What were the real reasons for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) revision? The more stringent MM2H guidelines certainly look like persecution of innocent Westerners. After injecting about 40.6 billion Ringgit into the local economy since its inception in 2002, the MM2H program seems to be a glowing economic success.
At first glance, one could conclude the Malaysian government is just being ungrateful and greedy for abruptly revising the program.
However, to put things in perspective, the GDP of Malaysia in 2019 was about 1.5 trillion Ringgit. Therefore, if the MM2H program only brought in 40.6 billion Ringgit over 16 years it cannot be considered a significant contributor to the Malaysian economy. As a result, painting it as such is not a wise method of persuasion.
To make their case for easier MM2H revision terms, expats need to bring additional positive attributes to Malaysia besides money.
So what positive aspects do these expats bring to the country? The answer; not many. In fact, what is seen on the ground in Malaysia illuminates what is very often cultural and on occasion criminal depravity.
Ambiguous Western “Values” Induced MM2H Revision
To be clear, Malaysia is multicultural with each ethnicity strongly adhering to their cultural roots. The three cultures known as the “cultural triangle” in Malaysia are the native Malay or Bhumiputra plus the Chinese and Indians.
Nationwide the indigenous Malay form the political majority. Therefore, the national religion of Malaysia is Islam and along with Islam comes Islamic values. On the other hand, the Chinese are a mix of Buddhism, Chinese deities and ancestral veneration while the Indians strongly adhere to their Hindu roots.
This disparate cultural mix is a legacy of British colonialism. In this regard, it is a forced marriage. As a result, Malaysia is no stranger to cultural diversity or the social turmoil that it sometimes brings.
Nonetheless, these disparate cultural groups see eye to eye regarding virtues such as family unity and marital fidelity. Additionally, they equally share a disdain for intoxication, homosexuality, fornication and Western hypocrisy in general.
Unfortunately, Western expats have crossed the line a few too many times. This can be observed publicly from day to day in local communities. Additionally, vaccine hoarding by Western countries can be added to the list and it is the widely accepted view here.
However, more egregious outright criminal activities have made front page news nationwide on multiple occasions. Even in their home countries what they are doing in Malaysia would have been considered outright criminal.
Nude Dancing at Formula One Races
One of my most poignant memories was the event in 2016 which occurred at the conclusion of the Formula One races in Sepang located just outside Kuala Lumpur in which nine intoxicated Australians stripped down to their underwear.
50,000 people were in the stands and the drunken Australians were also dancing in front of Malaysian TV cameras which aired it nationwide.
Additionally, photos and videos proliferated on social media showing them drinking beer from their shoes. Seemingly, it could not get any worse than this? However, their underwear was conspicuously “emblazoned” with Malaysian national flags!
They were promptly arrested for public indecency and provocation. Therefore, the Australian embassy made stringent diplomatic efforts to arrange for special treatment.
As the case moved through the court system images of the Australians would continue to appear in the local newspapers severely degrading the image of all expats in Malaysia.
In the end, they were given special treatment and escaped just punishment which should have otherwise been administered.
Naked Dutch Model Found Dead in Kuala Lumpur
In December 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, a naked 18 year old Dutch model was found dead after falling from a 20th floor condominium unit and landing on a sixth floor balcony below.
What caused her to fall off the 20th floor? The facts indicate she had consumed large quantities of drugs and alcohol and had just finished having group sex with an American and Kazakh couple living in the 20th floor unit.
After initially dismissing foul play, the coroner conceded there was likely a struggle before she fell. The case was appealed to the high court in Malaysia and it was ruled that “persons known or unknown” were involved.
As a result, the case was re-classified as a murder and the investigation reopened. The expat couple living in the 20th floor unit have already fled the country.
British Homicide Committed in Langkawi, Malaysia
Located off the Northwest coastline in Malaysia, Langkawi Island is known as the “Jewel of Kedah”. Additionally, Kedah State is a privileged location in Malaysia because it is the home state of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who is Malaysia’s longest serving prime minister. Dr Mahathir is also well known internationally as an outspoken critic of colonialism.
Over many years, Langkawi was the pet project of the former prime minister. Indeed, Langkawi benefited heavily from special infrastructural development and publicity he directed there. As a result, Langkawi Island became a very popular tourist destination.
Langkawi is also often chosen as a retirement home by British MM2H pass holders such as John and Samantha Jones.
On October 17, 2018 after spending the day drinking at Langkawi’s popular Cenang Beach, the heavily intoxicated British couple engaged in a heated argument. The end result was the stabbing death of British expat John Jones by his wife Samantha.
This event has also “shed an uncomfortable light on the alcohol-saturated and sometimes rudderless lifestyles of the middle-aged expatriates” who flock to Malaysia under the MM2H program.
An MM2H Revision Became Inevitable
This gruesome murder committed by an MM2H pass holder would not have gone unnoticed by the former prime minister. It was indeed during his resurgent term as PM in 2019 that the rejection rate for MM2H applications mysteriously increased nine fold and was then suspended for the second time eight months later.
In Britain, a daily visit to the pub is the national past time and also considered your patriotic duty according to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Not so in Malaysia and for good reason.
Trouble in Paradise
The British Colonial Legacy in Malaysia has had a bitter after-effect on Malaysian politics. Additionally, the criminal behavior of the expats outlined above has brought the national spotlight onto all Western expats residing in the country. As a result, seemingly innocuous expat bad habits such as walking around without a mask or letting your kids skateboard through a crowded market can quickly add up.
The plain fact of the matter is that Malaysians and especially the indigenous Malay majority do not take kindly to foreigners telling them who is or is not a resident of Malaysia. Therefore, if you leave the country during a global pandemic you shouldn’t be surprised when they close the border behind you. If you got locked out, you only have yourself to blame.
To clarify, the MM2H provides a social visit pass and “it can be revoked at any time, for any reason”. This is distinct from Malaysian residency and it is made abundantly clear during the MM2H application procedures.
Just the same, even under the new MM2H revision, new pass holders will have some notable privileges. This includes the right to live in Malaysia continuously during the term of the visa (recently shortened to 5 years from 10 years for new applicants). Additionally, MM2H allows special privileges such as acquiring a Malaysian driver’s license, access to local banking, investment accounts, real estate ownership and income tax exemption etc.
On the other hand, becoming a legal resident of Malaysia is a very stringent process requiring a minimum of 10 years living in the country, fluency in Bahasa Malaysia, investment and more.
As for citizenship? You can only obtain citizenship by birth, foreigners have no chance of obtaining Malaysian citizenship.
Moral Advantages of Living in Malaysia
Moral relativity has become very well entrenched in Western countries such as the United States. Additionally, “rich” people are widely considered immoral only because they have money. At the same time, abortion, sodomy, profligacy, neocolonialism, social unrest and drug legalization are considered the new “morality”.
Even with more sensible liberal initiatives such as fighting climate change, the responsibility is solely on the immoral rich to pay for it. In addition, they must fund never ending social programs, middle class bailouts plus federally subsidized healthcare ad infinitum. In the US, this includes subsidizing abortion and transgender “reassignment”.
There is no escape but to escape. If you want to control where your tax dollars are spent you only have one option – leave.
Malaysia remains the top destination of choice for morally conscious high net worth individuals. Additionally, Malaysia offers fair and equitable visa free access for the Caribbean CIP countries. Also of note is the fact that no Caribbean countries are on Malaysia’s banned entry list.
Of no less significance is fact that citizens of the five Caribbean CIP countries can live in Malaysia under the MM2H program and be free from all global income tax obligations.
Additionally, Malaysia is a socially conservative country where you can easily become disconnected from undesirable activities. As a result, you can live a morally conscious lifestyle without being ostracized and persecuted.
MM2H Revision Applies to New Applicants
For many years the MM2H visa provided the best tax residency in the world. Unfortunately, the qualification requirements were perhaps too accommodative. Nonetheless, the more stringent MM2H revision could bring a welcome change for new and existing MM2H pass holders.
Sharply increasing the income and net worth requirements could be effective in increasing applicant quality. Additionally, more stringent due diligence may be warranted.
Fortunately, the Malaysian government streamlined the MM2H revision making it more accommodative for existing pass holders. As a result, only two of the new requirements are applicable.
- Existing pass holders must reside in Malaysia for a minimum of 90 days during each 12 month period.
- The annual pass fee was raised from 90MYR to 500MYR.
However, new applicants must meet the more stringent requirements under the MM2H revision.
- Offshore Monthly income must be a minimum of 40,000MYR up from 10,000MYR.
- Fixed deposit amount of 1,000,000MYR placed by all principal applicants to be held in Malaysian bank during the term of the visa.
- Term shortened from 10 years to 5 years.
- Minimum liquidity requirement of 1,500,000MYR (previously 500,000MYR).
- Must reside in Malaysia for minimum 90 days per year.
- Annual pass fee 500MYR.
In explaining the reasons for the new requirements, the Malaysian Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin said that:
“Our reason for the new conditions is so that each applicant who wants to stay in the country is a quality individual who can contribute to the national economy.”
Previously, he said, the bar had been much easier to clear, which had led to some abuse of the privilege.