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Sabah-MM2H: Developers ready to back State Govt
Published on: Sunday, June 09, 2024
By: Hayati Dzulkifli
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Sabah-MM2H: Developers ready to back State Govt
Shareda President Datuk Chua Soon Ping
Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Shareda) stands ready to support the State Government in launching the Sabah-Malaysia My Second Home (Sabah-MM2H) programme despite recent suspension by the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac).

The Motac decision to suspend the licences of all MM2H agents nationwide affected the launch of the Sabah-MM2H.

Shareda President Datuk Chua Soon Ping said they are prepared to assume the role of agents and ensure that applicants meet the prerequisite of purchasing property valued at above RM600,000.

He said the economic contributions from foreign visitors are indispensable, providing vital market stimulation and economic spin-offs. 

“The licensing of agents by Motac is meant to ensure professionalism and quality service, crucial elements in promoting tourism — a top revenue earner for Sabah. 

“In the absence of connections through Motac agents, Sabah can use alternative paths by accepting online applications and drawing from a new pool of local agents through our own network, rather than relying heavily on Federal agents.

“By connecting with our network of agents overseas, we aim to bridge any gaps and offer sustainable solutions until a permanent resolution is achieved.

“Alternatively, a potential avenue that will smoothen the application process is by way of online application,” he said, Saturday.

On Friday, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew was reported as saying that her Ministry will go ahead and appoint qualified representatives to help successful Sabah-MM2H applicants following the sudden suspension of the programme by Motac on May 27.

She said Sabah can no longer wait as it has been preparing since 2023 and was ready three months ago. 

“We were supposed to roll out the programme this June…We are not superseding the Federal Motac but we are appealing to them for a review.

“If there is no approval (from Motac) within these few days, then we have no choice but to proceed with the alternative,” Christina said. 

Chua urged the Federal Government to recognise the importance of the Sabah-MM2H programme for the State’s economic future and to facilitate its seamless launch and operation.

More than two years ago, he said Shareda proposed the Sabah-MM2H programme to the State Government as a vital catalyst to stimulate the Sabah market and generate significant economic benefits.

“Our proposal (Sabah-MM2H programme) was based on comprehensive studies of successful second home schemes in neighbouring states and countries. 

“After rigorous evaluation, the initiative received consideration from the Tourism Ministry and was subsequently approved by the State Cabinet, despite changes in leadership with two ministers and two permanent secretaries overseeing the process.

“However, the abrupt suspension by Motac, communicated just days before the planned launch on June 1, 2024, is both unexpected and unexplained because the decision undermines the efforts of licensed agents, particularly those in Sabah, who have been preparing to facilitate the influx of potential applicants under the newly introduced Sabah-MM2H programme,” he said.

Chua said Sabah has long been marginalised in terms of receiving its fair share of revenue, despite clear constitutional provisions. 

The economic potential of the Sabah-MM2H programme represents a significant opportunity to rectify this imbalance, generating additional revenue that could greatly enhance our State’s infrastructure, including water, electricity, roads and drainage system, he said.

“In fact, the new Sabah-MM2H policy is designed to act as a powerful economic catalyst, leveraging our status as a premier tourism destination to strengthen our economy. 

“We firmly believe that the programme will make Sabah more competitive with our neighbouring countries and significantly boost our local economy through increased foreign investment and tourism,” Chua said. 

Therefore, he appealed to the Federal Government to reconsider the decision and ensure smooth implementation of the Sabah-MM2H programme. 

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