Asia-PacificPolicy Updates

Sabah Launches Own MM2H Program, Applications Open Today

The state of Sabah has launched its own Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program, officially opening to applications today.

The Sabah MM2H program is specific to the state of Sabah and is separate from the federal Malaysia MM2H program.

According to Sabah’s Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Environment, Datuk Christina Liew, the application process should take 8 to 10 weeks for approval.

To be eligible for the Sabah MM2H program, applicants must be at least 30 years old and hail from countries with diplomatic ties with Malaysia.

They must purchase a high-rise property valued at a minimum of RM600,000 and meet specific financial conditions, including a fixed deposit of RM150,000 for individuals or RM300,000 for families and a monthly income of RM10,000 or RM15,000, respectively.

Liew emphasized that applicants cannot purchase properties under the affordable homes scheme, which are exclusively reserved for Sabahans and not intended for foreign investment. She highlighted that the government “will also ensure there is no subletting of these permits” and that a committee will monitor these matters to ensure compliance.

The Sabah MM2H program, which grants successful applicants a 10-year residency permit, has received approval from federal authorities despite initial disputes with the Federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry in May.

Liew expressed confidence that the updated terms and conditions will prevent policy clashes with federal laws.

She also clarified that participants cannot use their passes to work in the country. Participants must also reside in Sabah for a minimum cumulative stay of 30 days annually.

Liew addressed concerns about the program’s potential impact on property prices in Sabah, stating that not all properties are eligible under the MM2H program, and there are conditions buyers must meet. She assured that the state is working diligently to address infrastructure issues that may pose challenges.

Approximately 3,000 empty condominium units are currently available for sale under the program.

Sabah is planning follow-up meetings with cabinet members, ministry officials, and other stakeholders to discuss the program.

Southeast Asian Long-Stay Visa Comparison Chart

Comparison between Sabah MM2H, Sarawak MM2H, and Malaysia’s MM2H Program

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While the Sabah MM2H and Sarawak MM2H programs share some similarities with the recently revised MM2H program, there are notable differences among the three.

The Malaysia MM2H program, updated by the Tourism, Arts, and Culture Ministry (MoTAC) in June 2024, maintains a three-tier structure: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each tier has different fixed deposit requirements, ranging from RM500,000 for the Silver tier to RM5 million for the Platinum tier.

In contrast, the Sabah MM2H program requires a fixed deposit of RM150,000 for individuals and RM300,000 for families, regardless of the applicant’s financial status. The Sarawak MM2H program has the lowest fixed deposit requirement at approximately RM150,000

The Sabah MM2H also requires an annual income of RM10,000 or RM15,000 for single applicants or families, respectively. Sarawak’s program also has an income requirement of RM7,000 for single applicants or RM10,000 for families. Malaysia’s federal MM2H program does not have an income requirement.

The Sabah MM2H program offers a 10-year residency permit to successful applicants, while the Malaysia MM2H program offers residency permits valid for five years (Silver), 15 years (Gold), and 20 years (Platinum). Sarawak’s MM2H program offers a five-year residency, renewable for another five years.

The three programs allow participants to purchase property in Malaysia but with different conditions.

The Sabah MM2H program requires applicants to purchase a high-rise property valued at a minimum of RM600,000, and they cannot buy properties under the affordable homes scheme.

Sarawak’s MM2H requires applicants aged 40-50 to invest at least RM 600,000 in real estate unless they are undergoing medical treatment in Sarawak or have children enrolled in Sarawak learning institutes.

The Malaysia MM2H program, on the other hand, allows applicants to purchase properties under specific criteria, but it is not a requirement. Malaysia has set minimum property values based on the tier: RM600,000 for Silver, RM1 million for Gold, and RM2 million for Platinum.

Additionally, Malaysia MM2H holders cannot resell their property for ten years, while the Sabah MM2H program has not mentioned such restrictions.

Another difference is the age requirement for applicants. The Sabah and Sarawak programs require applicants to be at least 30, while the Malaysia MM2H program sets the minimum age at 25.

All the programs require participants to reside in Malaysia for a certain period each year. The Sabah MM2H and Sarawak MM2H programs mandate a minimum cumulative stay of 30 days annually in their respective jurisdictions, while the Malaysia MM2H program requires holders to reside 60 days a year in Malaysia, regardless of their tier.

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Ahmad Abbas AdministratorAuthorSubscriberParticipant
Director of Content Services , Investment Migration Insider

Ahmad Abbas is Director of Content Services at Investment Migration Insider and an 8-year veteran of the investment migration industry.

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