Sabah can continue with its MM2H program despite federal directives, state Tourism Minister says

KOTA KINABALU – Sabah may decide to continue with its Sabah-Malaysia My Second Home programme, regardless of what the federal government decides.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Cristina Liew stated that the sudden directive by the Federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry for all licensed agents to stop operations, including those from Sabah and Sarawak, was unfavourable.

She stated that Sabah already had plans in place to launch the program by 1 June and roll it out, but those plans were derailed after the circular of May 27.

She said: “After receiving this circular, we asked for a review of Motac’s decision to suspend licensed agents, particularly the Sabah agents, who still have valid licenses issued by the Federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry.”

Liew stated that “if this is not possible, my ministry would appoint state representatives and authorize them to process the applications for the Sabah MM2H program.”

She said that the ministry was working with the relevant authorities, such as the Immigration Department and the Home Affairs Office, to coordinate workflows to ensure the Sabah-MM2H Programme applications could be processed efficiently.

“We were ready to launch the Sabah-MM2H program on 1 June and many people were eager to submit their applications. She said that the criteria for the program had been finalised three months earlier.

Liew stated, “We were shocked when the Federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry immediately suspended all licensed agents from processing new applications.”

She stated that “this unfavourable move adversely affected the progress of our programme and our intention to launch it as planned.”

She said that the Federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry sent a circular dated May 27, 2024, asking all agents licensed to handle MM2H requests, including those from Sabah and Sarawak, stop their activities.

Liew said that the ministry had written to the Federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry to explain their preparations to launch the Sabah-MM2H program by June 1.

The Federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry responded to KePKAS on May 31 by sending a circular stating that until further notice, no one is allowed to process any new applications for Sabah-MM2H.

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