KUALA LUMPUR (March 22): The Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme contributed RM2.9 billion to the Malaysian economy in 2016, according to tourism and culture minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz (pictured).
Nazri said in Parliament today that the RM2.9 billion figure includes contribution from visa fees of RM6.85 million, opening of savings accounts of RM542.55 million and purchase of property of RM673.96 million.
“This contribution does not include the monthly household expenditure — which depends on the size of the family — the education expenditure for their children, medical expenditure and their purchase of CKD (completely knocked down) vehicles,” he said.
Nazri was addressing a question from Seremban MP Loke Siew Fook on the MM2H programme in Parliament, who wanted to know what was the programme’s contribution to the domestic economy, and the number of applicants received so far.
Since it was launched in 2002, Nazri said the MM2H programme saw a total of 31,723 applicants from 126 countries, as at November 2016.
The highest number of applicants came from China at 7,976 approved requests, followed by Japan (4,127), Bangladesh (3,399), UK (2,361), Iran (1,331) and Singapore (1,258).
Taiwan and South Korea saw 1,175 and 1,174 approved applications respectively, while Pakistan and India saw 958 and 861 approvals.
Meanwhile, Nazri also said four North Koreans are under the MM2H programme. He added that North Korean premier Kim Jong-un is not one of them.
He said the programme has put Malaysia on the global map, as the country has been ranked by International-Living.com as sixth in the world and first in Asia in terms of being a retirement destination.
The Japan Longstay Foundation has also picked Malaysia as its top choice for long-term stay among Japanese people aged 40 and above, he added. — theedgemarkets.com