PUTRAJAYA: The stricter conditions set for new Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) applications have not deterred foreigners from wanting to take part in the programme, with 111 applications received since the new policy took effect, says Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

The Home Minister said the number of applications received to date was almost the same as the average number of requests the government had received previously, about 100 a month.

“This shows that despite the conditions being stricter, foreigners are not shying away from the MM2H programme.

“In return, we get individuals who are of quality and with high income to come and stay in Malaysia, which is why we came up with the new policy,” he told reporters after launching the MM2H executive lounge located at the Immigration Department headquarters here yesterday.

Of the new applications, 12 principal applicants had been given conditional approval, while another three are now successful MM2H participants.

Hamzah pointed out that if 1,000 new applications were approved, it would mean that RM1bil in fixed deposit would be in the country compared with RM300mil before when the fixed deposit requirement for participants was RM300,000.

“We want to attract the right people to the programme. They should have the financial means to spur the local economy, including in real estate, health services, education and domestic tourism,” he said.

In August last year, the government announced 10 new conditions for those interested in the programme, including RM1.5mil of liquid assets, RM40,000 monthly offshore income, RM1mil in a Malaysian fixed deposit, and an additional RM50,000 per dependent.

Existing MM2H pass holders only need to comply with two out of the 10 new conditions: an increase in fee pass from RM90 to RM500 per year and the requirement to stay in the country for a minimum of 90 days a year.

According to official records, there are 55,010 MM2H participants, of which 27,285 are principal pass holders while the remaining number are dependents.

Hamzah said the MM2H executive lounge provides applicants with services such as a dedicated place to pick up their passes and seek advice from officials.

The Immigration Department, which has taken over the management of MM2H from the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, has also facilitated applications where forms and payments can now be made online.