Sarawak tourism minister urges federal counterpart to resolve issues relating to late renewal of licences to operate SMM2H

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

ASAJAYA, April 20 — Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Hamzah today urged his federal counterpart Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing to resolve issues relating the late renewal of licences of operators of Sarawak Malaysia My Second Home (SMM2H) programme.

He said he has already spoken to the federal minister to look into the matter as soon as possible.

“We cannot keep the operators waiting,” he told reporters here after attending a function here.

He said since at the end of last year, the federal Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) has not renewed the licences due to some changes to its policy on Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme.

He said he has appealed to the federal ministry to renew licences to enable the operators of SMM2H in Sarawak to receive applications from interested parties from other countries.

Karim also reminded that the situation in Sarawak is different from that in peninsular Malaysia and Sabah in terms of the ways of operating the programme and the qualifications of the operators.

“But in view of the policy needing to be changed, we are also appealing to Tiong to put Sarawak aside,” he said, adding that as it is, any change in policy will create a lot of inconveniences to the operators.

“If I am not mistaken, a few of the companies that run the SMM2H programme in Sarawak that I am handling do not handle other parts of Malaysia, but their licences have not been renewed and they cannot accept any more applications,” he said.

He said when these companies cannot accept any applications from prospective interested parties who want to take Sarawak as their second home, they will be affected by the non-renewal of the licences.

Karim reminded Motac that these companies will still need to pay their staff salaries even though their licences have not been renewed.

“I hope that Motac will expedite what are the changes that it needs to do,” he said.

“Now it is almost the month of May, and this thing has not been addressed yet,” he said, adding that there are some operators who have accepted deposits from the prospective applicants, but they cannot process the applications as their licences have not been renewed.

He said he has a list of 300 to 400 applications who want to participate in the SMM2H programme in Sarawak.

He told Motac to resolve whatever problems that are being faced in Peninsular Malaysia as soon as possible, and not keep everyone waiting as it can affect the country’s image.

On his Facebook post yesterday, Tiong had said that his ministry was currently vetting and regulating the agents of the MM2H programme in detail for the benefit of all parties, whenclarifying news reports that agents were unable to renew their business licences after they expired on March 31.

He said that all agents need to re-register their businesses through the channels provided according to the set conditions.

Tiong pointed out Motac had received many complaints from applicants, who participated in the MM2H programme, against the agents.

He claimed that there were some agents who charged exorbitant fees up to their customers.