Foreigner purchasers are required to apply approval from Foreign Investment Committee and State Authority for acquisition of property in Malaysia
 
1. Who have to apply?
1.1 Foreign Investment Committee (“FIC”) guidelines defines:
  Foreign interest’ means “any interest, associated group of interests or parties acting in concert which comprises:
  (a) Individual who is not a Malaysian citizen; or
  (b) Foreign company or institution (unless the effective shareholding is stated); or
  (c) Local company or local institution whereby the parties as stated in item (a) and/or (b) hold more than 50% of the voting rights in the company or institution.”
 
1.2 Section 433B of the National Land Code 1965:
  (i) Prior approval of the relevant State Authority must be obtained before a non-citizen or a foreign purchaser/company is allowed to acquire any property.
  (ii) ‘Non-citizen’ means a natural person who is not a citizen of Malaysia. (Includes Permanent Resident)
  (iii) ‘Foreign company’ means :
    (a) A foreign company as defined in sub-section (1) of section 4 of the Companies Act 1965;
    (b) A company incorporated under the Companies Act 1965 with fifty per cent or more of its voting shares being held by a non-citizen, or by a foreign company referred to in paragraph (a), or by both, at the time of the proposed acquisition;
    (c) A company incorporated under Companies Act 1965 with fifty per cent or more of its voting shares being held by a company referred to in paragraph (b), or by a company referred to in paragraph (b) together with a non-citizen or a foreign company referred to in paragraph (a), at the time of the proposed acquisition.

2. Foreign Investment Committee
The FIC is a committee within the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department, which amongst others, reviews and regulates the acquisitions by foreign interests of assets and interests in Malaysian companies and businesses.
 
2.1 FIC Guidelines
2.1.1 All property acquisition by foreign interest that do not require the approval of the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department but falls under the purview of the relevant Ministries and/or Government Departments as follows:
(a) acquisition of commercial unit valued at RM500,000 and above;
(b) acquisition of agricultural land valued at RM500,000 and above or at least five (5) acres in area for the following purposes:
  (i) to undertake agricultural activities on a commercial scale using modern or high technology; or
  (ii) to undertake agro-tourism projects; or
  (iii) to undertake agricultural or agro-based industrial activities for the production of goods for export.
(c) acquisition of industrial land valued at RM500,000 and above; and
(d) transfer of property to a foreigner based on family ties is only allowed among immediate family members.
 
2.1.2 Acquisition of residential unit by foreign interest valued at RM500,000 and above. This acquisition, however, do not require the approval of the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department but falls under the purview of the State Authorities.
 
2.2 The following transactions requires FIC approval:
All property acquisition, except for residential units, that requires approval of the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department as follows:
(i) direct acquisition of property valued at RM20 million and above, resulting in the dilution in the ownership of property held by Bumiputera interest and/or government agency; and
(ii) indirect acquisition of property by other than Bumiputera interest through acquisition of shares, resulting in a change of control of the company owned by Bumiputera interest and/or government agency, having property more than 50 percent of its total assets, and the said property is valued more than RM20 million.
 
2.3 Restrictions
Foreign interest is NOT ALLOWED to acquire:
(i) Properties valued less than RM500,000 per unit;
(ii) Residential units under the category of low and low-medium cost as determined by the State Authority;
(iii) Properties built on Malay reserved land; and
(iv) Properties allocated to Bumiputera interest in any property development project as determined by the State Authority.
 
2.4 Procedures on submission of FIC application
Each application must be accompanied by the following documents:
1.1 Form UPE H/2009;
1.2 Forms Proforma I/2009 and/or Proforma II/2009;
1.3 One (1) copy of the relevant agreement;
1.4 One (1) copy of the Board of Directors resolution;
1.5 One (1) copy of the letter/license from the ministries or Government agencies (if applicable);
1.6 One (1) copy of the approval letter on the same proposal from other ministries or Government agencies (if applicable);
1.7 One (1) copy of the confirmation letter from the Company Secretary on the company’s current equity structure;
1.8 One (1) copy of the latest valuation report (transaction that involves Government agencies must be accompanied with a valuation report from Jabatan Penilaian dan Perkhidmatan Harta);
1.9 One (1) copy of the company’s current audited financial report;
1.10 Declaration Letter UPE SA/2009 to be signed by the Chairman/Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the company or any member of the company’s Board of Directors or any authorized personnel/individual; and
1.11 Any other document considered necessary by the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department.

3. Documents required for Application for Approval from the State Authorities
(i) One (1) copy of the sale and purchase agreement;
(ii) One (1) copy of the purchaser’s Passport/Identity Card;
(iii) One (1) copy of Memorandum of Associations, Form(s) 24, 44 and 49 (Both purchaser and Developer if the purchaser is a foreign company);
(iv) FIC approval/notification acknowledgement (if applicable);
(v) Latest Quit Rent and Assessment receipt of the subject property; and
(vi) Application Form for S433B NLC

For more information, please log on to FIC website at http://www.epu.gov.my

4. Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H Programme)
MM2H Programme is promoted by the Government of Malaysia to allow people from all over the world (except Israel, Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro) who fulfill certain criteria, to stay in Malaysia as long as possible on a social visit pass with a multiple entry visa. The Social Visit Pass is initially for a period of ten (10) years (depending on the validity of the applicants’ passport) and is renewable.

4.1 Benefits (House purchase)
(i) A foreigner may get loan up to 80% (normally for foreigner is 60%);
(ii) 100% registered as owner of property;
(iii) Upon selling, there is no Capital Gain Tax.
 
4.2 Procedure for Acquisition of Properties under MM2H
(i) Identify the property in which the participant intends to acquire.
(ii) Buy properties that have been issued the Certificate of Fitness (CF).
(iii) Seek information on the property from relevant authorities (land office, local authorities)
(iv) Assign a lawyer and get the Sale and Purchase Agreement signed.
 
4.3 Documents Required
(i) Details of the property that is desired.
(ii) Attach copy of Sale and Purchase Agreement, master title/strata title, passport or I/C or/and relevant documents deemed necessary.
(iii) Covering letter.
 
4.4 Conditions
(i) Value of property > RM 500,000 (other states)
(ii) Value of property > RM 350,000 (Sarawak)
 
4.5 F.A.Q (Extracted from http://www.mm2h.gov.my/faq.php)
(i) Do the participants have any special entitlements?
All participants are allowed to purchase residential properties at the minimum purchase price for foreigners established by the respective state governments. The current minimum price (January 2010) is RM500, 000.00 for most states.
(ii) Can I purchase a house for residential purpose and a shop lot to be rented out?
No, you are only allowed to purchase residential properties.
(iii) Do I have to pay the yearly assessment and quit rent for my houses like the locals?
Yes.
(iv) In the event of unforeseen death is the participant able to hand over his Malaysian assets to any of his beneficiaries smoothly. Does the Government have any restriction on this matter?
No.  Participants may transfer their property to their next-of-kin provided they have made a will to this effect.   In the event of lack of documentation, the next-of-kin may claim the inheritance upon proof of identity and kinship.
(v) Must foreigners buy new Malaysia property only, such as from developers, or can they purchase any property, such as from individual owners (second hand or third hand property)?
Participants can purchase any type of housing properties provided that they have been issued with CF (Certificate of Fitness).
(vi) Do I need to obtain prior approval from Foreign Investment Committee (FIC) for the purchase and sale of my house?
Participants under this programme are not required to obtain prior approval for the purchase and sale of houses from FIC. However, they must write to the Ministry of Tourism giving details of the house (location as well as price) so that a letter can be issued to them certifying that they are eligible to purchase the said property under this programme. In addition, they are required to send a copy of the approval letter obtained from the respective State Authority which has authorized the purchase or sale of the property concerned to FIC for information.
(vii) Can I keep pets in my condominium?
The By-laws of the Strata Title Act state that a parcel proprietor is NOT ALLOWED to keep any animal in his parcel or on the common property which may cause annoyance to any other proprietor.

For more information, please log on to http://www.mm2h.gov.my