Investment oasis: Updated MM2H programme positions Malaysia as a second home paradise

Coupled with world-class healthcare facilities, competitive costs, and a welcoming environment, the country is a match made for retirees  

In the country, Penang is among the region that can reign in more MM2H participants. KeongDaGreat/Shutterstock

In a bid to further enhance its appeal to foreign investors, Malaysia is contemplating a review of the strict conditions imposed on its Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme due to an alarming drop of 90 percent in applications, reported the New Straits Times. 

The programme offers expatriates and retirees the opportunity to establish a second home in Malaysia, on top of other benefits. The recent reviewal of the programme’s conditions underscores the government’s commitment to attracting more foreign investors to the country’s real estate market. 

Dato’ Sr Lau Wai Seang, the president of the Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM): 2017-2018 and an esteemed judge of the PropertyGuru Asia Awards Malaysia in partnership with iProperty, emphasizes the importance of the MM2H programme in driving foreign direct investment (FDI) in Malaysia. She stated: “FDI is one of the income streams of Malaysia, where the MM2H Programme is a subset of this income stream. As such, the MM2H participants are actually investors to Malaysia. To facilitate or to promote this inflow of funds, it is thus crucial for the government to have a speedy and seamless process of admissions.” 

Related: 6 of the finest spots to visit in the evolving town of Penang, Malaysia

Currently, the MM2H programme’s stringent requirements, such as fixed deposit amounts and property value thresholds, have posed challenges for potential investors. To address this, Dato’ Sr Lau said that the government needs a more tailored approach, matching the financial requirements to the specific regions within the country. This would acknowledge the significant variations in property values across different areas and create a more enticing environment for prospective investors. 

“It must be remembered that these investors are providing economic spin-offs not only in the recreation and hospitality sectors, but may include the education and many related property development sectors. However, of utmost importance is a stable government which will ensure the successful engagement of the admission process.” 

In the country, Penang is among the region that shows potential to rein in more MM2H participants. Known for its easy-going lifestyle and rich cultural heritage, The Straits Times revealed that Penang offers retirees a serene and vibrant environment to call home. The island’s favourable climate, affordable cost of living, and well-developed infrastructure have made it a sought-after destination. This type of easy living has become a big draw for expats looking to retire. 

Related: YTL head honcho nabbed the 2022 Malaysia Real Estate Personality of the Year

Yet apart from the residential sector, the real estate industry comes with significant other investment opportunities, such as within the medical tourism sector. Recently, Malaysia has experienced a wave of interest from international investors seeking to capitalise on the growing demand for medical services.  

As highlighted by PropertyGuru Malaysia, Malaysia’s medical tourism industry presents an investment opportunity worth seizing. The combination of world-class healthcare facilities, competitive costs, and a welcoming environment has positioned Malaysia as a preferred destination for medical tourism. 

To cater to these upcoming trends that will impact the real estate sector, the 10th PropertyGuru Asia Awards Malaysia in partnership with iProperty will be granting new accolades the Best Wellness Residential Development Best Senior Living Development categories  to the developers and designers that embody change and progress, considering the wellbeing of the end-users regardless of age.  

Overall, the MM2H programme has played a crucial role in attracting foreign investors and driving FDI into the country. Recognising the need for a more investor-friendly environment, the government is considering a review of the program’s conditions to better match the financial requirements with specific locales. This, coupled with the allure of regions like Penang and the burgeoning medical tourism sector, positions Malaysia as an attractive investment destination for global investors seeking opportunities in the Asia Pacific region. 

Heard of award-worthy real estate projects in Malaysia? Nominate them for the 10th annual PropertyGuru Asia Awards Malaysia in partnership with iProperty on or before 30 June 2023.  

Gynen Kyra Toriano, Digital Content Manager at PropertyGuru, wrote this article. For more information, email: [email protected].