One-stop centre to help applicants

Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/5/20/nation/14300237&sec=nation

Saturday May 20, 2006

One-stop centre to help applicants

KUALA LUMPUR: A one-stop centre has been set up to expedite applications for the Malaysia My Second Home programme.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who launched the centre located at Menara Dato Onn in Putra World Trade Centre, here, yesterday, said the ministry wanted to make it simpler for foreigners to take up the programme.

The Government is very concerned with the slow application process because the foreigners might as well go to another country if they have to wait too long for the approval, he said.

He also said 16 licensed agents had registered with the ministry to work closely with the centre to help the programmes participants.

The centre will help foreigners apply for the programme and assist them in matters involving other ministries, government departments and agencies, and private companies.

He also said the ministry was looking into hiring officers with multilingual skills to work in the centre.

We are considering working with travel agents and Matta (Malaysia Association of Tour and Travel Agents) because they would have the resources, he added.

Tengku Adnan said the Government had also loosened the financial requirement in the programme and extended the visa period from five to 10 years.

He said new applicants below 50 years of age now had to open a RM300,000 fixed deposit account and would be allowed to withdraw RM240,000 one year later.

The regulations are more flexible now, unlike the old regulations where applicants were required to have RM150,000 in their fixed account throughout the programme, he added.

Tengku Adnan also said the ministry was considering offering the programme to professionals who could provide their expertise on a part-time basis.