KOTA KINABALU, May 11 — Sabah is expected to attract more applications from China nationals for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme once the Sabah State Government makes an official announcement on the programme’s new regulations.

Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to the People’s Republic of China, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, said following the agreement of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob that Sabah and Sarawak may formulate policies that better suit local strategies and sentiments, the Sabah Cabinet has passed new MM2H regulations that was expected to be announced soon.

With the reopening of the country’s borders, he said Malaysia was expected to see a large increase in the number of visitors, MM2H permit holders and applicants from China.

“Therefore, after the introduction of the new regulations, we need to ensure that the local infrastructure, public services and coordination between government departments are in order.”

He said failure to meet the expectation of the foreign visitors would affect the image of our country.

“Furthermore, it is imperative that we seize the opportunities to retain existing MM2H holders,  attract new applicants and visitors to revitalize the local economy and tourism industry.

“Once the Sabah government makes the official announcement of the new MM2H regulations, we can expect to attract more Chinese applicants to the state, which in turn, will stimulate the local economy and benefit other industries including healthcare, insurance and real estate,” he said when revisiting the discussion on the progress of MM2H with Sabah Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Jafry Ariffin in a meeting here.

Tiong, who is also the chairman of Malaysia-China Business Council (MCBC), has led a delegation on a five-day visit to Sabah. His programme includes courtesy visits to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee and others.

The delegation aims to engage in dialogues on the country’s post-pandemic era, the reopening of borders and revival of the tourism sector to prepare for economic recovery.

Meanwhile, Jafry said the Sabah’s tourism industry has begun to see the light of the day with the reopening of the country’s borders.

Hence, he hoped that Tiong and MCBC would lend a hand to support the state’s tourism industry by wooing more Chinese tourists and potential investors to Sabah to develop the medical and education sectors in effort to accelerate economic recovery.

Also present were Senior Private Secretary to the Office of the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to the People’s Republic of China, Nazree Mohamad, MCBC director Datuk Philip Yong Chiew Lip and MCBC chief executive officer Samuel Lee. — Borneo Post Online