The number of properties in Malaysia owned by Chinese citizens comprised almost 40 per cent of all approved applications by foreigners to buy homes over the past decade, according to numbers announced in Parliament yesterday (Nov 1) by Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad Baharuddin Shah, Bernama reported.
The roughly 4,500 approved applications, dating from 2007, were submitted under the country’s foreign residency scheme. Named the Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H), it allows foreigners to purchase property for personal use, retirement or long-term investment.
Chinese citizens owned 37 per cent of all approved purchases, followed by British citizens (8 per cent), Bangladeshi citizens (5.6 per cent), Iranian citizens (4.9 per cent) and Japanese citizens (4.7 per cent).
Those under the MM2H scheme must possess a minimum of RM500,000 (US$120,000) in personal wealth if they are under 50 years old, or RM350,000 (US$84,000) for those over 50, to be eligible.
A 2017 article by South China Morning Post which featured interviews with Chinese citizens under the MM2H said that Malaysia’s warm weather and lower cost of living were among the top reasons cited for buying a home there. Other reasons include lower levels of pollution and the country’s closer proximity to China than places like the US and Australia.