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Builders want role as MM2H agents Print E-mail
Friday, 16 April 2010 10:45

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Shareda) will be able to play a more prominent role in the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme if appointed as an agent.

Its President Datuk Susan Wong said at the moment applications for the MM2H programme were being handled by five licensed agents, most of them travel agents in Sabah.

She said housing developers, being not licensed agents, would not be able to assist foreigners who buy their houses and want to apply for the MM2H programme in Sabah.

Towards this end, she hoped Shareda would be given a role as a MM2H agent as well since "we are in a better position to help those who want to apply for the MM2H".

She said the developers found out that foreigners did not know the procedure to apply for the MM2H programme "but this is the job of the licensed agents in Sabah".

"So Shareda proposes that it be appointed as a MM2H programme agent so that we can help foreigners buying houses in Sabah to apply for the programme," she said, Tuesday.

Since the programme was implemented in 2002, a total of 13,317 foreigners have had their MM2H applications approved throughout the country and last year 1,578 applicants were successful.

However, the number of successful applicants in Sabah last year was only 60. According to her, it is relatively easy for foreigners to apply for the programme.

For those aged 50 and above, they are required to put in a fixed-deposit of RM150,000 in a local bank as well as have all the necessary immigration documentation to get the 10-year Malaysian visa. Those aged 50 years and below are required to place a RM300,000 fixed deposit.

After one year, they are allowed to withdraw 60 per cent of the deposit, not to be remitted overseas, but among others to buy property and medical check-up.

Further, they could also bring along their children aged 18 and below to stay in Sabah and they are also entitled to import a car without having to pay the tax.

Wong also said the report in the Daily Express recently that the fifth largest housing developer in Peninsular Malaysia, Mah Sing Group Bhd, is looking for land in Sabah to venture into the MM2H programme was a welcome news.

"We have beautiful scenery, islands and the mountain but we must attract the people to stay here É somebody needs to start," she said, adding that she believed Mah Sing has this capability.

Mah Sing Group Managing Director, Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum was reported as saying that the group was seeking land in the State Capital for mixed-range properties, including villa and residential homes.

"We want to build more houses that can be sold under the MM2H programme and we are looking at buying land near the beaches or anywhere in the prime area, or with potential to become a prime area in the future," he said, adding the group chose Sabah as they found many foreigners were interested to purchase land here.

Meanwhile, Wong when asked to comment on the New Economic Model (NEM) from the Sabah housing developers' perspective said she understood that the NEM was to, among others, raise the national per capita income to USD20,000 within 10 years time.

By raising the salary of government servants means that civil servants would have a higher purchasing power and financial ability to buy houses.

She said the price of houses had doubled over the last 30 years but within the same period the salary of the people had not increased that much. Based on her experience, she said she used to have many government servants buying her houses but now the situation had changed and most of those who can afford to buy the houses are married couples who are both working.

"So we welcome the steps to be taken by the government under the NEM," she said. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the NEM late last month.

Source: http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=71805



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