KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is not offering citizenship to foreigners who buy luxury homes in the country through the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said on Friday (Sep 20).
These buyers will only get a 10-year visa, she added.
“There is no granting of MyKad (Malaysian identification card) or permanent resident document, just a 10-year visa,” she said, adding that this would be discussed at the Cabinet.
The issue of granting citizenship to foreign home buyers cropped up recently when Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin proposed to market unsold luxury units to buyers from China and Hong Kong under the MM2H programme, in a bid to resolve oversupply.
Her proposal has drawn flak from politicians who said that it would result in the country being owned by foreigners.
Introduced in 2002, MM2H aims at attracting foreigners to make Malaysia their second home or holiday home.
Open to all foreigners, successful participants are given a social visit pass with multiple-entry visa that is valid for 10 years.
Stressing that the home ownership campaign is not limited to people from China and Hong Kong, Dr Wan Azizah said on Friday that interested foreigners must have liquid assets in order to contribute to the country.
The requirements for MM2H stated that applicants aged below 50 years old have to show proof of liquid assets worth at least RM500,000 and open a fixed deposit account of RM300,000 in Malaysia; or liquid assets worth RM350,000 and fixed deposit of RM150,000 for those above 50.
They are allowed to withdraw part of the fixed deposit from the second year onwards for house and car purchase, education for children in Malaysia and medical treatment.
Currently, foreigners are only allowed to buy properties worth RM1 million (US$240,000) and above in Malaysia.
In August last year, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said foreigners would not be allowed to buy residential units at Johor’s mammoth Forest City project, but later clarified that he meant such a purchase would not guarantee them citizenships.