KUALA LUMPUR – A total of RM12.8 billion has been contributed to the local economy through the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme since its inception in 2002.
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the contribution included the purchase of property amounting to RM4.9 billion, fixed deposits (RM4.9 billion), purchase of automobiles (RM148 million), collection of visa fees (RM52 million) and estimated RM10,000 monthly out-of-pocket expenses.
“This amount has not even taken into consideration the spillover effects of the participants’ relatives and friends visiting Malaysia and spending on accommodation, food, travelling and shopping,” he said in his speech at the Malaysia My Second Home National Workshop, here, today.
He noted that Until February this year, 33,300 applicants from 126 nations had been approved for the MM2H programme.
China was the top participating country with 8,714 approved participants, followed by Japan with 4,225, Bangladesh (3,546), United Kingdom (2,412), lran (1,336), Singapore (1,295), South Korea (1,266), Taiwan (1208), Pakistan (973) and lndia (890).
The intangible benefits, Mohamed Nazri said, would be how the participants help to promote Malaysia to their fellow countrymen.
“They would become our word-of-mouth endorsement to promote the programme and Malaysia as a holiday destination at no cost,” he said.
The minister said the MM2H participants also helped to promote the country’s medical, education and property sectors to their fellow countrymen.
However, he said, the success of this programme was not without challenges, especially in securing quality candidates and the need of the programme to evolve with the changing trends and preferences of the market.
“This is what the government of Malaysia has to study, improve and develop new pull factors to attract future potential markets to cater to the different palate,” he said.
At the event, Mohamed Nazri also witnessed the signing of a renewed memorandum of understanding between his ministry and Bank of China (Malaysia) Berhad in promoting the MM2H programme through the bank’s extensive network in China.
The ministry was represented by its deputy secretary-general Nor Yahati Awang and Bank of China (Malaysia) Berhad, by its general manager/head of Personal Banking Han Jui Kwang. – BERNAMA