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SECOND HOME: MM2H offers few benefits Print E-mail
Saturday, 29 August 2009 03:57

J.H., Penang

I WAS interested to read Datuk Kee Phaik Cheen's comments regarding the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) scheme and its potential in attracting Europeans and others to settle in Malaysia ("Tourism Malaysia to leverage on World Heritage site status" -- NST, Aug 24).

May I offer some advice? Don't waste any more taxpayers' money in promoting MM2H in Europe, as I think you are going to be disappointed with the results.

The European Union, the largest economy in the world (according to the American Central Intelligence Service website), now allows citizens from any member state the benefits of living anywhere in Europe, either during their working life or in retirement, with few restrictions.

With the exception of a few states, such as Britain, the strong and stable euro is the common currency and the standard of living in most European countries, including medical care, life expectancy and general quality of life, is among the world's highest.


A European coming to Malaysia under MM2H has to put RM300,000 in a fixed deposit, (which may not be used initially to buy property) or a lower amount, if retired, plus proof of a pension of not less than RM10,000 a month from public funds.

The deposit, in many cases the life savings of the individual, would be at the mercy of the exchange-rate mechanism, if invested here, and could be eroded substantially over time, especially if the individual wishes to visit Europe regularly and the ringgit loses value against the euro.

Reciprocal medical arrangements exist in Europe, meaning that a European could be treated in some of the world's finest teaching hospitals in London, Paris or Berlin, which would seem to make the benefits of cheap and fast medical treatment in Malaysia less attractive.

Turning to "the safety factor", could I remind Datuk Kee that there are more than three times the fatalities on Malaysia's roads each year compared, for example, with Britain, a country with a higher population?

As a European, I may be more likely to get mugged in the big European cities than in Kuala Lumpur, but a London taxi is more reliable in getting me home safely than one in KL, in my experience.

From Europe, only Britain (with its historic ties to Malaysia) appears in the list as being in the "top 10" for uptake of the MM2H scheme, but those individuals probably have some existing ties with Malaysia, and would be here anyway. Where are all the French, Germans, etc?

This must support my argument that the MM2H scheme as it stands simply isn't attractive to Europeans, and will have to be modified in several important ways, if it is to succeed in attracting them to these shores, in any number.

As a European, I have invested more than RM1 million in property in Malaysia, which I can use six months per year on a tourist visa, with no strings attached. I have no intention of applying for MM2H -- it simply makes no sense for me to do so, as the scheme stands, with so many hoops to jump through, before being accepted, and seemingly so little incentive to do so. What have I (or any European) to gain from MM2H?

Source: http://tst.nst.com.my:8080/Current_News/NST/articles/18mmh/Article/index_html



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