Bangladeshis losing interest in Malaysia\’s second-home facility

The number of Bangladeshis keen to avail the second-home facility of Malaysia dropped by around 18 per cent last year, compared to 2014, according to the latest statistics released by the Malaysian authority.
Some 205 Bangladeshis availed the benefit of 'Malaysia My Second Home' (MM2H) programme in 2015 while the number was 250 in 2014.
At the end of last year, the total number of Bangladeshis, who invested in Malaysia to avail the benefit since 2003, stood at 3,215.
In January this year, five more Bangladeshis got the 10-year multiple entry social visa facility.
Significantly, Labuan business visa has now become more attractive for investors and businessmen for the last few years.  
Labuan, a federal territory of Malaysia off the coast of Borneo in East Malaysia, is offering relaxed tax regimes for business and investment.
Though Labuan visa is primarily for two-year multiple entry for business, there is no stringent condition for its renewal. Moreover, no fund transfer is required initially.
"Maybe, the Labuan business visa facility is now attracting businessmen more as it is not as rigid as the second-home programme is," said a Dhaka-based immigration consultant without elaborating.  
No statistics is, however, available on the actual number of Bangladeshis who already received Labuan visa. But, newspapers and online media carry advertisements of several consulting firms  doing visa processing.
Nevertheless, Bangladesh is still in third position to avail the second-home visa after China and Japan.
Around 24 per cent of Malaysia's second-home beneficiaries are Chinese, 13 per cent Japanese and 11 per cent Bangladeshis.
It is alleged that by availing the second-home facility, migrants are actually transferring financial assets from Bangladesh as well as other countries.    
To avail the 10-year unrestricted visa as a investor, one has to show proof of having at least RM0.5 million or US$0.37 million liquid assets at home with monthly offshore income worth RM10,000 ($2,730).
In a rough estimation, every applicant has to transfer at least $82,000 or around Taka 6.4 million to avail the second-home benefit.  Thus, at least $262 million has illicitly been transferred to Malaysia under the programme. [Read More]

Source: The Financial Express


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