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GUIDE 2011 - The Expat


                                                                                                 2 0 1 1
Discover More About Your Home Away From Home | PP15832/06/2011 (028196) |

               Brought to you by

               to Malaysia!
                          he Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme has attracted many applicants. Most
                          are retirees, many of whom want to relocate and settle here while others choose to spend
                          extended periods in the country.

               This MM2H Guide sets out the latest programme rules as well as an overview of the things that
               attract so many foreigners to Malaysia. In fact, many applicants previously worked in the country
               and have decided it offered the kind of lifestyle they were looking for in retirement.

               The programme is open to people below normal retirement age and applicants have included
               those who have jobs outside the country but wanted to base themselves here.

               I worked in many different countries for a major multinational before starting my own business
               in Malaysia. I decided to move here for a variety of reasons, but one of the key factors was the
               ability to interact and mix with the people living here. In many Asian countries it is not very easy to
               develop friendships with the locals, usually because of language or cultural barriers. In Malaysia,
               interaction at every level seems much easier helped by the friendly nature of most Malaysians.

               MM2H is the most attractive long stay programme we have come across in Asia. Although it is not
               a Permanent Residency programme, the government assures all applicants that their visas will be
               renewed at the end of the 10 year period as long as they follow the rules of the programme.

               Our magazine The Expat is sent free of charge to any foreigner living in Malaysia and we gather a
               lot of information about their likes and dislikes. It is subscribed to by people from over 100 different
               countries, so we get input from many different cultures. We share some of their thoughts in this
               guide. You can see an online version at

               If the “Questions and Answers” section does not cover your particular enquiry, please visit our
               website ( and ask us directly. Alternatively, write to me at the address on the
                  contents page.

                        We hope to see you here, enjoying the country as many others have before you.

               J.Andrew Davison

                                                                                        WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 3
Reaching the International Community
             since 1996

           Group of Companies
        Tri-Concepts Sdn Bhd (204389-P)
  JAD Management Services Sdn Bhd (286845-U)
        Borneo Vision Sdn Bhd (295020-P)
    Borneo Vision (MM2H) Sdn Bhd (735406-W)
           Hemsworth Limited (536626)
       TEG Singapore Pte Ltd (200920711M)

J. Andrew Davison

Consultant Director
Marybeth Ramey

Group Editor
William Citrin

Art Director

Chai Siew Kim

Graphic Design
Charles Lee & Nadzim Zainal

IT Director
Rusli Arshad

Online Content Editor
Katrina Marion Melvin

Rozalin Mahmood & Saiful Safuan                        Introduction to MM2H
Joanne Tan
                                                       06   Malaysia at a Glance
Media Director
Timothy Mcvey
                                                       07   A Relaxing Retirement
                                                       08   Malaysia My Second
Sales Director
Bill Cooper                                                 Home Programme (MM2H)
Nick Davison                                           Your New Life
Business Development Director
Zareena Alwee
                                                       12   Investing in Malaysian Real Estate
Sales Team
Olivia Yap, Emily Tang                                 18   Where to Invest?
Livian Lin, Joey Tan & Jessy Lou                       22   Types of Property
Membership                                             24   A Hub of Quality Healthcare
Antoinette Perera
                                                       28   A Range of People, Languages,
Distribution                                                Religions
Suriah Ali
                                                       29   Fabulous Weather & Shopping
MM2H Manager

Farzana Ali                                            30   Malls in Malaysia
Finance / Admin – Senior Manager                       31   Making Friends & Motoring
Khoo Poh Lian                                          32   The Tastes of Malaysia
                                                       34   Nightlife
printer                                                37   Cost of Living
Print Scope Sdn Bhd (596276-T)
No. 38 & 40 Jln PBS 14/3,                              38   Centre of Everything
Taman Perindustrian Bukit Serdang,                     39   Investment and Tax
43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor

for more information:
Borneo Vision Sdn Bhd (295020 P)
                                                       More about MM2H
7th Floor, Tower Block
Syed Kechik Foundation Building
Jalan Kapas, Bangsar,                                  40   MM2H agents
59100 Kuala Lumpur                                     42   Questions and Answers
Tel: 03.2093 9539 / 2094 9664
Fax: 03.2094 9690 / 2094 9670                          44   How to Apply
e-mail:                                                46   How The Expat Group Can Help                        47   MM2H Profiles                               50   Resources

T I M E L E S S                  L U X U R Y   R E V I S I T E D

                                  P O N ES
                             R E S SAL
                        I N G FOR
                W H E ENED
             ER      OP
          O V OW
        O     N
    E T    IS

Quick Facts about Malaysia
LOCATION                                                                                   in 1963. Malaysia has always been a
Located in South East Asia, Malaysia          Persekutuan) with three components, city     democratic country, from the day it became
covers about 330,000 sq km. The               of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya.      independent until present day.
Federation of Malaysia comprises
Peninsular Malaysia (or West Malaysia),     POPULATION                                     Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak is
and the states of Sarawak and Sabah         Approximately 28.9 million people (2010)       the sixth and current Prime Minister of
in the island of Borneo. Its neighbouring                                                  Malaysia.
countries are Singapore, Thailand, Brunei   RELIGIONS
and Indonesia.                                                                             ECONOMIC ACHIEVEMENTS
                                            However, Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Sikh and     The Malaysian economy has gone through
CAPITAL CITY                                Christianity are freely practiced as well as   tremendous changes over the past 30
Kuala Lumpur                                other tribal and minority religions.           years. It has evolved from an economy that
                                                                                           is based on agriculture and mining and
TIME DIFFERENCE                             ETHNICITY                                      moving towards a knowledge-based one.
UTC+8 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC     Malays and indigenous people make up the
during Standard Time)                       majority at 60% of total population followed   Today, the manufacturing industry, principally
                                            by Chinese (28%), Indians (8%) and other       electronics and electrical products, is the key
GOVERNMENT                                  ethnicities (4%).                              driver of economic growth.
Parliamentary Democracy
                                            LANGUAGES                                      Malaysia’s trade policy emphasizes greater
GDP                                                                                        integration with the world economy and the
GDP: RM525.4 billion (2010)                 while other widely spoken languages            country has established its position as a
                                            include English, Chinese (Cantonese,           global trading player.
Per capita income: RM24,661 (2010)          Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foo
                                            Chow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Punjabi,      The Malaysian Government is actively
ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS                    Thai, Iban and Kadazan.                        developing its manufacturing activities,
                                                                                           upgrading services delivery and
  Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak,   POLITICAL BACKGROUND                           multiplying human capital to support
  Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak,     Malaysia gained independence in 1957           the continuous development towards a
  Selangor, and Terengganu.                 and the Federation of Malaysia was formed      knowledge-based economy.


A Relaxing

                                                                                                                                                  PHOTO BY DAVID BOWDEN
           any applicants for the MM2H            choose to only spend part of the year here      The initial visas issued under the
           programme, particularly those          to escape cold winters back home. For
           from developed countries, are                                                          have recently come up for renewal. Many
retirees who want to take advantage of the        several months of the year in Malaysia and      people have successfully done this and
country’s combination of good services            then return to their own country.               there have not been any cases reported of
and infrastructure and relatively low cost                                                        people being rejected.
of living.                                        Making a total move has the added
                                                  advantage that it can often be possible         A major consideration for retired people
Certainly Malaysia offers retirees a high         to avoid paying taxes in one’s home             is medical care and Malaysia has many
standard of living at a very reasonable price.    country. As there are no taxes on foreign
Pensions which might only cover basic             remittances into Malaysia, this can be a
living costs in fully developed countries         material advantage.
allow people to enjoy a much better lifestyle                                                     Local doctors are very inexpensive
in Malaysia.                                      Although the MM2H visa is only for 10           compared to more developed countries and
                                                  years, the Malaysian government has             it is relatively easy and fast to gain access
The actual costs can vary a lot from person       repeatedly stated that they will renew the      to specialists.
to person. It is possible for a couple to enjoy   visas of all people who are approved for the
a satisfactory lifestyle in Malaysia for around   MM2H programme, as long as they comply          Those people who have chosen to retire
RM5,000 a month. This amount would cover          with the programme rules and the laws of        in Malaysia seem to be happy with the
their entire living costs, including holidays     Malaysia. In the event that the rules change,   decision and very few have changed
and maintaining their properties, though          they will allow the rules at the time of the    their mind and decided to return to their
not mortgage. Some MM2H visa holders              application to apply.                           native countries.

                                                                                                                 WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 7

Malaysia My
Second Home

   programme that allows foreign nationals to live in the country

 WHO CAN APPLY:                                                            he Malaysian government has a programme that gives
                                                                           foreign citizens, from any country recognised by Malaysia,
                                                                           a 10-year multiple entry visa that permits them to live here
 WHO APPLIES:                                                       year round or spend extended periods in Malaysia. Since MM2H
                                                                    was launched in 2002, more than 15,000 applications, mostly from
                                                                    couples, have been approved.
   International Schools
                                                                    LONG STAY VISA
   convenient and comfortable central base for themselves and       Approved applicants receive a Social Visit Pass valid for 10 years
   their families                                                   with a multiple re-entry visa. They are free to come and go as they
                                                                    like. The visa is renewable as long as the applicant has complied
                                                                    with the terms and conditions of the programme. Visa holders are
 FINANCIAL CRITERIA:                                                permitted to work in Malaysia either part time or as investors. (See
                                                                    separate section below).
   and cash assets of over 350,000 if over 50 (RM500,000 if under
   50)                                                              The Imigration Department only issues the visa for the validity of
                                                                    the passport. In fact they usually give an expiration date about one
   (RM300,000 if under 50). This can be waived or reduced in        month before the passport expires. This is the legal visa. It is therefore
   certain circumstances                                            important to get a new passport and have the balance of the 10 year
                                                                    visa stamped in it before the visa in the old passport expires. Failure
 VISA AWARDED:                                                      to do this may result in a penalty for ‘overstaying’ your visa.

                                                                    PROPERTY PURCHASE
 PRIVILEGES:                                                        Foreigners living in Malaysia are permitted to buy most residential
                                                                    properties costing over RM500,000 (RM300,000 in Sarawak,
                                                                    RM250,000 in Penang and Selangor). Purchases have to be
                                                                    approved by the State authorities. It is possible to get loans from
                                                                    Malaysian banks to buy property in Malaysia which is easier with an
                                                                    MM2H visa but is still possible if you have no visa to live in Malaysia.

 HOW:                                                               TAX-FREE CAR
                                                                    MM2Hers are permitted to buy a locally manufactured or locally
                                                                    assembled car tax-free in Malaysia. Alternatively, they can import their
                                                                    own car from their previous country of residence or their country of
                                                                    citizenship, free of any duty. The application to import a tax free vehicle
   of Tourism
                                                                    have been owned at least six months before applying for the MM2H
 MORE INFORMATION:                                                  visa as it is intended for people who are attached to their car and wish
                                                                    to bring it with them. Those MM2Hers wishing to buy a tax free car in
   for free updates on the programme.                               Malaysia have 12 months to obtain approval after collecting their visa.

                                                                        pay medical bills. However, for those over 50 at least RM100,000
                                                                        must remain on the FD throughout the validity of their MM2H visa.
                                                                        For those under 50, RM150,000 must always be left on deposit.

                                                                        2. Reduced Fixed Deposit
                                                                        Anyone who has purchased one or more properties in Malaysia
                                                                        with a total value of RM1,000,000 or higher before applying for the
TAXABLE INCOME                                                          MM2H visa, is allowed to place a reduced FD of RM100,000 if over
Malaysia does not tax income from overseas and also does not
impose any inheritance taxes. Any income received from within           the land title or strata title (for apartments) to have been issued.
Malaysia will be liable to Malaysian taxes.                             The house must be fully paid with no loan and evidence of the
                                                                        purchase has to be submitted when applying for the MM2H visa.
                                                                        3. Waiver of Fixed Deposit
applicants over 50 are lower. In the case of a married couple where     Applicants receiving a government pension (paid by the
only one is over 50, the older applicant’s age determines the amount    government) over RM10,000 a month can receive an exemption
of the FD. Applicants are allowed to bring their children under the     from placing any FD.
age of 21 and disabled children who are dependent on them at older
ages. They can also bring their parents if they are aged over 60.       All FDs must be placed with a bank in Malaysia and this is done after
Dependants above 21 years old have to obtain a separate visa.
                                                                        be left on deposit as long as the person remains on the programme.
Each participant is allowed to bring in one domestic helper.            EMPLOYMENT
The maid should come from a country which has been approved             MM2H visa holders are not permitted to take full time employment
by the government; this includes the Philippines and Indonesia.         in Malaysia. However those aged over 50 may work for a local
Applications for a maid have to be submitted after the approval of      company, for up to 20 hours a week, as long as that company
the MM2H visa. In certain cases, where there appears to be a valid      obtains the necessary approval.
reason, then a second foreign maid is permitted.
                                                                        MM2Hers are allowed to invest in a local company and may even
TERMS AND CONDITIONS                                                    sit on the board of directors, but must not be involved in the day
FINANCIAL CONDITIONS                                                    to management.

                                                                        employment. Any changes to the rules will be updated on
more. In addition the applicants have to show assets. The minimum

over 50 and RM500,000 for people under 50. Prior to visa issuance       MEDICAL EXAMINATION AND INSURANCE
most applicants have to place a Fixed Deposit with a bank in
Malaysia. (See next section.)                                           Malaysia. They must also possess medical insurance. For people
                                                                        aged over 60 and unable to obtain coverage because of their age,
There are three possible options:

1. Full Fixed Deposit                                                   CHANGES TO PROGRAMME RULES
Most applicants over 50 have to place a FD of RM150,000 with            The terms and conditions for this programme have been changed
a bank in Malaysia. Applicants under 50 have to place a FD of
RM300,000. After one year, applicants can withdraw part of the FD       current at the time of going to press. Updated information can be
to pay for a house, cover their children’s education (in Malaysia) or   found at

                                                                                                                 WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 9

                               OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION
                               CONDITIONAL APPROVAL

                               remaining conditions that have to be met - placement of the Fixed Deposit (if any), having

                               conditions they can pick up their visa at the Immigration Department.

                               FEES AND OTHER CHARGES
                               Apart from any agent’s fees (see below) a payment of RM90 per year per person is charged

                               countries have to pay a one-time ‘Journey Performed’ fee of around RM500.

                               government for as long as they hold the MM2H visa. The amount depends on your nationality
                               (but can be up to RM2,000 for Americans) per person. Applicants using an agent are


                               The Malaysian government has authorised over 200 companies to assist people with their
                               Malaysia My Second Home visas. A complete list of approved agents can be found on the
                               Ministry of Tourism’s Website at The Government has stated that fees
                               for the MM2H application cannot exceed RM10,000.

                               BORNEO VISION (MM2H) SDN BHD

                               one of the most active agents and has been successfully helping visa applicants for the last

                               updated whenever changes are made to the programme. People who register on the website
                               can receive a free periodic E-newsletter which advises any changes to the programme.

                               opening bank accounts, medical examinations, insurance coverage and generally settling
                               into the country.



                                                                                                       PHOTO COURTESY OF SERI HENING
                    Investing in
                    Malaysian Real
                              alaysia has been ranked one of the top ten real estate investment
                              destinations worldwide and has since received investors from all over
                              the world, including UK, US, Hong Kong, China, India, Singapore,
                    Indonesia and others. Things that make Malaysia attractive are:

                    Non-residents are free to purchase residential and commercial properties in
                    Malaysia. All purchasers are subject to restrictions on Malay Reserve Lands
                    and properties allocated for Bumiputras. There is a minimum investment value
                    of RM500,000 (approx. USD $150,000) for property purchases according to the
                    jurisdiction of different states in Malaysia.

                    Across both residential and commercial sectors, an increasing number of
                    existing and new developments are CONQUAS compliant and fast adopting the

                    Malaysian land law is based on the Australian Torrens System. The rights of
                    foreign investors to own and possess property and to seek legal redress in the
                    courts are guaranteed under these laws.

                    From 1 January 2010, the effective tax rate on disposal of real property
                    is 5%, subject to the provisions of the Real Property Gains Tax Act 1976.

                    years of ownership. There is no withholding tax on property disposal and no

                    inheritance tax. Investors may have to pay tax on earnings depending on their
                    income tax band.

                    Bank Negara Malaysia, the national bank, does not impose any restriction on

                    Malaysia by a non-resident.

                                                                      WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 13
                                                                                                                          PHOTO COURTESY
                                                                                                                          OF SDB


                                             2009                                 2010
Population                                   28.3 million                         28.9 million
GDP                                          RM512.4 billion                      RM525.4 billion
GDP Growth                                   -1.7%                                6% to 7%
Per capita income                            RM24,055                             RM24,661
                                             0.6%                                 2.25%
Labour force                                 12.1 million                         12.2 million
Unemployment                                 3.7%                                 3.6%
Total export (f.o.b.)                        RM553.3 billion                      RM559.0 billion
Total import (c.i.f.)                        RM434.9 billion                      RM452.8 billion

Major exports

Major imports

TRANSPORT & SERVICES                                              MOBILE & INTERNET SUBSCRIPTIONS

Visitor arrivals (million)                      23.6              Mobile telephone subscribers                  1,026.0
Hotel occupancy (%)                             60.9              (per 1000 inhabitants)
International passengers by air (millions)      21.1              Broadband penetration (%)                     21.0
Domestic passengers by air (millions)           26.4              Internet penetration (%)                      63.5
International cargo handled (tonnes)            116,668
Domestic cargo handled (tonnes)                 491,751
Aircraft movements                              209,681

Sources: Malaysian Economy in Figures 2010 (Economic Planning Unit), Social Statistics Bulletin Malaysia 2009
(Department of Statistics)

The property market performance is rebounding across all sub-sectors in 2010. 2009 recorded a stabilised total of transactions
at 337,859 versus 340,240 transactions in 2008. To date, Q1 2010 has recorded 23.9% of sale of new launches, better than the

residential units worth RM16.18billion offered for sale. The industrial sub-sector softened in 2009 as foreign investments into

Summary of New Launches from Q1 2009 to Q1 2010

18,000                                                                             25    Sales Performance (%)

14,000                                                                             20

 4,000                                                                                              Unit Launched
                                                                                                    Unit Sold
Units 0                                                                            0
             Q1 2009    Q2 2009     Q3 2009            Q4 2009     Q1 2010

Quarter                              Q1 2009                     Q2 2009                  Q3 2009                Q4 2009               Q1 2010
Units Launched                       11,779                      16,6579                  12,365                 8,608                 5,760
Units Sold                           777                         2,730                    1,684                  1,372                 1,378
Sales Performance (%)                6.6                         16.4                     13.6                   17.0                  23.9

Source: NAPIC

To date, the performance of the property market is positively bolstered by several measures

  RM50million allocated under the Housing Assistance Programme and RM330million allocated
  to Jabatan Perumahan Negara.

  investors i.e. tax cut from 20% to 10% on dividends received by foreign institutional investors


  (sen)                                                                                 (%)
  18                                                                                     9.0
  16                                                                                     8.5
  14                                                                                     8.0
  12                                                                                     7.5
  10                                                                                     7.0
    8                                                                                                      Income Distribution
    6                                                                                    6.5
                                                                                         6.0               Yield %
    2                                                                                    5.5               Income Distribution (sen)
    0                                                                                    5.0




Source: The Edge Financial Daily (June 2010), MPI

                                                                                                                             WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 15
                                             fund management companies to set up operations in Malaysia. A Special Taskforce to Facilitate

                                             Other salient improvements from 2009 onwards is the reduction in time taken for property

                                             valuation and 34 days, without valuation. On the construction front, 103 One Stop Centres (OSC)
                                             have been established as at end 2009 to help expedite application processes for development.

                                             implementation are as follows:

                                              Iskandar Malaysia                                              All 18 projects completed
                                                                                                             27/30 projects (90% complete)
                                                                                                             80/86 projects (93% complete)
                                              Sabah Development Corridor (SDC)                               All 54 projects completed
                                                                                                             9 projects carried out

                                             Source: NAPIC Property Market Report 2009, Property Market Status Update Q1 2010,
Kiaramas Danai Condominium
                                             MPI Market Intelligence Reports, The Edge, Bernama

POLITICAL STABILITY                                                      INTERNATIONAL EVENTS
Malaysia has enjoyed 52 years of uninterrupted political and social
stability since achieving independence in 1957.
                                                                         Music Festival in Sarawak are amongst the many world-class events that
MULTILINGUAL ADVANTAGE                                                   draws both local and international crowds by the thousands.

                                                                         SUMMER ALL YEAR ROUND
such as Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Tamil and others.
                                                                         average temperature is 20°C - 30°C all year round. On the west coast of
YOUNG AND GROWING POPULATION                                             the peninsular, the monsoon season lasts from September to December
Malaysia falls into the category of a young society with close to one-   while on the east coast, the season runs from October to February.
third of its population below the age of 14.
                                                                         RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE
                                                                         Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism among others, are also
network of highways that link all major cities and towns. The North-     practiced freely.

south of the peninsular and is part of the Asian highway network         GOLF HAVEN
which connects into Thailand and Singapore.                              Malaysia boasts close to 200 golf courses, some of which are designed by

                                                                         comes at good value, starting from USD$50.

of households. Malaysia is globally connected through a host of          AWAY FROM NATURAL DISASTER ZONES
communication service providers from internet and mobile to
satellite technology.

10TH MALAYSIA PLAN 2011 – 2015

                                                                                                                                                  PHOTO COURTESY OF SIME DARBY
sets a robust development allocation to the tune
of RM230b (the same amount was previously
allocated for 9MP). Predictions pinpoint the services
and manufacturing sectors as the main drivers of
economic growth with a targeted growth rate of 6.0%
per annum in 2011-15 vs. 4.2% per annum in 2006-
2011. The 10MP will move in tandem with the New

income. Gross national income per capita is targeted
                                                                Seri Pilmoor
to increase to RM38,850 or US$12,140 by 2015.


Public-Private Partnerships                                                Development of Greater Kuala Lumpur
Government efforts to foster closer public-private                         Greater Kuala Lumpur encompasses 279,327ha of key districts
                                                                           such as Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Ampang Jaya, Petaling Jaya,
amongst the 52 projects worth RM62.7b, led by government-                  Subang Jaya, Shah Alam and Kajang. Urban renewal projects
linked companies (GLCs).                                                                                     within the area are likely to push
                                                                                                             up property values in the city
that include construction of new highways, logistics and                                                     centre fringe areas. Surrounding
manufacturing plants, the key themes of the PPP initiative                                                   areas also stand to gain in value
center around:                                                                                               appreciation. Positive spillover
                                                                                                             effects include improvements
                                                                                                             in the building standards of
                                                                                                             properties, amenities and

                 New wave of public-private partnerships (PPP)                                                    (RM billion)

    1            Seven highway projects, including:                                                                   19.0

    2            Two coal electricity generation plants                                                               7.0

    3                                                                                                                 10.0

    4            Five Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) branch campuses                                                n/a

    5            Redevelopment of the Angkasapuri Complex Kuala Lumpur as Media City                                  n/a

    6            Integrated Transport Terminal in Gombak, Selangor                                                    n/a

    7            Privatisation of Penang Port Sdn Bhd                                                                 n/a

    8            Kuala Lumpur Strategic Development by 1MDB; Sungai Besi Airport area                                 n/a

    9            KL International Financial District in Kuala Lumpur                                                  n/a

   10                                                                                                                 3.0

   11                                                                                                                 18.0

Source: Malaysia Property Inc

                                                                                                                 WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 17

Gated Community

                                      here are two broad categories of property sale: sales by

Different Types                       a developer of newly constructed properties and sales by
                                      individual owners of existing properties.

of Property                    NEW DEVELOPMENTS:
                               In Malaysia it is common for developers to sell properties “off
                               the plan” which means you purchase the property before it is
                               built. Under the Housing Developers Act property developers are
                               required to complete the construction of these properties within
                               three years of the purchaser signing the Sale and Purchase
                               agreement. Purchasers are required to make periodic progress

                               that progress has been made on the overall project construction.
                               Usually 5% of the price is held by solicitors for up to 18 months after
                               completion to cover any defect claims.

                               Recently the Malaysian government
                               has been trying to encourage developers to change to a “build-then-
                               sell” policy which means that they will complete construction before
                               making the sale. The suggestion is that the purchaser then pays a
                               10% payment to secure the property and the balance is only payable
                               when the property is completed.

                               Existing Properties
                               Purchase of existing properties usually involves a down payment
                               of 10% of the purchase price (this may be made in two installments
                               – 3% with letter of offer and 7% within two weeks). The remaining
                               90% is payable within three months. After that period, then interest
                               would become payable on the outstanding balance. Before buying


                                                 possible to arrange for a new lease during
                                                 the period of the exiting lease. This involves   major cities like Kuala Lumpur are being
                                                 cancelling the existing lease and applying       renovated. Some of the end units are
                                                 for a new one.                                   reconstructed to substantially increase their
                                                                                                  built up area with a corresponding reduction
                                                 LOCAL TERMINOLOGY                                in their garden space.
                                                 Malaysians use the following terms
                                                 to describe the types of residential property    Town Houses. These are essentially the
                                                 available:                                       same as terraced houses except they tend
                                                                                                  to be more up market and expensive. Some
                                                 Bungalow. This is a detached stand-alone         may have an internal patio.
                                                 house on its own land. Unlike the UK where
                                                 it means single story, smaller dwelling, a       Gated Community. This generally refers to
                                                 bungalow can be any size in Malaysia.            developments which have controlled access
                                                 Some are extremely large with built up           with a guard house and fencing surrounding
an existing property you should ensure           areas exceeding 10,000 square feet.              the whole development. This usually means
there will be no problems in obtaining the                                                        security will be better but it is advisable
necessary State approval to acquire it as        Semi D. This is short for semi detached and      to check exactly what security is offered.
a foreigner.                                     refers to a house which is joined on one         Consider how easily you gain access, ask
                                                 side to another property. Two homes make         how often guards patrol the development
Freehold/Leasehold Land                          up one building.                                 and what system they have to let visitors
Foreigners can acquire both freehold and                                                          enter. Do they have security cameras and
leasehold land in Malaysia. Most leasehold       Terraced House. This refers to houses            do the properties have an alarm system
land is owned by the state and leases are        which are connected on both sides to other       connected to the guard centre?
usually for 60 or 99 years. At the end of        homes. The end unit, which is obviously
the lease it is fairly easy to renew the lease   only connected on one side, has the largest                           There are a great variety
for a further 99 years upon payment of a         land space and is usually premium priced.        of apartments available in nearly all major
premium which is based on the current            Terraced house are usually one or two            towns and cities. They vary from small
market value of the property. It is also         storeys high but occasionally they consist       and very cheap to extremely large and
                                                                                                  correspondingly expensive. Many are priced
                                                                                                  below the RM500,000 minimum purchase
                                                                                                  limit for foreigners which applies in most
                                                                                                  states in Malaysia. Newer, more expensive
                                                                                                  apartment buildings usually have security
                                                                                                  and offer various facilities like a pool,
                                                                                                  squash and tennis courts and a gym.

                                                                                                  Condominiums. Unlike some countries
                                                                                                  where there is sometimes a legal
                                                                                                  distinction between a condominium and

                                                                                                  interchangeable. Usually using the term
                                                                                                  condominium means the development has
 Terraced House
                                                                                                  more facilities.

                                                                                                                WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 23

                                                                                                                                            PHOTO COURTESY OF PRINCE COURT MEDICAL CENTRE
A Hub of Quality Healthcare
Tourism Services
         isitors from around the world         art medical technology. Medical centres     Tourism
         come for everything from critical     have extensive diagnostic and therapeutic   Even those here for healthcare tourism
         medical treatment to preventive       resources such as haemodialysis centres,    can enjoy this tropical paradise. Depending
and cosmetic care at Malaysia’s modern         endoscopic suites, magnetic resonance       on how they feel and their doctors’
healthcare facilities. Medical expertise       imaging (MRI), cardiac catheterisation      recommendations, patients can enjoy
in Malaysia is on par with that of             facilities and much more.                   the beaches or even go sightseeing and
developed countries and most private                                                       participate in other tourism activities during
hospitals in the country have international-   Medical Professionals                       recuperation. These activities not only
quality standards. All private medical         Most hospitals and healthcare facilities    provide an enriching experience, but also
centres are approved and licensed by                                                       actively contribute to the patient’s
the Ministry of Health and are required        English-speaking medical professionals      recovery process.
to maintain stringent standards
of care.                                       They are supported by an equally            Did You Know?
                                                                                           282,000 foreigners visited Malaysia for
ADVANTAGES AT A GLANCE                         paramedic staff.
Competitive Prices                                                                         months of 2008 where the revenue totalled
Medical services and healthcare facilities     Accommodation                               RM222.25 million. This was a 16 percent
are available at very competitive prices       Hospitals in Malaysia can offer anything    increase from the year before.
compared to those in countries of the same     from comfortable hospital rooms to
standard, including the UK and US.             luxurious suites (comparable in price       Experts believe that the health tourism
                                               to regular rooms in other countries) with   industry in Malaysia will remain strong in
Healthcare Facilities                          full-time nurses. Sleep-in facilities for   the long run.
Most private hospitals and healthcare          patients’ travelling companions are also
facilities are equipped with state-of-the-     provided by some hospitals.                 Source: APHM


Prince Court Medical Centre
Offers the only Multi-Year
Wellness Programme in Malaysia


    n this age of modern medicine,             Prince Court strives to meet the growing        consultations is a complete physical exam
    healthy aging is no longer a myth.         demands for special care focused on             including eyes, ear-nose and throat,
    Today, growing old does not                the unique needs of senior adults and           cardiovascular and respiratory system
necessarily have to be associated with         recognize that successful aging has             and your gastrointestinal system along
pain or illness. Whenever an illness           to be more than just the absence of             with your nervous system. The diagnostic
arises, we need to stop assuming it is age     ailments. Since aging is qualitative and        assessments include an electrocardiogram,
related and instead seek early treatment       not quantitative, they have developed a 5       spirometry, ophthalmic exam and for your
including rehabilitation which will help       year plan to ensure that older people add       hearing, a pure tone audiometry.
us to live a healthy and happy old age.        healthy life to years not just years to life.
Many people cannot differentiate between                                                       A functional assessment will be
disease and aging effects; many diseases       They recognize and counsel that growing         conducted by a rehabilitation clinician as
that are frequently treatable are often        older involves changes which can affect         well. A healthy aging specialist will do a
mistaken as just normal aging.                 your lifestyle but that you can still enjoy     post examination review for you, ensuring
                                               aging if you understand what is going on        you have a complete understanding of
“When we talk about rehabilitative health      with your body and take steps to maintain       all the results.
and ageing population, we are advocating       your health. PCMC has designed a Senior
a holistic approach towards health care        Adult Wellness Screening Package                PCMC’s health assessment focuses on
with emphasis on physical, mental,             which provides a comprehensive health           quality of life and their goal is to encourage
psychological, emotional and social well       screening encompassing a physical and           and promote wellness and independent
being,” declares Dr. Rameezan Begam            psychological evaluation to help enhance        function for many years to come. Routine
Abd Rahim, one of Prince Court’s               quality of life.                                annual assessments will allow them to
Consultant Physicians.                                                                         better monitor all the aspects of your health
                                               Their comprehensive programme                   and address any age-related issues that
The Consultant Rehabilitation Medicine         includes blood and urine analysis which         traditionally might be left untreated.
doctor says the biggest challenge now          encompasses, among others, diabetes
for the medical fraternity and the aging       screening, kidney function, liver function,
population is to ensure that the extra years   thyroid function, hepatitis and tumor           available to participants of this programme.
they live are in good health and strive for                                                    Complimentary spa treatments and dining
good quality of life.                                                                          experiences in addition to other activities
                                               The programme also includes a wide array        and products can also be enjoyed with
Senior adults living in Malaysia are living    of radiological examinations such as chest      this package.
longer than before as many lead active and     x-ray, bone densitometry, mammography
healthy lives. However, the natural process    (for women) and abdominal ultrasound.           For more information and a free
of aging often comes with an array of                                                          telephone consultation, please call their
common conditions that changes a person’s      nutritional and dietary needs too. Along        Executive Health Screening centre at
general health.                                with these intensive tests, exams and           03.2160 0888.

                                                                                                                                                                       TOLL - FREE No:

                                                                                                                                                                     1- 800 - 88 - PCMC (24 hours)

                                                Prince Court Medical Centre / 39 Jalan Kia Peng 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia / fax: +(60)3 2160 0010

                                                          Your Health is Our Top Priority
                                                           With the demands of today’s modern lifestyle, we tend to forget the most important
                                                           element; our health & wellness. Regular health screenings make it possible for such
                                                           health risks and conditions to be detected, prevented or properly treated. This is why
                                                           Prince Court Medical Centre offers a comprehensive preventive medicine
                                                           programme with one clear objective; to ensure your continued well-being and good

                                                           Our One-Stop Executive Health Screening Centre offers the following for your every

                                                             Basic Screening Package (Men & Women)
                                                             Cardiovascular Screening Package
                                                             Well Men Screening Package / Well Women Screening Package
                                                             Cancer Screening Package Men
                                                             Cancer Screening Package Women
                                                             Pre-marital Package

                                                           Apart from our standard packages, we are also able to custom design special screening
                                                           programmes to cater to your every need.

                                                           To arrange for your Executive Health Screening, kindly call 603 2160 0888.

 Professional care.
 Exclusive setting.
 Personalised service.

  Managed by VAMED and Medical
  University of Vienna International

                Y                                                                                                          ATOLOGY & BURNS CENTRE
            Y              Y           LTH                                          LTH SCREENING                                 RADIOLOGY & NUCLEAR MEDICINE                                                                                                   T
 PHYSICAL & REHABILITATION MEDICINE          LIFESTYLE MODIFICATION CENTRE                       PATHOLOGY                        EMERGENCY ROOM                                  MEDICAL SPECIALTIES                                      SURGICAL SPECIALTIES

KKLIU No. 1030/2010/B                                                   Joint Commission          Malaysian Society For Quality    Asian Society for Quality        Winner Best Brands               Frost & Sullivan          Member of Association of        Member of Medical      Halal certification for
                                                                   International Accreditation         in healthcare 2010               in Healthcare          Wellness Hospital 2009 - 2010   Healthcare Services Provider   Private Hospitals of Malaysia   Tourism Association   Food & Beverage Category
                                                                               2008                                                                                                                  of the Year 2010

Malaysia’s People and Languages
        short stroll down any street in           INDIAN
        Malaysia will bring you into contact
        with many different faces and a
variety languages. Here’s a breakdown of
what to expect as you explore:

MALAY                                             OTHERS AND MIXES
                                                  The remainder of Malaysia’s population
with the indigenous populations) form             consists mainly of indigenous tribes from
the “bumiputra” – the “sons of the soil”.         Borneo and peninsular Malaysia. The
Traditionally centred around the kampong

                                                  while the peninsula’s indigenous groups are
exposure to western culture have changed          collectively called the Orang Asli.

Making up about one-quarter of Malaysia’s

                                                  speak Tamil.                                                                            Indigenous
                                                  BM one of the world’s easiest languages to                                                           7.80%

and ethnic foods.                                 little during their time spent in Malaysia.               Malaysia’s cultural groups

A Range of Religions

percent of religious followers in the country. Buddhists are generally

                                                                                                                   9.10%        Hindu
                                                                                                                                6.30%       Other

Malaysia’s cultural fabric.                                                     Religion In Malaysia

two hours so Muslims can conduct their Friday prayers. This results
                                                                            in love with a Muslim. Marriage can only occur if the non-Muslim

during Thaipusam.

all Year Round
    s a tropical country Malaysia is an idyllic escape from dreary

                                                                                Cameron Highlands

precipitation in these months.                                               new environment after a couple of months.

                                                                             getaway in Peninsular Malaysia’s interior highlands. Destinations

your sunny day.

Shopping in Malaysia
                                                  they remain the best places to buy

labels or testing the durability of knock-offs.
                                                  Thursdays) and Bangsar Telawi Pasar

throughout Malaysia.                              SHOPPING MALLS
                                                  Malaysians love their malls as you will see
STALLS                                            if you brave one at weekends. Here you
These are set up on the street or sidewalk
and sell anything from food to clothing at        to Prada. Among those most popular with
very low prices.

Before malls there were rows of
shophouses and in many neighbourhoods             airport and Malaysia’s other designated
you can still wander in and out of these

                                                  some great deals on the typical “luxury”
of other items.
                                                                                                     COLD STORAGE
NIGHT MARKETS (PASAR MALAM)                                                                          Quality imported grocery goods are widely

become crowded with pasar malam stalls            forget to allow for a little extra shopping time
and shoppers. Designed for locals rather                                                             home country.

                                                                                                                   WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 29

                                                                                                                                               PHOTO COURTESY OF SUNWAY
Marvellous Malls
and Tax-Free Treats
                                                                        GREAT EASTERN MALL
       rapidly closing the gap between itself and shopping hotspots

costs and wages in Malaysia have led to some very attractive prices.

                                                                        could ever need.
liquor make them cheaper in Malaysia than many other countries.

                                                                        SUNWAY PYRAMID

convenient for people who work during the day.

The best thing to do is familiarise yourself with Malaysia’s many       products) all located inside a pyramid that could have come straight
malls. Here are some of our favourites:

visitors pass through the shopping centre each week.
                                                                        BANGSAR SHOPPING CENTRE

towers of residences and a proposed hotel. The retail complex

                                                                        include expansion to accommodate more fashionable eateries as
                                                                        well as a number of upmarket fashion brands.
wide array of eating options.                                 
                                                                        ONE UTAMA

if the shops are too much for you the restaurants in the “feast” area   shop and relax. There are two wings which gives shoppers a
are not to be missed for sumptuous gastronomic adventure.               good choice for retail therapy.                                       

Making Friends Through
The MM2H Group
          nce you’re settled in you’re unlikely   Then there’s the Expat MM2H card, open
          to regret your decision to spend        to those with an MM2H visa. The Expat         Malaysia, contact your embassy or high
          time in Malaysia. You’ll quickly        MM2H card gives members various               commission or visit
adapt to the lifestyle, and soon after that
you’ll love it.                                   and services, access to a free help line      Check out our Facebook page – The Expat
                                                  for enquiries concerning the programme,       Group (TEG Malaysia) – to connect with
Word will soon get around about your new          regular updates on any matters of             other expats and keep informed with what’s
life abroad and your family and friends           interest, and the chance to contact other     happening in Malaysia. If you’re Internet
                                                  people living in Malaysia under the           savvy, online message boards can connect
money to visit. As a resident MM2H visa           programme. There’s an online forum for        you to people just like yourself. The Expat
holder, you’re often expected to play host        casual chat and to provide feedback to        Group strives to make expats and MM2Hers
and tour guide.                                   the Government about the programme,           comfortable in their “home-away-from-
                                                  and also some regular social events to        home”. Sign up at and
It’s something you’ll likely enjoy doing,         meet with your new friends face to face.      start chatting!
and there’s so much nearby to show them.          For more information, simply visit our site
There are the regular attractions, the out of                            Once you’re living in Malaysia, visit the www.
the way sights, and if there’s an extended                                             website and sign up for a free
stay, there’s always Indonesia, Thailand,         If you’re from Britain or a Western country   monthly subscription to The Expat magazine!
and a host of other destinations.                 with a large expat population living in       If you would like to read the online magazine,
                                                  Malaysia, there’s a good chance that          go to
But they come and go, and you’ll likely           your countryfolk will have organised
                                                  an association, such as the American          Delivered to your mailbox every month, The
in Malaysia that share common interests,          Association of Malaysia (AAM), the            Expat is packed with information about what
concerns, and so on. There are several            Malaysian Australian New Zealand              to do, things to see, and the concerns of
means to help you make friends with               Association (MANZA), the Association          everyday expats and MM2Hers just like you.
people like you. Firstly there’s the monthly      of British Women in Malaysia (ABWM)
Mingles night, organised by The Expat             and others. These groups hold special         You’ll also be invited to The Expat’s
Group                                             events for their compatriots, with special    monthly wine dinners, a delightful and
beer and meet interesting new people. You         emphasis placed on reminders of home,         popular social evening. With all these
                                                  as well as programmes that can help you       options, there’s very little chance of                     adapt to your new home.                       becoming lonely while living in Malaysia.

                                                                                                              WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 31

                               Kuala Lumpur
                               by Night
                                      s the working day winds up, the city takes on a different

                               There are several areas particularly famous for their nightlife, where

                               Long known for its nightlife, Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC) has

                               friends after work or on Saturday nights.

                               more intimate settings. The most popular stops include Chinoz,
                               The Press Room and WIP.

even mix of all cultures and age groups, with most looking only to
having a good time.

                                                                             DESA SRI HARTAMAS

Frankfurt continue adding to their list of regulars year after year. After

on some great Tandoori chicken and naan.

To get to BSC or Bangsar Baru, it’s easiest to take a taxi as parking        few other happening places around. It’s easiest to get to Desa Sri

there is no shortage of taxis to take you home.
                                                                             Triangle), and thus there are many places in Ampang that cater to
goes down, the neon lights up and Bukit Bintang comes alive with
the hip and the happening. The atmosphere is electric, with hints
of an out of control carnival. The lively spots along or near the strip
include Delaney’s, and Moussandra. It’s a place to eat, drink, dance,

doing the same).                                                             Eastern Mall.

                                                                             GOLDEN TRIANGLE
Bukit Bintang (a few minutes’ walk) are two areas that can give

wake-up call of sights, sounds, and smells. Small open-air eateries

visitors from all walks of life. To immerse yourself into the scene, all

to you! One street over is Tengkat Tong Shin, an eclectic mix of

Brazil, Vietnam, and many other nations. The places along this street

                                                                                                                   WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 35
                               Everything you need to know about Malaysia


                                                                                     SHOPPING COMPARISON
                                                                                      Item                                                Price (RM)
                                                                                      1l Milk
                                                                                      Eggs (12 Pack)                                              4.50
                                                                                      1kg Onions                                             3.50/4.00
                                                                                      1kg Chicken                                                13.00
                                                                                      5kg Rice                                                   25.00
                                                                                      1.5l Water                                               2.30/50
                                                                                      Bread                                                       2.60

The Cost of Living                                                                    Coke/Pepsi (can)
                                                                                      Marlboro Cigarette Packet
                                                                                      KRAFT Chedder Cheese Slices

in Malaysia                                                                           Sunkish Orange Juice (1.89l)
                                                                                      1kg Grapes
                                                                                      1kg Fish

It can be said that compared to other regions and most parts of the world, living     1kg Tomatos                                            4.50/5.00
in Malaysia is relatively cheap. The 2010 UBS Prices and Earnings report has          1kg Potatos                                                 7.50
dubbed Oslo, Zurich, Copenhagen, Geneva, Tokyo and New York as the world’s            1kg Bananas                                                 3.89
most expensive cities based on a standardized basket of 122 goods and services                                                                    4.90
including food, healthcare, clothing, household items, transportation and other       Digestive Biscuits                                          6.50
                                                                                      Toothpaste (120g)                                           8.90
When rent prices are factored into the equation, New York, Oslo, Geneva and Tokyo
emerge as especially pricey places to live. The basket costs the least in Kuala
Lumpur, Manila, Delhi and Mumbai. The study was based on data collected in 73
cities around the world between March and April of last year. This study marks the                                                                5.49
                                                                                      Ground Beef (Australia)                                    19.00
The iPod nano (with 8 GB of storage) is an ideal example of a globally uniform        Basso Olive Oil (1l)                                       28.90
                                                                                      Basso Olive Oil (500ml)                                    21.90
                                                                                      Guiness Beer (bottle)                                       7.90
                                                                                      Anchor Beer (bottle)                                        5.50
                                                                                      Tiger Beer (bottle)                                         6.10
                                                                                      Becks Beer (bottle)                                        11.90
                                                                                      Hoegarden Beer (bottle)                                    12.90
                                                                                      Savanna Dry Cider                                          11.99
                                                                                      Transport                                            Price (RM)
                                                                                      Bus/Train one way ticket
                                                                                      Monthly Pass, Train                                      100.00
                                                                                      Mercedes S350                                     639,888.00
                                                                                                                            (387 112.00 (Tax Free))
                                                                                      Volvo S40 2.0L                                    173,950.00
                                                                                                                            (113 508.86 (Tax Free))
                                                                                      Peugeot 3008 (A)                                    143,888.00
                                                                                      Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TSI                           243,888.00
                                                                                      Audi Q7 2.0T                                        575,000.00
                                                                                                                                  (800 000.00 (OTR))
                                                                                      Audi Q5 2.0T
                                                                                      Land Rover Freelander 2 (2.2L)                      272,000.00
                                                                                      Toyota Rav 4                                        204,000.00
                                                                                      Others                                               Price (RM)
                                                                                      Movie Tickets                                              10.00
Currency notes are in denominations of RM1, RM2 (rare), RM5, RM10, RM50, and
RM100. Coins are issued in 5, 10, 20, and 50 sen pieces.                              Big Mac Set Meal Large                                     11.90
CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATES                                                               Large Pizza                                                35.00
USD1    =   RM3.02                                                                    Chilies/ TGIF meal Per.P                          approx. 40.00
GBP1    =   RM4.92                                                                    Hawker stall meal Per.P
Euro1   =   RM4.27                                                                   *The above prices were researched at supermarkets and shops
AUD1    =   RM3.07                                                                   in Kuala Lumpur in April 2010. Where possible, internationally-
                                                                                     imported products were chosen to offer like-for-like comparison.
SGD1    =   RM2.40                                                                   However, in most cases there are cheaper locally-made
JPY27   =   RM1                                                                      alternatives too.

                                                                                                                WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 37

In the Centre of Everything
     n every survey we’ve conducted of             international carriers. Malaysia Airlines,
     people living in Malaysia under the           the national airline, offers world-class
                                                                                                  BY AIR: KL to…
     MM2H programme, the vast majoity say          service on its complement of worldwide         Indonesia
they’ve travelled to a regional destination        destinations. Alternatively, AirAsia           Jakarta              1 hr 34 min
in the past year, and will do so again in the
next year. These people chose to live in                                                          Bali                 2 hr 33 min
Malaysia, so why do they leave so often?           destinations. AirAsia also offers long-        Singapore            35 min
                                                   haul operations to China, Hong Kong,
The answer is opportunity. Malaysia offers         Australia, the United Kingdom and India.
a unique blend of factors that allow for an        The airlines are well-served by a multitude    Bangkok              2 hrs
extended mobility, whether throughout the          of travel agents and travel fairs. If you’re   Cambodia
region or even longer trips back home.             uncomfortable planning your own trip,
                                                   there are thousands of packages available      Phnom Penh           1 hr 30 min
As explained, most people with an MM2H             for every destination and interest.            Siem Reap (Angkor)   1 hr 40 min
visa live quite comfortably in Malaysia’s
economic climate. Necessities are relatively       However, the biggest reason for such
inexpensive, giving MM2Hers a disposable           interest in regional travel has to do with     Vientiane            2 hr 14 min
income they can spend on their own                 what’s available in Southeast Asia. Within     Vietnam
enjoyment.                                         Malaysia and throughout the region, there
                                                                                                  Saigon               1 hr 30 min
                                                   are idyllic beaches like Malaysia’s east
It’s easy to travel. No matter where you           coast, Langkawi, Koh Samui in Thailand,        Hanoi                2 hr 42 min
choose to settle, you are close to an              or Bali in Indonesia; amazing dive sites
international airport (or a connection to          like Cebu in the Philippines and Malaysia’s
one), or a train station or international jetty.   Tioman and Sipadan islands; shopping           Manila               3 hr 10 min
The countries throughout the region have           sprees in Hong Kong and Singapore; and         Hong Kong            3 hr 13 min
quite reasonable immigration procedures,           eco-tourist adventures like climbing Mt.
                                                                                                  Sri Lanka
and for many nationalities there’s no need         Kinabalu in Sabah.
to secure a visa beforehand.                                                                      Colombo              3 hr 08 min
                                                   Within three hours of KL are more than 30
From Kuala Lumpur, you’re never                    UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including
                                                   the temple complex of Angkor in Cambodia,      Kathmandu            4 hrs
regional destinations. For many budget             the walled city of Chiang Mai and the ruins    Australia
travellers, KL is a starting point for the         of Ayutthaya in Thailand, Malaysia’s Gunung
                                                                                                  Perth                5 hrs
entire region; for MM2Hers, KL is a                Mulu National Park, Indonesia’s Borobudur
relatively inexpensive base. Malaysia’s            ruins, Sri Lanka’s ancient cities, and many    Sydney               8 hrs
growing travel industry includes three             more sites around the region.

Paying Your Dues

INCOME TAX                                                                REAL ESTATE CAPITAL GAINS TAX
Any overseas income remitted to Malaysia is not taxable. This can

You may have tax deducted at source on some income, in which              their purchase.
case it may be possible to have it stopped. Usually this requires
you to register with the Malaysian tax authorities and then show          However, no capital gains tax will be imposed on properties sold
evidence of this to the authorities in your home country so they will
cease deducting tax. This only applies if your country has a double
taxation agreement with Malaysia. If you have other assets in your        INHERITANCE TAX
country, you may want to consider transferring them into an offshore      Malaysia has no inheritance taxes, so if you can avoid any taxes
                                                                          imposed in your own country, your estate can be passed to your
can give you advice on this.                                              next of kin free of any deductions. However, make sure you have

Any income you earn in Malaysia will be subject to tax. Income on         long time.
your Fixed Deposit should not be taxable as long as you structure
your deposit properly. The bank you place it with will be able to         ROAD TAXES
advise you on this. If you buy a property to rent out or invest in a      Road taxes in Malaysia are designed to penalise cars that guzzle
publicly listed or private company in Malaysia, then rental, dividends,   petrol. The tax rate depends on the size of the car’s engine.
and other payments made to you will be liable to local taxes.             Once the engine exceeds 2,000cc there is a steep climb in the
Currently the maximum rate of tax for individuals is 28 percent.          annual charge.

                                                                                                                                            SUNWAY SOUTH QUAY
                                                                                                                                            PHOTO COURTESY OF
 Bay Rocks at Sunway South Quay

A Safe Economy for Investment?
          alaysia’s economy has been transformed in the last              More recently the Iskandar Malaysia Region in Johor, next to
          30 years from a producer of raw materials into a multi          Singapore has started attracting foreign investment. It also contains
          sector economy. Recognising its small population the            sizeable residential developments which have been selling well,
government has deliberately increased its focus on value added            mostly to Singaporeans and expats living in Singapore. The Northern
production, particularly high technology industries.                      Economic Corridor next to Penang is aimed at bringing investment
                                                                          into the northern region of Malaysia.
Currently the country is largely export driven and is one of the
world’s leading electronics exporters. As an exporter of oil and gas,     In 2009 and 2010, the government started liberalising certain sectors
                                                                          of the economy to encourage more foreign investment. These
                                                                          sectors included computer and related services, tourism, health,
The country has initiated several projects to help stimulate the          transport, business services and shipping.
economy. The Multi Media Super Corridor just outside Kuala
Lumpur was launched in 1996 to attract international IT companies         This will bring Malaysia more in line with other countries in the region
and leapfrog Malaysia into the information age. It has been quite
successful in bringing in foreign companies.                              there are many factors affecting investment decisions.

                                                                                                                  WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 39

                                                            pplicants have the option of submitting their applications directly or

Use of an                                                   of obtaining the assistance of an authorized agent. For those who
                                                            know exactly what is required, have time on their hands and feel

MM2H Agent                                          applying directly is certainly the cheapest method.

                                                    Currently there are over 200 licensed MM2H agents that can submit your
                                                    application, though not all MM2H agents are actively seeking applicants.
                                                    Each is licensed by the Malaysian government, but there are differences
                                                    in the services offered and the prices they charge. Some may walk you
                                                    through the entire process for little cost, while others offer reduced services
                                                    at lower prices for those who are happy to do most of the steps on their own.

                                                    If you apply directly you are required to place a cash bond. The amount
                                                    depends on your nationality. It can be up to RM2,000 per person (for
                                                    Americans). It is refundable when you leave the programme. If you use an
                                                    agent they will act as your sponsor and this requirement is waived.

                                                    The government has advised agents they can charge a maximum of
                                                    RM10,000 (RM7,000 for initial submission, and RM3,000 for completion and
                                                    collection of the visa) for assisting people with their MM2H visa. No maximum

                                                    buying a duty-free car, etc.)

                                                    For more information about MM2H agents - and what you can


  For enquiries, please contact our Sales Department at tel: 03-2170 8859 or email:


Questions and Answers
GENERAL                                                              With all the changes in the programme should I worry about
I receive a three month tourist visa every time I visit, and since   rule changes that might prevent me renewing the visa when it
I am planning to only spend a few months a year in Malaysia,         becomes due?
why would I bother to join the MM2H programme?
In this case, there is no critical need to join the programme. Any
foreigner can buy property in Malaysia and the MM2H programme

MM2H visa may assist you to obtain certain services. For example,
it is much easier to open a bank account and MM2H visa holders
                                                                     What are the advantages of using an agent?

Do I have to move to Malaysia as soon as I get the MM2H visa?
You do not have to move to Malaysia or even spend a minimum
                                                                     handling any problems you may experience. If you use an agent

being approved.                                                      depending on your nationality.

I am married and have moved to Malaysia with the MM2H visa. I        How do I choose an agent when so many are listed in the
                                                                     government website?
                                                                     Many agents are inactive, so ask the Ministry for a list of active
to advise the government of your death and get an MM2H visa in

                                                                     While the fee they charge is, of course, important, make sure you

I have been living with my partner for 20 years but we never got
married. Can we both apply for the programme?                        Why do agents charge thousands of Ringgit just to submit a
                                                                     few documents?
                                                                     Agents handle every step of the application process and some offer

Can I take up any employment?

                                                                     process. In addition, the agent is expected to act as your sponsor

                                                                      at source on pensions can usually get this stopped if they register

any reason.                                                           countries have a double taxation agreement. Avoiding tax on your
                                                                      investments may be possible by placing them in offshore funds
Agents incur additional expenses setting up and maintaining

                                                                      Is the interest on the Fixed Deposit taxable?
and other conditions before they are licensed. Finally, most active
agents incur substantial expenses marketing the programme and
                                                                      Is it better to bring in my own car tax free or buy one in
PROPERTY                                                              Malaysia?
Do I have to buy a property if I am approved?
                                                                      one in Malaysia. Although you are only permitted to buy locally
                                                                      assembled cars and not those imported fully built up, there is a
                                                                      reasonable selection to choose from.
properties or stay in serviced apartments.

I was advised not to buy property “off the plan.” Why is this?
If you are buying a property “off the plan” then you need to check    least six months before making the application for the visa and

                                                                      Most of the major auto manufacturers assemble some of their

properties the developer has constructed to get some idea of their

FIXED DEPOSIT                                                         Is there anything special to consider if I bring my own car?
How can I get my Fixed Deposit back?                                  An important factor to consider if you plan to import your car is the

                                                                      see the section in this guide about taxes for more details. It can be
                                                                      a lengthy procedure obtaining approval to import the car and then
                                                                      actually bring it into the country. It is important to use an experienced
buying a house in Malaysia, educating your children in Malaysia, or
to cover medical expenses of anyone here under the programme.
You have to submit proof of the relevant payments and the Ministry    When I sell the car do I have to pay any tax?

How much interest will I earn on my Fixed Deposit and can I
keep this money?                                                      payable at that time. It is important to note that the seller must keep

varies from bank to bank, but is currently around 2.0 percent.
                                                                      Can I bring in a maid from any country?
What is my liability for tax in Malaysia?

                                                                                                              WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 43

                               How to Apply
                               for the MM2H
                               THE APPLICATION
                               Applicants can either use an authorised agent or apply directly.
                               Those wishing to apply directly should submit their completed

                               in Kuala Lumpur. If the applicant plans to live in Sabah or Sarawak
                               then the applications must be submitted to the State immigration

                               company name. They are also listed on the government’s Website
                      Our sister company Borneo Vision (MM2H)
                               Sdn Bhd

                               Applications can be submitted by the agent without the applicant
                               coming to Malaysia. Once the committee reviews the documents
                               and approves the application they will issue a letter of “Conditional
                               Approval”. At this time the applicant has six months to complete the

                               SUBMISSION DOCUMENTATION:
                               The following documents are required to obtain approval

                                  people who are applying with you, how you will support yourself

                                  to use.

                                  can be downloaded from


                                  forms listed above.

                                  on pages with personal particulars.

                                  on pages with personal particulars.

                                     PLACES OF APPLICATION

                                                      Borneo Vision (MM2H) Sdn Bhd

                                     RELEVANT ADDRESSES

                                     Malaysia My Second Home Centre
                                     Ministry of Tourism Malaysia

Timeframe to Receive The MM2H visa

                                     Department of Immigration, Sabah

                                     Department of Immigration, Sarawak


                                                                        WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 45

How The Expat Group
can Assist You
         ur approved MM2H agency, Borneo Vision
         (MM2H) Sdn Bhd, is part of The Expat Group.                 contained in the approval letter - placing your Fixed Deposit, having
         We have been offering information and support to            the medical examination and obtaining local medical coverage
expats since 1996. At the same time we try to promote
the country internationally.
                                                                     you in collecting the visa
FOLLOWING SERVICES:                                                  Expat MM2H card

                                                                     free subscription to The Expat magazine as long as you have a
                                                                     mailing address in Malaysia
  application to maximise your chances of getting approved
  or alternatively advise if we do not feel you qualify. We have
  achieved a very high success rate compared to the overall          tax free car or obtaining a local driving licence
  approval rate

                                                                     established reputation for reliability and integrity and would be
                                                                     happy to assist you with your MM2H application.

                                                                   Our agency contact details are as follows:
                                                                   Borneo Vision (MM2H) Sdn Bhd
                                                                   7th Floor, Tower Block,
                                                                   Syed Kechik Foundation Building,
                                                                   Jalan Kapas, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
                                                                   Tel: 03 2094 9664 Fax: 03 2094 9670

                                                                   Contacts: Farzana Ali, Anne Perera or Andy Davison
  we will advise you to come and complete the process and          Website:
  collect the visa                                                 E-mail:



The Captain has
Reached his

was between 1968 and 1978, at the height of the Cold War when

country on the front line in a very demanding role.

soon thereafter.

decided to move to Malaysia for six months, and ended up extending
                                                                     computer software sales and development. Although he was
initially about the country was the happening social scene and
                                                                     to promote his products and lecture pilots on upgrades to their in-

                                                                     business endeavors began to wind down and he determined that

he left from the UK. But when he moved here, he fell in love with

out of Subang for two years. After that, he attempted to set up a

passengers about what they could expect to encounter upon arrival    in the expat enclave of Bangsar and has a Malaysian girlfriend. He
                                                                     continues to passionately pursue his hobbies and has added other

Unfortunately, due to the awful haze and economic downturn in

                                                                     For more information on the MM2H programme, visit

                                                                                                            WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 47


A Full Dance Card
       s busy now as he was before he
       retired, Graham Bennett plays golf

once a month and the rest of his time he     cheaper from Malaysia than from many

country that has become his second home.     Australia once or twice a year but he also    in with extraordinarily high blood pressure.

                                             and daughter.                                 The doctor gave her medication and also
                                                                                           explained the seriousness of
                                             GIVING BACK
                                             When Graham lived in Australia he             fund, they cover the education costs for 18
                                                                                           high-school-aged students, some of whom
up to him to decide where to open the next   organisation of more than one million

                                             together to improve the conditions of
                                             others, both at local and global level.

When he retired, staying on was an           from the organisation because, although
easy decision, made even easier by the       there was as strong a presence there as
Malaysia, My Second Home (MM2H)              anywhere else, there were no clubs that       ADVICE TO OTHER MM2HERS
programme which allowed him to convert
                                             in Malaysia, this was not a problem once      that you must treat your new country as
                                             Graham moved here and to hear him tell

                                                                                           He admits that relocation is not for
                                             minded friends, nearly all locals, within a
There are countless golf courses around                                                    to a tropical country where the people
Malaysia and many of them have been the                                                    are friendly and where it is easy to live,
                                             also plays golf with some of them. Graham

on a quieter neighbourhood course. As for                                                  For more information on MM2H,
                                             doctors to very poor areas to give the        visit



A Dynamic Duo
       he love story of David Bradley and Gudrun Nienaber sounds

       of their adult lives, they were on completely separate paths

circumstance brought them together and their existences became
inextricably intertwined.

Manager of Coca-Cola.

He then moved on to Singapore, where he spearheaded the                       memories of living in Malaysia, they decided to relocate to sunny

                                                                              David and Gudrun bought a three-bedroom apartment in the expat
                                                                              enclave of Mont Kiara, and enrolled in the Malaysia My Second
                                                                              Home (MM2H) Programme.
country where he (always an industrious entrepreneur) started his
own waste management business and four-wheel offroad driving                  They applied for the MM2H programme using The Expat Group
tour company, both of which were highly successful.

Gudrun, who hails from Germany, built a career with news giant

                                                                              weather and the fact that overseas assets and income are not
an immensely and intensely fascinating time to be in Malaysia.

                                                                              very friendly, the food is fantastic, the cost of living is low, the

                                                                              David and Gudrun have a vibrant social life and have established a
                                                                              wide circle of friends in their home away from home.

                                                                              regularly attending the monthly Mingles and Wine Dinners.

                                                                              amazingly unpredictable twists and turns of fate, they were led to
Upon their initial encounter, David and Gudrun found that they                each other and to Malaysia, their second home.

hit it off and, soon after that Australian adventure, hit the international   Malaysia has proven to be a strategic base for their commercial
travelling trail together.

                                                                              For more information on the MM2H programme, visit

                                                                                                                        WWW.EXPATKL.COM   THE EXPAT 49

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