Sarawak’s Malaysia My Second Home Programme

We have previously issued an Alert on the relaunch of the Malaysia My Second Home Programme (“MM2H Programme”) on 11 August 2021 after a hiatus of about one year. Our earlier Alert is available here.
Recently, the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry announced that beginning October 2021, all new applications for the MM2H Programme will be handled and processed by the Immigration Department.1
Meanwhile, the Sarawak Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has clarified that Sarawak’s Malaysia My Second Home Programme (“S-MM2H Programme”) will not be affected by the new requirements and regulations announced by the Federal Government.2 He added that his ministry had already enhanced the S-MM2H Programme in September 2020 with the aim of welcoming participants to enjoy Sarawak’s hospitality and warmth.
According to the Application Procedure of S-MM2H Guidelines issued in September 2020 by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, the salient conditions for participation in the S-MM2H Programme are as follows:
Condition 1: Age requirement
Applicants for the S-MM2H Programme must be 50 years old and above but there is no age requirement for their spouse.
Applicants aged 30 to 50 years may apply if they have children below 18 years old who are pursuing further education in Sarawak; or if they are undergoing long-term medical treatment in Sarawak, with their condition verified by private or government physicians registered with the Malaysian Medical Council.
Condition 2: Financial capability
Applicants of the S-MM2H Programme are expected to be financially capable of supporting themselves for the duration of their participation in the S-MM2H Programme by either:
  1. Opening a fixed deposit account with any local bank in Sarawak with a minimum fixed deposit of RM150,000 per individual and RM300,000 per couple; 

  2. For applicants aged 50 years and above, by presenting proof of government approved pension funds with minimum RM7,000 per individual and RM10,000 per couple; or 

  3. For applicants aged 30 years and above, by showing proof of monthly off-shore income funds of RM7,000 per individual and RM10,000 per couple.  
Participants in the S-MM2H Programme are allowed to purchase a residential house in Sarawak at a minimum price of RM600,000.00 per unit in Kuching and RM500,000.00 per unit in other divisions in Sarawak.3
S-MM2H participants are allowed to make partial withdrawal of their fixed deposit from the second year onwards for purchase of a house or car, medical expenses, or education of the participants’ children in Sarawak but must maintain a minimum balance in their fixed deposit account of RM90,000 per individual and RM180,000 per couple during the period of participation in the S-MM2H Programme.
Condition 3: Duration of pass
Successful applicants are issued with 10 years of approved visitors pass with a Multiple Entry Visa and applications for extension must be done for the second half of the period (i.e. the 6th to 10th year), subject to the validity of the applicant’s passport and submission of a new medical report.4
Condition 4: Minimum period of stay
A participant of the S-MM2H Programme is required to stay at least 15 days in each year in Sarawak.
Condition 5: Sponsor
An applicant of the S-MM2H Programme must have a sponsor who is a Sarawakian and who currently resides in Sarawak or by a MM2H-licensed agent that is registered in Sarawak.
The sponsor is required to sign a personal bond as sponsor (guarantor) of the application. The amount depends on the country of origin of the applicant and ranges from RM200 to RM3,000.
Condition 6: Medical insurance
All S-MM2H participants and their dependents are required to purchase medical insurance and present proof of the purchase before obtaining the S-MM2H pass. 
Condition 7: Restricted and prohibited activities
Participants of the S-MM2H Programme are not allowed to work for the duration of their participation in the Programme, except where permission has been granted by the Director General of Immigration. The participants of the Programme are also strictly forbidden from participating in activities that are sensitive to local people, politics, missionary work, and in activities that are provocative, instigative, and sensitive in nature that could threaten the security of the country or state.
Additional benefits
Domestic helper
Participants of the S-MM2H Programme are allowed to apply for a domestic helper or maid from countries which are permitted subject to the prevailing guidelines by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.
Children’s education
Participants of the S-MM2H Programme are allowed to bring their children who are under 21 years old and not married as their dependents under the S-MM2H Programme. If it is intended for the children to continue their schooling in Sarawak, they are required to apply for a Student Pass and should be insured throughout their stay under the Programme.
Tax exemption of pension remitted into Malaysia
Tax exemption will be given to participants of the S-MM2H Programme for pension remitted in Malaysia. The S-MM2H participant is required to obtain endorsement from the authorities in their country of origin as to the total amount of yearly pension received.
As the conditions under the S-MM2H Programme are significantly less stringent than those imposed under the relaunched MM2H Programme, we may see an influx of applicants to Sarawak under the S-MM2H Programme.
In a recent turn of events, the Minister of Home Affairs of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, said, “The government is prepared to re-examine the new criteria imposed on the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme” and “will look into them seriously.”5
Alert prepared by Foo Siew Li (Partner) of the Employment and Immigration Practice of Skrine.

1 Immigration to handle MM2H applications from October; Star Online; 26 August 2021.
2 Sarawak’s MM2H not affected by new federal rules; Star Online; 25 August 2021.
3 Q&A A1 of the FAQs states that applicants aged 40 to 50 years are required to invest in real estate for residential purpose with a total value of at least RM600,000.
4 Q&A C2 of the FAQs states that the S-MM2H Pass is a 10-year pass, and that pass holders will be given a maximum 5-year pass and will be required to apply to renew to obtain another 5-year pass.
5 Govt to review new MM2H criteria; Star Online; 1 September 2021.

This alert contains general information only. It does not constitute legal advice nor an expression of legal opinion and should not be relied upon as such. For further information, kindly contact