KUALA LUMPUR – The latest ranking by Living International shows that Malaysia has lost its top spot for best Asian country to retire to neighbouring country, Thailand, after having consistently ranked as one of the best countries in Asia to retire for a couple of years.
Their latest ranking for the year 2022 shows that Malaysia dropped to 15th place. Thailand, which has always trailed behind Malaysia, now ranks above the country at 11th place, taking home the crown for Best Country To Retire within Asia.
According to expatriate news site Expat Go, the main reason Malaysia has turned unfriendly for foreign expats is due to the confusing and harsh new changes made to the Malaysia My 2nd Home (MM2H) policies in recent years under the PN government.
MM2H is a visa initiative coined by the Government to promote Malaysia as a desirable place of residence, for foreign citizens. Successful applicants would be eligible for a renewable multiple entry-visa, making travel pretty much worry-free.
However, the measure taken by the Government on the MM2H program has been deemed “unfair”, “drastic” and even “ridiculous”, as shared on the Change.org petition against the motion.
The proposed changes to the MM2H policy were originally as such:
- Minimum monthly income increased to RM40,000 (300% increase)
- Minimum fixed deposit increased to RM1 million (600% increase)
- Minimum liquidity requirement increased to RM1.5 million (400% increase)
- Yearly visa fee increased to RM500 (600% increase)
- Duration of MM2H visa reduced to 5 years (from 10 years)
After extreme backlash from existing expats and multiple groups, the government has agreed to revise the requirements.
Independent News Service also reported that Industries Unite (IU) and MM2H Consultants Association labelled the changes as shocking, drastic, unreasonable and even down-right unacceptable for some.
“It is unethical to subject them to the new requirements. This shifting of the goalposts will reduce foreigners’ confidence in our government. Drastic changes will tarnish our image and will make us the laughingstock of the world.
“Many expatriates under the programme are convinced that the government is looking to remove them from the country in light of the new requirements and conditions announced,” the two said in a joint statement.
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