five year period (62.6/year).

[img]blob:https://britishexpats.com/5da151ab-fa7d-4c0c-ae84-31cf72ffdd14[/img]




In 2002 The Silver-Hair Program was again rebranded. It was renamed “Malaysia My Second Home” and the age limitations were dropped entirely and there were almost no limitations as regards nationality. Ten year visas were offered. For those under 50 years of age a Fixed Deposit was required, while those over 50 could demonstrate a guaranteed pension in lieu of the FD.

Despite the fact that no agents or consultants were officially allowed, in the first year after the reform there was an increase in applications by 260%. The following year (2003) the growth reached 525% of 2001 levels. In four years (2005) the increase was 861% of levels since the 2002 reform. The reform allowed substantial numbers of younger, wealthy and middle-class South and West Asian (Bangladesh, India, Iran) and East Asian (China, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia and Korean) applicants to apply, some assisted by agents.

[img]blob:https://britishexpats.com/cb8685c3-b67f-47df-9c34-60984b9b2993[/img]


2005- Applications spiked at 2500 individuals and declined rapidly to 1500. This was almost entirely due to a decrease in Chinese and Taiwanese applications. Other nationalities remained constant or declined minimally. In response to the dramatic decline, in 2006 an MM2H One-Stop Center was established at Petrajaya. Agents were officially allowed to operate, if registered and licensed. This appears to have stabilized the application numbers.


[img]blob:https://britishexpats.com/4b73d962-afd1-499a-8f1b-9f4f42d2122b[/img]


In 2009 Malaysia again made some reforms allowing self-application. No sponsors were required as the Ministry of Tourism itself acted in this role, after direct payment of a refundable Security Bond. As well, part-time employment in selected industries (education, outreach tourism abroad, etc.) was permitted. A special division within the immigration department was established to expedite MM2H applications. Within one year the program began to rebound and by 2012-13 exceeded previous highs (3227 and 3675). Thus, over a doubling of the 2006-2010 numbers was observed. Increased immigration scrutiny brought levels down in 2014-15 but applications continued to increase to peak levels in 2016 and 2017.

Sarawak’s Conservative Approach: Sarawak still largely applies the original “Silver-Hair” structure...applicants must be over 50, a Sarawakian sponsor is required and the use of agents is forbidden. Part-time employment is not allowed, though work abroad is not regulated. A five year, renewable visa is offered.

Major attractions of the Sarawak program for applicants is the ability to apply using EITHER a proof of pension/income or to establish a Fixed Deposit Account. Both options require less money that the Peninsular MM2H, another attraction. For those intending to purchase property the floor for the minimum unit price is lower than any other State. These are all attractive to Middle-Class retired and semi-retired applicants.


Despite this, the Program languishes. The fundamental reasons for this is 1) the need for a Sarawakian sponsor and 2) the unfamiliarity of the existence of a separate program managed by the Sarawak government with rules distinct from the Peninsula. To some degree the age requirement may also inhibit some applicants. Note that the Peninsular program experienced exponential growth in applications after dropping their age and sponsorship restrictions.....(continued with recommendations for the Sarawak MM2H program).

For some reason the Green arrows showing the various reform periods did not come out in the abscissa. These were 2002, 2006, 2009.

Last edited by RedApe; Aug 31st 2020 at 4:41 am.
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Old Aug 31st 2020, 5:00 am
  #33  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Great Post RA.. thanks for the historical perspective. IMHO, despite the 'well discussed' limitations, bureaucratic/political issues, MM2H remains one of the better 'retirement programs' available. Other countries in the region will do well to emulate it...and improve upon it, if they are serious about attracting quality retirees to their shores... and to poach away the applicants to MM2H. Some of the 'real or perceived negatives' associated with moving to Malaysia play favorably to other countries in the region, if they were to equalize or improve upon the 'positives' of the program.
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Old Aug 31st 2020, 6:09 am
  #34  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Another really good and useful post RA.. I am familiar with Kathleen Peddicord' excellent writings on living/retiring abroad. Like you.. I am an American (ok US citizen....i remember being frequently corrected for monopolizing the word 'American' when traveling in Central/Latin America ) .. and yes ...as previously mentioned some of the retirement programs in Central/South America do provide best in class benefits.. I didnt want to harp on this cuz this is after all "BritExpats" forum and much of latin/central american programs are focused on attracting North Americans ..kathleen' works while enormously helpful to anyone researching overseas retirement.. are primarlity focused on North American audience needs ..for the most part

While access to Medicare is a valid part (regardless of issues with Medicare ...) if US ends (as soon as pigs start flying) its lofty perch as the only industrialized country with no single payer healthcare system.. it may actually benefit the southern states ..against flight of retirees to central/south american countries.

Finally, western/industrialized nations are seeing increase in aging populations, with a lifetime of savings stashed away for the golden yrs (or not ..haha) .. the countries in milder climes and lower cost of living would be wise to offer attractive packages to target this crowd.. most of them are past their 'mischief making' days..(or so they say ) .. and have lived productive lives that can be harvested as a reverse brain drain .. there are positives on both sides of the equation (retirees and hosting countries) that need to be better communicated/understood etc.

Last edited by ssoomro; Aug 31st 2020 at 6:16 am.
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Old Aug 31st 2020, 4:31 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

I have been retired for 7 years now at 74 years of age. I lived in Singapore for 25+ years. but overseas for 45+ years. I got my MM2H visa in 2011, and planned on living in 2 countries, Singapore. and Malaysia. However, I left the MM2H program after a few years and returned to the States, bought a nice house on the border with Canada, and before the pandemic, had 2 places to call home- Vancouver (a lot like Singapore) 20 minutes away and a little town on the border in the US. I've had no regrets, but when I have lived in a region for many years, like most of my life, you can't stop being interested in what's happening there. I tend to read this forum periodically.

I have had no regrets returning to the US, probably because the Asian food in Vancouver is great and I've made some good friends there. Moreover, I feel part of a community here in the States. I never had that during my life overseas, even when I was a PR in Singapore. The PR was always contingent on you being employed. It's currently being taken away from those who think they can retire in Singapore on a PR. You can, but only if you have family connections. I don't.

While I have explored Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico, I still like being in my own community where I vote, I can protest if I disagree, and I can truly be affect what's happening. I never had that feeling in Singapore, and judging by how the MM2H program is evolving, I do not think I could ever call Malaysia home. The MM2H is a glorified tourist visa, and I need to feel part of the community.

Having said that, this is not the forum to discuss options to MM2H I suppose, so excuse me if I do. Ranked #1 in some of the retirement polls is Portugal, and their retirement procedure is pretty straightforward. What I like about it is that it can lead to citizenship after a few years. I am in the process of applying. There is no bank deposit required, just proof of adequate retirement income. The cost of living is very low, and a couple can retire on US$2,000 per month. You would have all of Europe to explore. That would be new for me. Health insurance for someone age is inexpensive after you get the visa.

One last comment. A couple of you think Medicare is not really great. I think it is. Sure I pay about $150/month plus another $180/month for a "Supplementary Plan". It's worth it. Knowing that I can go the doctor anytime I want and not worry about cost is great. My Canadian friends prefer that over being taxed more than 50% for their heath care and long waits.

Anyway, I hope the MM2H evolved into a more permanent option. I'll continue to lurk here and see how it's going. Take care.
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Old Sep 1st 2020, 4:23 am
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Hi Rob.. thanks for your comments..interesting perspective .. a number of interesting topics can be sprung from your comments ... most importantly that of ..."Sense of Belonging" .. in a foreign land .. IMHO, being an 'expat'...by definition comes with 'some degree of "outsiderness"' ... you are in someone else' land .. the degree of outsider-ness depends on a number of factors .. race, religion, language, familiarity and acceptance/participation of local customs etc.. its certainly NOT beyond achievable .. at the same time its also IMPOSSIBLE to achieve no matter what .. if some of the above factors come into play .. and this is almost universal .. having traveled around the globe.. and my own personal experience as an immigrant and expat in a number of different country..validate this theory ..even the most enlightened western societies are not immune to this rule..

IMHO, being an Expat is to accept a degree of social outsider-ness that you can live with .. as well as ongoing/continual effort to reduce the friction with the locals (by learning the language/culture/inter-marriage etc etc) .. cuz for the most part onus is on the Expat .. not the local.. you will have various degree of success and it may be fleeting..and very frustrating ... but its part of the package .. if you cannot adjust to that reality .. being an expat is just not for you.. my sister-in-law and her family (mid-westerners) ..lived for over 10 years in China on work related deputation .. dreamed and waited to return to US...every single day.. did not make any lasting friendships with locals...learn the language beyond very basics...and never acquired a taste for local cuisine and custom...on the flip side.. another friend has been living in Bandung, Indonesia (an Arab fella) .. for almost 10 years.. married to a local lady,.. volunteers as an Imam in the neighborhood mosque ..speaks very fluent Bahasa.. seems to be VERY well integrated and accepted .. even though he is Caucasian in appearance ...

In a ways .. i think an Expat should make every effort to align himself .. but NOT too much .. its kindda fun to never lose the idea of exotic ...bidirectionally
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Old Sep 3rd 2020, 3:16 am
  #37  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

The exotic does wear off after awhile and if one is coming simply for a "taste of the exotic" then long-term stays probably are not going to be attractive to those folks. They will want to move back home (for awhile) or try a different country. I think that MM2H is excellent as a means of staying longer than a package tourist (what was the film..."It's it's Tuesday it must be Belgium") and with the flexibility of NOT having to stay permanently in a country. But I don't think that offering citizenship if one has to surrender all ties to the home-country would be much of an attraction except to a tiny sliver. Most of those would be political refugees, tax avoiders (and that would only relate to a handful of nationality-based tax states) or those with a warrant out on their heads. Dual nationality would be more of a draw (as one could retain some benefits of the home country). But I don't see Malaysia doing that...as it would give MM2H recipients rights and privileges as citizens above and beyond other Malaysians who are NOT allowed to hold dual-citizenship. They would either have to change the laws for everyone, or make MM2H "citizens" a special class.

PR seems possible, however. It would simply mean shifting the groups of visa holders eligible for PR to cover MM2H as well. Thus the years "earned" under MM2H would apply to qualify for the "five years in Malaysia" that those on Employment, Spousal, or Investment Visas also get. One still would have to demonstrate the other factors that they use for "points".
https://www.propertyguru.com.my/prop...malaysia-22118

Here are the main benefits of Malaysian PR
i) Exemption from visa and Immigration requirements to enter and exit the country. (Already in MM2H)
ii) Ability to reside in the country indefinitely. (This pretty much is true under MM2H)
iii) Own and operate own business. (This would be a perk, but might encounter resistance by those who already think that MM2H is allowing people to create competition with their own bumiputra businesses)
iv) Seek employment without need for a work permit. (Also a benefit, though possibly not as big of a draw for retirees...and the same issue with resistance as above)
v) Taxed at Malaysian "Residence" rates (but no different from other tax-residents)
vi) Access to public healthcare. (For the wealthy not as much of a draw, as they would seek private healthcare...also might face criticism from bumi "we paid taxes all our lives")
vii) Children pay “domestic student” fees instead of “foreign student” fees for school tuition.

Limitations of Malaysian PR

i) Subject to foreigner terms when purchasing property.
ii) Prohibited from involvement with any political party or association.
iii) Prohibited from voting during election.
iv) PR status may be subject to revocation at any time, if deemed necessary by the government.

There are several visa cases already eligible for PR after a minimum of 5 years of residency. These are those on the Investor Visa, the Professional Visa, the Expert Visa, and the Spousal Visa. Then there is the Point System which is sort of a mix of the above components.

Most of those who are on PR are younger spouses of Malaysians or children of mixed marriages who view Malaysia as their home country, went to school here, etc. Some have waited decades, learnt Malay, have kids...have more than enough points and still are waiting. There's a whole web-site that deals with the trials and tribulations of families who have a member still awaiting their PR.

Ironically if I worked on my fluency in Bahasa Malay I'd qualify and they allowed the five years I'm on MM2H I'd reach the 65 points. Wouldn't mean I'd get it. I know a fellow who worked here 30 years for the Forestry Department, married a Biduyuh bumiputra a decade ago, mens several million in property...and after years of trying finally received his PR. He's 73 years old now. Turns out his years of being on MM2H counted " Zero points" Not that this mattered as he had already maxed out the points for years of needed residence.

Other aspects of MM2H restrictions make it very difficult. For example, it's difficult to run a business under MM2H and one certainly would not have a business that would employ 30+ Malaysians. And having relatives in Malaysia that already have PR? Or employment?

So unless they opened up on those restrictions the points needed for PR are nearly impossible to obtain, even for those "high class" applicants. But if they open up on the restrictions then the allure of getting a PR diminishes. If you can work or invest already and renew your MM2H then why attempt to clear the hurdle for PR.


Also I disagree that the Benefits that Kathleen Peddicord discusses for Central America are directed at gringos/Norte Americanos. I think the discounts and privileges offered would draw people from many countries....if they were closer to those countries. She also discusses, Portugal, Croatia, Argentina, Uruguay, Italy, France, Ireland (two countries where she lived for years), and Thailand and Malaysia. Some of those have little interest to Americans but are of interest to European, Middle Eastern or Asian expats. Those are all programs that those reforming MM2H should examine. But also they need to avoid making MM2H duplicate what the already existent Investment, Professional, and Expert Visas already do.

In my view it should remain a program oriented toward retirees and those that do not need to work (full-time) in Malaysia. It should not be so restrictive as to be unaffordable and also bring in the net maximum amounts of foreign assets into the Malaysia economy. That means determining the price points where the cost of the program (in FD, application fees, requirements like liquid assets) start becoming prohibitive to application. They need to realize that the FD with all its restrictions is actually inhibitory to investment and expenditure into the economy. That means they need to allow MORE withdrawal opportunities. They need to consider whether they want investment (not just in property, but in business and knowledge exchange) is important. Do they want MM2h to create jobs? Provide jobs? To bring their knowledge and skills to train Malaysians?
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Old Sep 3rd 2020, 5:10 am
  #38  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Another very good post.. really enjoy reading your comments RA.. they are well researched and thoughtful. ..most of the posts on these forums are generally conversational, based on personal experiences, anecdotes .. reactive etc etc... . so someone taking time to research and post detailed analysis is very "useful" to everyone...

Regarding the 'MM2H leading to PR'.. as a potential benefit.. I dont see much value in it myself ...but think its a good bait.. IMHO most applicants do not use ALL the benefits .. the idea is to make the program more attractive .. on paper.. knowledge exchange and ability to do business will be valuable to some applicants and also to the host country..

Also agree that most MM2Hers probably will not be keen on giving up their citizenship to get MY citizenship..unless of course you lack family ties or come from a extremely socially/politically/economically unstable place.

I do however still contend that most Latin/central american retirement programs are aimed at North Americans..not that they restrict ppl from other places ..but the value prop is greater for North Americans in general .. .I cant recall the details but they do have provisions that help NAs in terms of financial and ease of property and services access etc....also that Kathleen book is, while useful to everyone looking to retire overseas is primarily focused on North American audience... Europe remains a highly attractive place for NA retirees .. mainly due to family connection/heritage/safety and cultural reasons ..why would you want to retire to cold and rain soaked isles of Ireland .. but of course there is very large NA population with close ethnic/familial and emotional ties to the emerald island...Thailand (and Philippines) remain very popular destinations with NAs for reasons that need no elaboration ... Malaysia is one outlier in there.. but it has become highly visible thanks to MM2H program ..

finally, I totally agree with the last paragraph... more uses for FD will definitely benefit both parties ..

Once again thanks for an excellent and thoughtful post .. keep 'em coming

Last edited by ssoomro; Sep 3rd 2020 at 5:12 am.
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Old Sep 3rd 2020, 5:44 am
  #39  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

I wanted to comment on the learning the local language part in a separate post.. mainly because its a topic that i feel is not given its due attention on these forums...Most travelers will agree that learning even a few common phrases etc of local language significantly improves travel experience and interaction with the locals. IMHO, if one is planning to spend significant time in a place (as retirees may want to).. learning local language should be absolutely on the top of todo list. ..

In my personal experience .. i learned the magic of language very early traveling to central america as a young men.. being able to ask questions, answer, negotiate in Spanish .. opened sooo many doors....reduced friction and most importantly lowered the costs of everything ..everywhere..

I think Bahasa .. is an order of magnitude easier language to acquire compared to other regional languages (Chinese/thai/Tagalog etc) and quite useful as it is spoken/understood in southern Thailand, Malaysia and most of Indonesia ...with minor local adjustments.. I have personally experienced dramatic improvements in my interaction with the locals as my Bahasa improved.. the most obvious benefit has been significantly reduced price grouching (a universal pet peeve) ... everywhere .. from transportation to market place.. I even managed to get "local price" tickets to some tourist attractions in both Indonesia and Malaysia .. hahaha..

but the best part has been easily mingling with the locals... being able to relate to them.. overcome the bi-directional shyness and biases. making friends quickly and staying friends past the 'foreigner barrier'...I think anyone planning to use their MM2H to stay more than couple of weeks a year in Malaysia .. should consider investing in learning Bahasa as their top priority.. I promise you .. it will pay off in spades .. a lot of things we foreigners complain about locals .. will melt away .. of course its not the silver bullet .. YMMV .. but its closest thing to one
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Old Sep 3rd 2020, 6:10 am
  #40  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Here is my shortlist of some of the many reasons Bahasa Malayu (or Bahasa Indonesia) is one of the easiest language to acquire .. even for westerners ...here are my top 5 reasons:

1: Bahasa is written in Latin Alphabet.. if you can read English or any of the latin/anglo saxon languages.. you can read it from day one
2: Pronunciation.. Bahasa is relatively consistent in matching sounds to spellings ..(Unlike English ..haha) .. with a few minor adjustments .. (for example learning the difference between e and i and o and u ..and c (used for ch) etc..
3: Verb Conjugation .. Bahasa verbs do NOT change based on tense or gender ..so no nightmare of verb conjugation drills from grade school.. simply add a modifying adverb and you can change the tense applies to all genders
4: Gender: there is no gender modifier for nouns/pronouns or verbs.. HUGELY shrinking the grammar and vocabulary needs ..it can be slightly confusing in the beginning .. but its crazy confusing to native Bahasa speakers when they try to speak English ..haha
5: Plural: Reduplication suffices for plurals in Bahasa.. so anak is child .. anak-anak is children.. frankly this is a bit simplification .. Native speakers us some additional ways to compound nouns/pronouns.. but u can leave that to six months later for now double talk means multiple

there are suffices and prefixes used to modify verbs ...but those are advance topics.. as long as you know the verb.. people will understand what you are saying ... Selamat Belajar (Happy Learning)
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Old Sep 4th 2020, 3:48 pm
  #41  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

As per the other thread, in case people are not aware Dubai have created a more compelling option

https://english-alarabiya-net.cdn.am...ity-explained-
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Old Sep 6th 2020, 7:40 am
  #42  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Hello StillSearching,
I hope you're doing well. We've also been looking at Visa Pensionado in Panama. It looks quite attractive, without all the gimmicky
requirements in MM2H. Panama doesn't have FD requirement. It's a full residency and you also get discount benefits on many things.
Unfortunately, Panama is still struggling with Covid-19. They've had good control of it for 5-6 months, but they opened up too early.

I think MM2H as originally conceived was used mainly to attract foreigners to invest in Malaysia. It was created to benefit the local banks
and property developers. The retirement thing was just an afterthought. What good is FD for retirees? And why the visa is only for 10 years?
And you're not even required to live for a single day in Malaysia. In spite of it's success, MM2H requirements (for retirees) are not well
thought out. It's probably put together by too many cooks in the kitchen.
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Old Sep 6th 2020, 9:10 am
  #43  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

The NEW MM2H %&Smm2h programs with all the new requirements will have the opposite effect they hope to gain. 1240 people in 13 years. Overwhelming demand. This will probably cut that one in half for the next 13 years.
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Old Sep 6th 2020, 11:30 am
  #44  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Pensionado in Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua look quite interesting. Any country that creates a program that is really retiree (or long-term tourist) friendly after Covid-19 abates will likely recover much more quickly than those states that keep thinking that they can have a high level of restrictiveness and selectivity.

Originally Posted by GreenState View Post
"I think MM2H as originally conceived was used mainly to attract foreigners to invest in Malaysia. It was created to benefit the local banks
and property developers. The retirement thing was just an afterthought."
No I think the opposite. Originally the Silver-Hair program was without an FD and targeted for those over 60 with a pension income. Then they dropped the age to 50 with an FD, then to 30 with an elevated FD and liquid asset proof. There was a separate "buy a million ringgit home" (also no FD) program that was likely that boon to high-end realtors/developers. They had their program.

I don't know if banks get much out of the FD...surely there are some hidden maintenance feeds and it gives the liquidity...maybe it also protects them against "runs" on the banks...like pension accounts it's hard to quickly withdraw the money when there is a currency value crash. Despite the fact that HSBC and CIMB had their origins in Sarawak...there are no specific "Sarawakian" banks. They are all HQ'd (for Malaysia) in KL. But I suspect the main value of the FD is that it bolsters the currency balance for the ringgit. You have to convert your foreign currency into ringgit (no foreign currency accounts allowed) so that props up the value of the Malaysian currency. But as MM2H participants "cash out" they need an equal number of new recipients to balance...or more to strengthen the ringgit.

But the local government gets nothing from the FD unless the MM2H recipient gets withdrawal credit for sending their kids to school, buying property, or a locally made car. They would be better off if it was a savings account or if they allowed withdrawals for local products and services (maids, personal aides/assistants, gardeners, arts and crafts, meals, local tourism, etc.)

It also locks away potentially fungible assets that might be spent locally. Let's say the FD locks away 75% of a retirees savings. She wants to rent a fancy condo but only has a budget that incorporates her 25% remaining savings. So she gets a cheap studio, cuts down on her meals out, doesn't travel as much, uses public transport or grab rather than buying a Perodua, etc.

Originally Posted by GreenState View Post
What good is FD for retirees?
Well it does draw a higher interest rate than many other savings accounts...and if you have school-age kids, buy a car, buy property it can be used like a savings account. For others it's just money parked. If you are an investor you'd put it elsewhere if you had the choice.

Originally Posted by GreenState View Post
And why the visa is only for 10 years?
And you're not even required to live for a single day in Malaysia. In spite of it's success, MM2H requirements (for retirees) are not well
thought out. It's probably put together by too many cooks in the kitchen.
Why a ten year visa? It's only five in Sarawak. It's control...reminds people that they are NOT permanent. As you'll frequently hear when you complain about something "It's your SECOND HOME"..but that doesn't really answer the question as to why it's a limited system, does it. What the term does is psychologically impair people from establishing themselves more permanently. That has an effect on people buying property, though. Who wants to buy property if one cannot access it? If you can't live there? Or if your children can't live there if they can't qualify for a visa. True they can try and sell the property, but it could be (as now) a "buyer's market" with too much empty housing stock.

I suspect that the whole program is put together by too many politicians in the kitchen while the cooks have left in frustratio because their advice went unheeded.

Last edited by RedApe; Sep 6th 2020 at 11:35 am.
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Old Sep 7th 2020, 3:02 am
  #45  
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Default Re: Improving MM2H...New Qualifications and Benefits

Originally Posted by doggmeister View Post
As per the other thread, in case people are not aware Dubai have created a more compelling option

https://english-alarabiya-net.cdn.am...ity-explained-
Seems like a competitive program... but comparing Dubai to MY will be apples to oranges.. Cost of living in Dubai will be comparable to Singapore not KL.. there are some obvious tax advantages to up market retirees in Dubai .. but IMHO if you got that much money there are a TON of better places to live than Dubai .. Frankly I have never found Gulf a very desirable place ..there are a number of un-mitigating reasons for it .. its Goe-Political position, class/race divisions... extreme climate ...soooo on.. While Dubai has gone from a camel town to a megapolis over last 40+ yrs.. human evolution takes a lot longer ..
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