Two-fifty-three Bangladeshis sought the My Second Home Programme in Malaysia during the first eight months of the last calendar year, according to latest data from the Official Portal of Malaysia My Second Home Programme.
The data also showed that number of Bangladeshis obtaining the facility jumped to 90 people in July and August of 2017, when only 163 Bangladeshi citizens had bought the second home tickets during the first half of the year.
Throughout 2016, 283 Bangladeshi citizens had obtained the long-term residency benefit in Malaysia under the programme that began way back in 2002.
The latest data also showed that a total of 3,746 Bangladeshis has availed the investment opportunity in Malaysia that accounted for 10.50 per cent of the total beneficiaries until August 2017.
Bangladesh, currently holding the third place behind China and Japan among the countries’ list in the programme, saw the highest number, at 388, of its citizens buying tickets under the programme in 2012, during the fourth year of the present government’s tenure.
Citizens of Bangladesh required investment ranging from 10,000 to 300,000 Malaysian Ringgit equivalent to Tk 2,42,759 to Tk 72,82,771 to avail the second home tickets.
Transparency International Bangladesh executive director Iftekharuzzaman said the MSHP in Malaysia has become a significant channel through which many Bangladeshis are siphoning off money.
He expressed his frustration as to why the government was not identifying the persons whose investments in Malaysia are illegal.
The Bangladesh Bank officials have been saying that they had no data about Bangladeshi citizens taking part in the programme as none of these Bangladeshi citizens took mandatory permission from the central bank to remit money from the county to Malaysia.
They noted that the funds were thus transferred illegally.
Earlier, BB tried to obtain information about Bangladeshis in the MSHP but was denied by the Malaysian Central Bank Negara due to absence of a required agreement between the two sides.
Anti-Corruption Commission have been trying to find the Bangladeshis who invested in that country’s programme since 2012, but without any major success, said its officials.
They, however, said they were looking into assets of at least 45 people who investments in Malaysia through the programme was ascertained.
The commission has started the asset inquires of investment suspects, including politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats, since December.
The politicians under the ACC scanner include ruling Awami League MP Nizam Uddin Hazari, Dhaka City North Jubo League president Ismail Hossain Samrat, independent MP Hazi Mohammad Selim, former Bangladesh Nationalist Party minister Shahjahan Siraj and MP Naser Rahman.
Businessmen in the list include car importer Habibullah Don, disaster management and relief minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury’s son Sajedul Hasan Chowdhury and Emdadul Haque Bharasha.
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