PETALING JAYA: Clearer guidelines are needed to ensure the success of the newly introduced Malaysia Premium Visa Programme (PVIP), say industry players.

They say apart from the multilingual nature and warmth of Malaysians, the country’s diplomatic relations with countries such as China and Japan also provided opportunities to attract applicants to the programme.


Malaysia My Second Home Consultants Association president Anthony Liew said Malaysia was a favourable choice for both Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) or PVIP applicants given the country’s diversity.

“Almost everyone can speak English here, with many from the Chinese community able to speak in Mandarin and other dialects.

“This makes communication easier here for both Westerners and also those from Chinese-speaking countries.

“Similarly, the warmth of the Malaysian people will also attract either MM2H or PVIP applicants,” he said.

He, however, felt that the 1,000 participant target for the PVIP programme was “high”, given the already slow take-up rate for MM2H itself,” he said.

On Thursday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin announced the PVIP to attract global tycoons to Malaysia.

He added that the PVIP was expected to lure at least 1,000 participants in its first year, which the government expects will add RM200mil to the national coffers, with RM1bil in deposits.

The programme is open to foreign businessmen and tycoons, except those from countries with which Malaysia has no diplomatic relations.

This “residence by investment” programme, which will begin on Oct 1, is modelled on the Golden Visa initiatives introduced by other countries such as Singapore, Portugal and Thailand.

Zerin Properties group chief executive officer Previndran Singhe said Malaysia’s strengths stemmed from its favourable diplomatic relations with countries such as China and Japan, whose investors were already accustomed to Malaysia’s economic and social environment.

He said it was essential for Malaysia to have clear guidelines backed by effective governance to protect the interests of applicants.

“A conducive environment that is relevant and highly appealing to the global high net-worth investors is essential to compete with other nations rolling out similar initiatives,” he said.

He, however, noted that the highly competitive market meant it would require some time to effectively plan and implement the programme for a wider reach which made the targeted 1,000 participants in the first year a highly ambitious goal.

“For context, as of June 2017, the Singapore Global Investor Program (GIP), which offers permanent residency to those who qualify, granted 1,826 applicants the status of permanent residents since its inception in 2004.

“Of these, 67 of them have received citizenship,” he said.

Previndran said the premium visa programme, which will allow high-net-worth individuals to purchase properties will bode well for the high-end real estate segment.

“Demand for these properties are expected to rise particularly for residential properties such as premium bungalows in affluent neighbourhoods.

“Commercial and industrial properties within well-planned and quality development schemes will also generate demand from investors under this programme who will be on the lookout for attractive capital appreciations and rental gains,” he said.

Centre for Market Education chief executive officer Dr Carmelo Ferlito felt that the PVIP was not the best way to compete with other countries offering similar programmes.

“Malaysia should be focusing on business incentive schemes which include offering favourable packages for managers and an eventual jump into the MM2H programme following retirement.

“Although the PVIP is targeted at businessmen and tycoons, its features seem to be designed for those intending to retire, which I observe, creates a mismatch between the target and the scheme,” he said.

He also said that the target to achieve 1,000 PVIP participants for the first year seems rather ambitious.