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The difficulties Malaysian Expartriates face over bank accounts Print E-mail
Monday, 06 July 2009 16:16

Through this column I would like to voice the  difficulties of Malaysians who have lived abroad and bring the  issue to the notice of the government and the banks so some change can take place to facilitate the malaysian Expartriates.

I am a Malaysian who has lived abroad for many years- 38, but have  returned to Malaysia every  or every other year.

I had an account with Maybank for over ten years, with a substantial sum in excess of over RM200,000.But in the late 90s each time I returned I forgot to bring the book to update my account.Then I left it with a relative to update, who being busy was not able to do it for one reason or another,but when he went to update he could not, as 7  years passed, and the account transfered to Bank Negara.

On my visit back, I took the book down to the Maybank Office in IPOH, they could not help me as the account was closed.But they offered to facilitate the return of the monies and help fill in a form for Bank Negara.

I asked can I  open another account, the answer was no.Why?Because your ID card shows a address in Subang Jaya.So?...No answer worth writing.I then also made clear that I wish this sum to be sent to the account of my relative and NOT to my home address in UK.

But three months later what happens?The cheque arrives in Pounds Sterling to my home address in UK.NO ammount of calls or email sent illicited any response to why this happened.

Then I came back and tried to open a an account in Penang with HSBC,Maybank,etc  but all keep on about the fact my IC has KL address and that I need a mountain of letters from here and there - for which I simply dont have the time to provide for..Why has the Malaysian system made it so difficult for MALAYSIANS living abroad to open accounts  in Malaysia.

I went to the Public Bank- explained my situation and asked to open a savings account- No problem sir.They happily with litle red tape opened up an account with RM20,000 deposited through a cheque.

A few weeks later, I realsied that as I am now on early retirement  and wish to build my home in KL, would also need a current account, approached the Public Bank again-No sir, we need three references etc and a mountain of paper work!

I explained that I receive a pension in the UK in excess of RM8500 per month,have a ready savings  in excess of RM500,000 cash in UK bank accounts, a home worth more than RM3,000,000 in the UK all paid for.Plus two other homes worth about 400,000.

I would eventually  like to bring all these over and need an account for that puproses as well to build my own home in no other place than the "Beverly Hills of Malaysia"- sorry Sir, we need recomenadation from another bank member!

Now how in the hell do I find a friend/relative  who has Public bank account to recommend me?I have lived abroad for 38 years,worked in the UK government service, have  no criminal record whatsoever, have never once lost my passport in all those years, has renewed my MYKAD each time changes took placeso why has it become so difficult for me to open a simple bank account and transfer my funds over whenever it suits me.I hold a number of UK credit cards wth a total limit of about £80,000 if I need to use- but have a ZERO balance owing on them- and yet I find no Malaysian bank is prepared to have me  a customer with a simple my mykad, proof of income and address within Malaysia.Why?After all I AM a Malaysian CITIZEN, and I will bring foreign exchange into the country legally.

I understand from other Malaysians in the UK , there are many other such cases.Will the government help and reduce such over reactions from banks to opening accounts where it can be proved the customer is legal and by the law and Malaysian.I understand even the foreigners under the MM2H do not face such difficulties to open accounts.

Perhaps I am not prepared to accept the over patronisng attitudes of Malaysian banks dictating to me?Or does  Bank Negara not want us to bring in the foreign  currency and invest in Malaysia legally?


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