What makes Malaysia the best destination to invest in a second home

Petronas twin towers
Petronas twin towers is a major landmark of Malaysia

Malaysia, with a range of beautiful living environments from beach resorts to highlands, offers a wonderful place to invest in a property. Now, foreign nationals have an even greater reason to choose Malaysia as their second home – the government’s Malaysia My Second Home program.

The programme is promoted by the Government of Malaysia to allow foreigners who fulfill certain criteria, to stay in Malaysia for as long as possible on a multiple-entry social visit pass. The Social Visit Pass is initially for a period of ten (10) years, and is renewable.

Here are some reasons which make Malaysia a perfect destination for one’s second home:

There are many reasons why Malaysia makes an excellent choice for those who want to retire or spend an extended period of time. The Malaysia My Second Home Programme offers non-Malaysians a 10-year renewable visa and other attractive privileges. The programme has generated a lot of interest around the world and around 13,000 people have already been approved to reside in Malaysia.

The Malaysia My Second Home Programme is regulated by the Malaysian government and offers foreigners an opportunity to live in Malaysia under a 10-year renewable multiple entry visa. Under this programme, you can migrate to Malaysia with your spouse and children aged below 21 years (unmarried).

The spouse and children of the applicant will get the same class of visa and the same duration, as the main applicant. A child who is above 21 years of age will have to submit a separate application as an adult. Parents of the main applicant, above 60 years, can visit Malaysia on a 6-month renewable visitation visa.

There is no minimum compulsory number of days stay applicable under this programme; you can stay in Malaysia for 365 days a year or just 1 day of the year. There is also no limit to the number of entry or exits to or from Malaysia per year.

There are currently around 13,000 families that stay in Malaysia under this programme, who hail from countries all across the world, like the United Kingdom, Japan, Iran, China, Bangladesh and South Korea. Many of them have migrated to Malaysia for reasons such as a cheaper location to retire, children studying at Malaysia, warmer climate, good personal security, good infrastructure, stable economy and a well-regulated investment environment, among many others.

Investment, Business and Work: Participants of the Malaysia My Second Home Programme can invest in all common classes of assets in Malaysia, i.e. property, shares of companies, bonds and fixed deposits. They can also actively participate in business, by owning and running a company. Those above 50 years of age can work for up to 20 hours a week in skilled positions; they however need further permission from the Immigration Department before they can work for 20 hours a week.

Education: Your children will be able to study using their Malaysia My Second Home Visa (without applying for a specific student visa) at any of the reputable international schools in Malaysia. However, they will require a student visa if they have to study at the university level.

Tax-Free Overseas Income: There is no tax levied on money brought into Malaysia; however, any income (such as income from house rent) earned in Malaysia, will be subject to income tax. There is also no inheritance tax levied in Malaysia.

Tax-Free Car Import: As a participant in the Malaysia My Second Home Programme, you are allowed to import a car, tax-free, as a personal belonging from your country of origin or purchase one in Malaysia, free of sales tax.

Property Ownership: There is no limit levied on the number of properties you can own in your name in Malaysia. A participant is entitled to buy any number of properties that are above RM 500,000 each in all states of Malaysia, with the exception of Sabah, Sarawak and Pahang. At Sabah and Sarawak, the minimum amount stipulated is RM 350,000 and at Pahang it is RM 750,000.

Property ownership and transfer comes under the prerogative of the State Government under which the said property is located; therefore the minimal purchase price differs in some states. There is a 5% Malaysian Real Property Gains Tax imposed since 01-01-2010, under which you will have to pay 5% tax on any gain that you make, if you sell a property within 5 years from the date of its purchase.

Cost of Living & Standard of Living: Malaysia has one of the highest standards of living in the region with modern infrastructure and all essential facilities in place. The cost of living in Malaysia is relatively low, due to the Government’s efforts to ensure that inflation is kept low at all times.

Safety: Statistics prove that Malaysia is one of the safest countries in the world; its crime rate is relatively low.

Recreation & Entertainment: The country offers an entertaining time for the family with its many theme parks, jungle trails, watersports and one of the highest numbers of golf courses. It also has some of the best malls and shopping facilities.