The Federation of Malaysia comprises Peninsular Malaysia in the East and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo at the West side. The country is a peaceful blend of moderate weather and friendly people.
Located between 2 and 7 degrees north of the Equator, Peninsular Malaysia is separated from the states of Sabah and Sarawak by the South China Sea. To the north of Peninsular Malaysia is Thailand while its southern neighbour is Singapore. Sabah and Sarawak are in Borneo Island.
329,758 sq km in total land area
Approximately 25 million people
Malays who make up about 57% of the population, followed in order by the Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups.
Bahasa Malaysia is the national language which everyone speaks to a certain degree, but English is widely spoken. The Chinese and Indians are able to speak a variety of dialects while the ethnic groups have their own unique language.
Malaysians live in a multireligious society. Islam is the official religion but other religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism are practised.
Malaysia has a tropical climate with warm weather all year round with consistent rainfall, more towards the year-end. Temperatures range from 21°C to 32°C. Annual rainfall varies from 2,000mm to 2,500mm.
Malaysia practises a Parliamentary democracy with a bicameral legislative system. The Head of State is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister.
The unit of currency is the Malaysian Ringgit (RM). US$1 is roughly equivalent to RM3.50 (2007) and £1 is roughly equivalent to RM6.90 (2007). Foreign currency can be converted at banks and money changers.
Eight hours ahead of GMT and 16 hours ahead of US Pacific Standard Time.
Each participant is allowed to purchase up to two units of residential houses at a minimum price of above RM150,000 each, depending on the location of the property. Generally, the minimum prices for house purchases are:-
- Above RM350,000 each for certain areas in the state of Sarawak
- Above RM250,000 each for the states of Penang, Malacca and Johor
- Above RM150,000 for other states.
Each participant is allowed to bring in his/her own personal car or purchase a locally-assembled car without the need to pay import duty, excise duty and sales tax. A 'Personal car' is defined as a car which was purchased and owned by the participant before joining the MM2H programme.
Participants must apply for prior approval within the time period given to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of International Trade and Industry before bringing in a personal car from their country of residence or buying a locally assembled car in Malaysia.
Each applicant is allowed to apply for one maid subject to the prevailing guidelines of the Immigration Department of Malaysia.
Applicants are allowed to bring their children who are under 18 years old and not married as their dependants under this programme. Children who intend to continue their schooling in Malaysia are required to apply for a Student Pass and should be insured throughout their stay under this programme.
Participants are bound by the policies, systems and regulations of taxes of this country and they do not have exemption qualifications as granted to Diplomatic Missions in Malaysia. However, tax exemption is given to pension remitted into Malaysia. Participants are required to obtain the relevant endorsement from the authorities in their country of origin as to the total amount of yearly pension received. A copy of this letter has to be submitted in their application for tax exemption.
For more info on the categories above, refer to the Malaysian authorities’ website at http://www.mm2h.gov.my/.