By Multatuli Murtadi
The new government ruling is just another way to say, “no money, no talk”, BUT if you had the money, why stay in conservative extremist Malaysia, where the government keeps moving the goalposts?
The recent bombshell from the government concerning the Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H) has many present MM2Homers worried.
The new rules require applicants to have a minimum monthly income of rm40,000 and an investment of RM1 million. Previously it was RM10,000 and RM300,000 -500,000.
Other less onerous changes include a 90 day residency in Malaysia and a visa of only 5 years instead of 10 previously.
Many current MM2Homers have said that they cannot meet the new criteria when their visa expires.
Is it fair to change the rules for existing ‘Homers who sold up in their home country to set up home in Malaysia? They have decided to live out their days here and now we tell them that unless they have the money we don’t want them?
Is this what we have become? Wang Gila? Politicians maybe and many in government service but certainly not Malaysians. We are not like that – Money Crazy.
Those who came on the old rules should be allowed to live under the old rules. Change the rules if you like for new-comers if you like, if indeed you get takers.
Apparently the change is because the government wants to attract richer expats. This is “part of a strategy under the National Economic Recovery (programme) to boost the economy” (Star 11/08/2021).
If that is the purpose then this change is counter productive. We will not only not attract new applicants but we lose the ones we have who have contributed rm11.89 billion to our coffers between 2002 and 2019. This is not counting the thousands of jobs created directly and indirectly by the thousands of expats who live here.
The ‘Homers take nothing away from Malaysia. They are not a burden on our healthcare, education, or even police. They are net contributors. So why ‘chase them away’?
Besides contributing economically, I have always welcomed expats into our community, not so much for their money but because they bring a breath of fresh air to the place – a new and wider perspective. They add culturally to the community they live in be it the Arts, the environment or animal welfare etc. An expat I know personally voluntarily rescue abandoned dogs and take them to be spayed or for veterinary care if needed. He is doing a service which our city councils fail to provide.
In any case in the era of the pandemic when most people are finding it hard to make ends meet and money is in short supply; a change in the regulations just so you can get more more is just cuckoo.
The same Star report said that “people were concerned over the entry of foreigners into the country via the programme”
But what are the people’s concerns if indeed that is true? The report has not given any examples of the “concerns”.
Let me assure the “concerned rakyat”(imagined or real) that if the new rules are implemented they will have nothing to be concerned about. No new ones will come and those we have will leave. So you can have your tempurong back and good luck to you.
Tell me, if you have RM40,000 a month would you come here?
To face increasingly conservative Islamic rules? Where even the sale of alcohol in supermarkets is under threat? Where many convenience stores now cannot sell alcohol. Where alcohol is taxed to almost prohibitive prices. Where they cannot use certain dentists who will not treat kafirs or laundries which will not accept kafir clothes.
Where you don’t know from year to year if you can celebrate Christmas openly with carolling and jolly Santas in the stores. Where your Muslim friends cannot wish you “Merry Christmas”. Where you are not sure if next year you can have a sing song while downing beer at the Oktober Fest.
Or have JAKIM bang on your door at 3 am demanding to see your marriage certificate just because they suspect the lady in the house is not kosher?
Even the one advantage which Malaysia has over their neighbours; English (especially with expats from English speaking countries) is quickly disappearing. Go to any shop and you will find shop assistants looking at you blankly or get flustered because they cannot converse in English. I don’t blame the shop assistants because after all they are brought up mono-lingual in government schools.
So I ask you what is the great attraction about Malaysia that our government can put a premium on expats coming to set up home here?
I thank all the expats who are already here for putting up with the inconveniences. They are here because Malaysians are generally very welcoming and friendly people. In their time here they have built up friendships which unfortunately have to end.
These Malaysian friends should speak out against the totally unfair treatment.
We are not the only country offering Second Home Programmes.
If I have RM40,000 a month income and RM1 million to invest, Thailand is a more attractive destination. The Land of Smiles offer a lifestyle which an increasingly religious conservative Malaysia cannot match. The cost of living is also lower. With RM40,000 a month I can live like a king in Thailand instead of just getting by comfortably in Malaysia.
If you fancy the beach, they have more beautiful and cleaner beaches than us. And the people are super friendly. So tell me why should I go to Malaysia under the new rules?
Those who make the rules on Malaysia My Second Home should reconsider the new rules change.
If the main aim is to bring in money then the new regulations are counter productive. It will not only not bring in new money but those already here will leave.
But really, apa boleh buat, when you have dummies running the country? Then you can only expect them to do the opposite of what they want to achieve.
Welcome to Malaysia but No Money No talk.
(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)
By Multatuli Murtadi