S’wak Minister: Motac did not consult before suspending MM2H agents.

Sarawak is asking why the Federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, (Motac), suspended the operation of Malaysia My Second Home agents in Bornean States without any prior discussion.

Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, State Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts minister, said he was “very disappointed” by the decision, especially as his federal counterpart Datuk Seri Ting King Sing, is a Sarawakian.

Abdul Karim claimed that Motac had to discuss the issue with Sabah and Sarawak before pushing through the MM2H agreement, due to the differences in MM2H between the Bornean and peninsula states.

“On May 27, Motac released a directive suspending the operations of licensed agents who handle MM2H requests, including those from Sabah and Sarawak.

He told reporters that the MM2H program in Sabah and Sarawak was crippled after he inspected the preparations at the Rainforest World Music Festival, which took place on Friday (7th June) at the Sarawak Cultural Village.

Abdul Karim’s criticism follows Sabah’s statement that it may consider implementing its own MM2H program regardless of Motac’s directive.

Christina Liew, Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Environment in Sabah, said that the directive had stymied the plans for the state to implement its MM2H program.

She said that her ministry will instead appoint state representatives and authorize them to process the applications for Sabah-MM2H.

Abdul Karim said that Sabah and Sarawak have different requirements for the MM2H program than Peninsular Malaysia because both states have immigration autonomy.

“For instance, in Sarawak, the fixed deposit is only RM150,000 compared with RM1mil on peninsula.

He said that the number of applications for the Sarawak MM2H program has increased by 90%, while the Peninsula’s application numbers have declined by 90%.

Abdul Karim stated that if the directive of the ministry was to create a new policy it should not apply in Sabah or Sarawak but only in Peninsular Malaysia.

He said that Motac should not make decisions alone and expect both states to follow. Instead, it should discuss any changes with us.

Abdul Karim said that the Sarawak Government would also pursue the matter with the Federal Government.

“We won’t rock the boat. We expect that the federal government will be mindful of our MM2H policy, which has been endorsed and endorsed by state Cabinet.

He said, “Yet here comes the Federal Minister who pushes away thinking he’s bigger.”

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