26 December 2007
Malaysia beckons foreign retirees
HONG KONG - Malaysia has revamped its foreigner-retirement program, loosening restrictions in an effort to lure retirees to the Southeast Asia country.
Under the "Malaysia - My Second Home" program, which was launched about a month ago, Kuala Lumpur welcomes foreign citizens to enter the country on a long-stay social visit pass. This program is open to all categories of citizens with no age limit, who are allowed to bring along one maid and their dependants, of school age or not.
The initiative is not the first of its kind. "Silver Hair" kicked off much earlier, in 1987, targeted at retirees aged above 65. But there were few takers because of the program's narrow limitations. As a result, the government revised the terms and came up with the new program.
The newly unveiled program no longer caps the age of an applicant, though the terms vary according to the age of the candidate. Those over 50 must possess a fixed deposit in a Malaysian bank of US$26,300 or a fixed monthly income of not less than $1,840, while those below 50 must meet both requirements concurrently.
Successful applicants will be issued a social visit pass for a duration of five years, together with a renewable multiple-entry visa (MEV). On expiration, they can apply for renewal of their MEVs or permanent citizenship. The authorities will make decisions based on the status of their stay in the country.
In an exclusive interview with Asia Times Online, Abd Aziz Harun, Malaysian consul general in Hong Kong, said Kuala Lumpur's primary purpose is to invite people from other countries to share in the ethnic and cultural diversity of Malaysia.
"We Malays are not greedy people and we do not want to pull money from investors' pockets," He said. "Our country is a harmonic society embracing many different nationals. We only want to invite people from all over the world to share our experiences and enjoy our unique features and style. We hope they can become our friend and bring us new connections."
The word "connections" says it all. Connections, especially foreign ones in the business circle, introduce many opportunities and trading partners to the country, as the consul admitted. In 2003 alone, foreign business contributed $8 billion in investment to the Malaysian economy, equivalent to 45 percent of total domestic investment.
Aziz believes that the new program has certain attractions for Hong Kongers because of the convenient geography and the living environment in Malaysia. "The program is named on the consideration that Malaysia, many people work in Kuala Lumpur, but they still drive more than five hours home on festivals and even two-day holidays, which takes much longer than a Hong Kong-Malaysia flight," he said.
Some nationalities, including permanent Hong Kong residents, already enjoy convenient entry to Malaysia, and are permitted to apply for a one-month tourist visa on arrival. But the social visit pass issued under the new program allows a longer stay. The holder may also apply for a mortgage for up to 60 percent of the property's price, he or she qualifies for the same tax of native citizen on auto purchase and, most important, may apply for permanent residency.
To date, the Malaysian Immigration Department has received some 250 enquiries and 10 applications. Although the government has not unveiled any plan to extend the program to mainland China residents, some perceive China as a potential market.
In fact, the immigration program holds more charms to mainlanders than to Hong Kong people, who already can enter Malaysia with an easily obtainable tourist Visa. A mainland applicant has to go through cumbersome legal procedures to obtain a visa of a very limited duration, and current regulations prohibit entry by chinese nationals from other countries. Also, with its low financial threshold of US$26,300 (HK$210,000), the program seems designed to whet the appetite of corrupt bureaucrats wanting to leave China with their swollen pocket intact.
Aziz reiterated, "Malaysia has never thought of competing against other countries, and this program is not designed for money. The requirement of HK$210,000 is only a guarantee of self-support. As a of fact, I think the threshold is rational and the required investment is not a big sum. That's because the program does not grant permanent resident status, but only a visa of a five-year duration [during which] the holder can live a Malaysian life."
由于询问公民权申请课题人士众多，在此促请全国欲申请公民权WARGANEGARA的红登记持有人及 永久居留证PERMIT MASUK。联络马青总团进行询问和递交文件。
对于曾经提出申请者，必须提供参考编号 NO RUJUKAN以供查证。然而，还没有正式提出申请的人士，他们必须依程序提出申请。马青总团在收集有关申请资料後将提有关申请资料于内政部跟进及查证。
地址：PEMUDA MCA KEBANGSAAN 7th Floor Wisma MCA,163 Jalan Ampang,50450 Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia.
公众人士若有疑问，联络电话03-21618044( 转接马青总团 ) 传真03-21626764
红登记持有者申请公民权WARGANEGARA需在当地国家登记局JABATAN PENDAFTARAN NEGARA (JPN)
PERKARA 14 (1)(a) 凡在31/8/57至1962年10月前马来半岛出生者
PERKARA 14 (1)(b) 凡在马来西亚日后出生的孩子
PERKARA 15 (1) 在1962年10月之后与大马丈夫结婚之外国太太
PERKARA 15 (2) 大马公民21岁以下之孩子(外国出生)
PER KARA15 (A) 特别情况(领养孩子)
PERKARA 16 18岁以上在马来亚联邦出生或独立前居住马来亚 超过7年.
PERKARA 16 (A) 18岁以上在沙巴及砂劳越出生或马来西亚日前居住 超过7年.
PERKARA 19 在独立日后移居的外国人.
* 独立日为 31.08.1957 * 马来西亚日为16.09.1963
大马公民外籍配偶的申请程序大马公民外籍配偶的申请永久居留证PENDUDUK TETAP需在当地移民厅JABATAN IMIGRESEN MALAYSIA ( JIM )申请 PERMIT MASUK.
然而中国，越南及朝鲜籍太太必须到移民厅总部JABATAN IMIGRESEN MALAYSIA ( JIM ) PUTRAJAYA申请PERMIT MASUK。