Malaysia has always been one of the best places in Asia to retire for foreigners due to our friendly and helpful populace, in addition to the affordable living.
In fact, we have consistently being named as one of the best countries in Asia to retire for a couple of years.
However, this will be something of the past as the latest ranking by Living International showed that Malaysia has lost our top spot to our neighbour Thailand.
The latest ranking for the year 2022 showed that Malaysia has dropped to 15th place, right behind Thailand, which has always trailed behind us, now ranked above us at 11th place, snatching the crown for the “Best Country To Retire within Asia” from us.
Meanwhile, the main reason that Malaysia has dropped significantly in the ranks were due to the confusing and harsh new changes made to the Malaysia My 2nd Home (MM2H) policies, according to expatriate news site Expat Go.
It was reported that Malaysia had since then turned unfriendly as the new policies were imposed in the recent years under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
Here’s a list of changes to the MM2H policy made:
- Minimum monthly income increased to RM40,000 (300% increase)
- Minimum fixed deposit increased to RM1 million (600% increase)
- Minimum liquidity requirement increased to RM1.5 million (400% increase)
- Yearly visa fee increased to RM500 (600% increase)
- Duration of MM2H visa reduced to 5 years (from 10 years)
After the criteria was announced, the government faced extreme backlash from existing expats and multiple groups, with expressing their decision to return to their country if the government implements it.
Several months later, the government has finally agreed to relax the requirements for the current participants, but the new participants are still required to follow the new policy.
Despite that, expats now no longer trust the Malaysian government, and many plan to leave the country. Potential expats had also dropped Malaysia out of their consideration to look elsewhere.
“Still, the damage done to the programme and Malaysia’s international reputation has been significant. Some MM2Hers have told us that regardless of how everything ultimately plays out, the trust they had placed in Malaysia’s government has been lost.” Expat Go reported.
While many were unconcerned about this due to the small population of foreign expats in the country, which is less than 0.1% of the population, the truth is that this small group brings in a substantial amount of money into our local economy and attracts foreign investments.
With the current policy, it is unlikely that we can hold on to our foreign expats.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!