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Malaysia My Second Home - MM2H NEWS RELEASE

SEE LATEST NEWS IN OUR 

# 15 Jun 2012 - More Japanese Opt to live in Malaysia

# 17 Dec 2011 - More then 17,000+ Foreigners Obtain MM2H Visa

# 01 Mar 2011 - Legoland Malaysia set to open in 2012

# 21 Jan 2011 - Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios appoints new CEO

# 11 Dec 2010 - Malaysia is top spot for Japanese

# 30 Jul 2010 - More S. Koreans to visit Msia with AirAsia X daily flights

# 13 May 2010 - Malaysia, Singapore To Reactivate Business Council

# 12 May 2010 - Plenitude to expand its presence in Penang

# 10 Mar 2010 - TH Properties, Naza Group in RM100m project

# 13 Feb 2009 - MM2H Centre / Immigration Department Annoucement no: 6/2009 

# 15 Apr 2009 - Kota Iskandar - Johor New Admin State Capital Launch

# 30 Apr 2009 - PM: 30% Bumi quota for 27 sub-sectors business scrapped - April 2009

# 23 Jun 2009 - Jean Todt - Appointed Tourism Malaysia Ambassador 

# 04 Sep 2009 - MM2H: Up there among the top 12

# 31 Oct 2009 - Tourism Ministry to Enhance MM2H Program

# 05 Mar 2008 - George Town moves up rankings of most liveable cities

# 28 Mar 2008 - JB may join Singapore MRT network

# 12 Apr 2008 - Iskandar Malaysia project on track, says PM

# 01 Jul 2008 - Million Dollars Home Purchase & above No Full Fixed Deposit Require

# 06 Oct 2007 - Buy Malaysian Properties RM1 Million & above - MM2H application will be fast track

# 07 Oct 2007 - More Britons Want To Stay Here

PLEASE READ NEWS STORIES BELOW:-

# 15 Jun 2012 - More Japanese Opt to live in Malaysia

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/6/15/nation/11481346&sec=nation

PETALING JAYA: The Japanese have overtaken Iranians in making Malaysia their second home, snapping up properties in the Klang Valley and other urban areas.

According to the Malaysia My Second Home Centre, Japan has been the top participating country since last year, when the country was hit by a tsunami and a nuclear crisis in Fukushima.

Malaysia's political stability and economic growth are said to be a big draw.

MM2H statistics showed that the number of Japanese applying to participate in the programme doubled from 195 in 2010 to 423 last year. A total of 787 Japanese applications were approved from 2009 to last year.

The Chinese jumped to second place last year, with 405 applications approved.

The Iranians, who topped the list from 2008 to 2010, dropped to third place last year and fourth this year, below the Bangladeshis.

As of March, 18,090 foreigners have successfully applied to participate in MM2H.

The rise in Japanese applicants followed the announcement of Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen in late 2010 that Japanese senior citizens were welcome to make Malaysia their second home.

She had said the number of Japanese aged 65 and above was increasing, and living in Malaysia was ideal due to its strategic location, advances in medicine and cheaper living costs.

Real Estate and Housing Developers Association president Datuk Seri Michael Yam said Malaysia, as part of its Look East policy in the past few decades, had focused on making living here convenient and comfortable for the Japanese.

This, he said, included the setting up of a Japanese School in Kuala Lumpur in 1966.

The school is the fifth oldest Japanese school overseas, with spacious premises that include a kindergarten and primary and secondary schools.

Such initiatives had helped to build a cordial relationship between the two countries, Yam said, adding that there were many Japanese investors in Malaysia today.

These people used to work in Malaysia. When they went back, they probably thought that this is not a bad place to have a second home, especially since it is one of the cheapest places to live in, Yam said.

He noted that Malaysian condominiums now incorporated a - sprawling lifestyle complex approach, which includes amenities such as big swimming pools and tennis courts.

You get good value for money, which you dont necessarily get in other countries, which are more densely packed,he said, adding that Mont Kiara, which is popular among expatriates, was one of the biggest Japanese enclaves in the country.

According to the Japanese Embassy, the earthquake and tsunami which happened in March last year were another -push factor.

Japanese Ambassador Shigeru Nakamura said there were about 1,000 couples who have made Malaysia their second home.

Related Stories:
Japan folk scouting for overseas property to invest in
Couple finds Penang ideal for second home

17 December 2011 | Last updated at 12:51PM
http://www.nst.com.my/local/general/mm2h-more-than-a-holiday-spot-1.20418
MM2H: More than a holiday spot

By AISYAH SULAIMAN AND LAVANYA LINGAN
PUTRAJAYA
news@nst.com.my
| 0 comments

More foreigners (17,000+) now making Malaysia their second home

MORE than 17,000 foreigners are living in the country under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Programme since its inception in 1996, the Tourism Ministry said yesterday.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the response to MM2H was very promising.

"There has been a big number of participation from countries like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.

"The number of participants of this programme has gone up and we have seen an increase in revenue stemming from it."

There has been a marked increase of Japanese with 331 participants compared with 195 last year, China has 301 participants compared with 154 last year, and there are 238 Iranians against 227 last year.

"Our strategy is not just about focusing on the quantity of tourists, but also on the investments that might be had from their presence in Malaysia.

"We should not just rely on the usual way of attracting visitors as we must expand our outlook to ensure that the country's tourism industry prospers," she said.

MM2H is promoted by the government to encourage foreigners to reside in Malaysia on multiple entry social visit passes.

She said the homestay programme endorsed by the Tourism Ministry had been a success. "This programme is well received by tourists as they would be able to get a first hand experience of the culture and lives of Malaysians."

The homestay programme is for tourists who would want to experience the lifestyle of Malaysians by staying with them for a period of time.

Dr Ng was speaking at a press conference in connection with the Malaysian Tourism Award 2010/2011 ceremony which will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Dec 20.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Haminah Hamidun will be present at the function.

# 21 Jan 2011 - Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios appoints new CEO

KUALA LUMPUR: Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios has appointed Michael Lake as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective Dec 13, 2010.
Lake, who served as the President of Warner Roadshow Studios in Australia for 17 years, and also a former President of WWE Films Inc and Executive Vice President of World Wide Feature Production for Village Roadshow Pictures Entertainment Inc, brings with him a wealth of experience in international film and television production.

Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia is a collaboration between Khazanah Nasional Bhd's wholly owned Iskandar Malaysia Studios Sdn Bhd and the world famous Pinewood Shepperton plc to undertake the development of a world class media production facility in Iskandar Malaysia.

Lake said the company offered significant opportunities to build depth and experience in the local industry and to showcase Malaysia as a destination for the international film and television community.

The construction of this state-of-the-art facility adjacent to Singapore is truly exciting for the film and television production industries in Asia, he said in a statement issued by Iskandar Malaysia Studios today.--BERNAMA

Read more: Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios appoints new CEO http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/PinewoodIskandarMalaysiaStudiosappointsnewCEO/Article/#ixzz1FvPh9BSn

# 01 Mar 2011 - Legoland Malaysia set to open in 2012

JOHOR BARU: The development of Legoland Malaysia in Iskandar Malaysia by IDR Resorts and Merlin Entertainments is gathering momentum for its grand opening in 2012.

Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim, president and chief executive officer of Iskandar Investment Group and chairman of IDR Resorts, said next year would be a significant year for Iskandar Investment with the launch of completed projects such as Legoland Malaysia under the company's first phase of development in Iskandar Malaysia. "There will be more job opportunities for all," he said in a statement today.

He said RM200mil worth of contracts had already been awarded, and tourist receipts when Legoland Malaysia opens in 2012 would further boost the local and regional economy.

Iskandar Investment, he said, was committed to creating value for the community and driving Iskandar Malaysia's vision of becoming a sustainable metropolis of international standing.

IDR Resorts, a member company of Iskandar Investment, is responsible for the development of Legoland Malaysia in partnership with Merlin Entertainments. Over 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions for the theme park are currently being fabricated for Iskandar Malaysia.

Creation of the 15,000 Legoland model structures at the Model Building Centre for Legoland Malaysia in the Nusa Cemerlang Industrial Park is also progressing smoothly.

Meanwhile, IDR Resorts chief executive officer Zainal Ashikin Muhammad Rejab said Legoland Malaysia would have a total staff strength of up to 950 when operational next year. We will hire approximately 50 pre-operation professionals in 2011, and another 900 employees in 2012 leading up to the launch of the theme park in Iskandar Malaysia," he said.

Legoland Malaysia, he said, was not only be for tourists but also about bringing opportunities to the local community who were supportive of its efforts since day one.

Legoland Malaysia senior director of operations Siegfried Boerst expressed confidence that Legoland Malaysia would be as fun and educational as its sister parks in the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and Denmark. Legoland Malaysia is taking shape, and it's a thrilling process putting the rides together, building the Legoland model structures with over 30 million Lego bricks and ensuring that we create a full-day interactive experience for families with young children between the ages of two and 12 right here in Asia, he said.

Boerst who joined Legoland Malaysia in October last year from Legoland Deutschland oversees the operation of the 76-acre (31-hectare) theme park in Iskandar Malaysia.

Legoland Malaysia, is the centerpiece of Medini Lifestyle, the lifestyle and entertainment hub in Medini Iskandar Malaysia which will also feature lifestyle retail mall, commercial developments and office buildings.

# 11 Dec 2010 - Malaysia is top spot for Japanese

Malaysia is the number one choice for Japanese tourists since 2006, according to statistics from Long Stay Foundation, and this is expected to continue this year. Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Masahiko Horie, who revealed this yesterday, said that the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme had drawn Japanese tourists for long-stay visits, especially retirees. Japanese people love the warm climate, good food, cheaper cost of living, and social and political stability in Malaysia.

I am 100% confident that Malaysia will once again be the destination of first choice this year,” said Horie. MM2H allows foreigners who fulfill certain criteria to stay in Malaysia on a 10-year multiple entry social visit pass. Besides retirees, the ambassador said that high school graduates make up a large number of tourists here. Japan is a homogeneous country and students should explore the world and see multi-ethnic places like Malaysia,he said.

The ambassador expressed his delight over AirAsia Xs plans to open flight routes to Haneda airport. Haneda aiport is much closer to Tokyo city compared to Narita. I hope that this will triple the number of Japanese tourists coming here. The growing human exchange will boost bilateral trade between Malaysia and Japan, he added.

Horie also applauded Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razaks new policy initiatives to attract world-class talents for Malaysias economic transformation.

July 30, 2010 More S. Koreans to visit Msia with AirAsia X daily flights

SEOUL: Malaysia will receive more tourists from South Korea when budget long haul airline AirAsia X operates daily Seoul-Kuala Lumpur flights from November.

Tourism Malaysia deputy director Said Zulkifli Said Ahmad said flights between Incheon International Airport (IIA) and KL International Airport (KLIA) will be launched in Seoul on Aug 2.

He said the Kuala Lumpur-Seoul daily flights would increase South Korean tourist arrivals to Malaysia to 300,000 compared to 250,000 last year.

Tourism Malaysia will campaign hard as South Koreans usually travel during the winter months of November to February, he told Malaysian reporters at his Seoul office in Hansung Building here on Friday.

Korean tourists who comprise mostly golfers, environmentalists and scuba divers love to visit Malaysia as the country has a lot of destinations to offer.

They love Sabah for the many golf courses, rich marine life and the protected environment Tourism Malaysia is promoting the country via Korea Travel Fair (KOTFA), Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, Malaysian Food Festival and Busan Travel Fair.

Said Zulkifli said about 500 South Korean families had joined the MM2H programme. Some 90,000 Malaysians visited South Korea annually.

Malaysians captivated by TV series 'Winter Sonata' and Autumn In My Heart usually visit Seoul Tower and shop at Itae Won, Dong Dae Mun and Nam Dae Mun.

He said Malaysia could market TV series to Korea now that the novel Nyawa di Hujung Pedang'had been translated into Korean language.

The novel written by Ahmad Murad Nasaruddin was launched by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during his visit to South Korea which ended Thursday. - Bernama

May 13, 2010  Malaysia, Singapore To Reactivate Business Council

SINGAPORE, May 13 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and Singapore Thursday agreed to reactivate the Malaysia-Singapore Business Council (MSBC) to further boost bilateral trade relations.

Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, said the decision was made after he met with representatives of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF).

Mustapa is here for two days, starting today, to meet with various parties, from the Singapore business community and foreign businessmen based in the island nation to discuss the economy and investment in Malaysia.

In an interview with Bernama, Mustapa said the council would be headed SBF chairman, Tony Chew.

The council, Mustapa said, was set up six years ago and has not been active since four years ago.

He said the Singapore investors and the foreign businessmen based here had been increasingly positive towards Malaysia.

Singapore is the fourth largest investor in Malaysia after US, Japan and Germany.

He said bilateral trade relations had been strengthened especially since after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's here early last year.

It is now in concrete phase and the Singaporean companies have shown interest and commitment to invest in Malaysia.

There are companies who will increase their investments and others who will make their first investments in the country,he said.

Mustapa said the companies would not only invest in Johor's Iskandar Malaysia but in other states like Malacca and Perak, especially in health tourism.

For example, state-owned Regency Specialist Hospital in Johor will expand the hospital to meet the increasing demand from Singapore patients and will also build another hospital in Malacca, he said.

He said in meetings this year, safety issues or crime in Johor were not brought up again by the Singapore and foreign investors as in the past.

Crime was a hot issue among Singaporeans and investors who feared for their safety and worried about their properties at one time.

Tomorrow, Mustapa, who was accompanied director-general of Malaysian Industrial Development, Datuk Jalilah Baba, will attend the 12th Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business in Singapore and meet with members of the Foreign Correspondents Association of Singapore before returning to Kuala Lumpur.

-- BERNAMA

May 12, 2010, Wednesday - Plenitude to expand its presence in Penang

According to OSK Research Sdn Bhd (OSK Research), this upcoming project in Penang would not only expand the groups presence on the island but also provide the catalyst for good future earnings growth, in addition to stable earnings contribution from its traditional township developments.

Assuming the price paid was fair and represented about between 10 per cent and 15 per cent of the budgeted gross development value (GDV), the projected value could be worth between RM300 million and RM450 million.

However, the research house noted that the management had yet to disclose the budgeted value for the upcoming project.

Notably, the development was slated for medium high-end, semi-detached houses and condominiums whose units are designed with generous living spaces such as patios and balconies.

The research firm pointed out that the target markets were buyers who were looking for their first and second homes respectively, resort home buyers, the expatriate community and Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) applicants who were eyeing a resort-style environment.

Apart from the GDV, the estimated development costs, launch dates and other launching details were currently sketchy. As such, the research house was not including the upcoming project into its forecast and valuation at this juncture.

OSK Research continued to believe that a broad sector rebound starting from late 2010/early 2011 would soon stir up investment interest in fundamentally sound and still-undervalued property stocks.

Furthermore, it also believed that most middle to big capitalisation (big cap) stocks were somewhat fully priced in the anticipated rebound and value could now be found only in the smaller cap property stocks such as Plenitude which was trading at a significant discount even to the middle cap stocks.

The research firm added that as next years rebound materialised, the risk premium on smaller caps was likely to fall and the valuation gap narrowed.

Using the valuation of small and middle cap stocks as a benchmark, it valued the group at 0.71 times current calendar year (CY) price over net total assets, which gave the stock a CY 2010 target price of RM3.84 per share.

OSK Research highlighted the share price was well-supported by the groups anticipated robust earnings growth, strong balance sheet with net cash value of RM1.82 per share and the fact that it was currently trading at a significant 41 per cent discount to its net asset value.

10 March 2010 - TH Properties, Naza Group in RM100m project

PETALING JAYA: Lembaga Tabung Haji's (LTH) property development arm TH PROPERTIES  Sdn Bhd and Naza Group have teamed up to develop a high-end residential enclave with a gross development value (GDV) of RM100 million in Bandar Enstek, Nilai.

The residential enclave in timur@enstek could be the first of many joint developments between the two companies, said TH Properties CEO Zaharuddin Saidon.

We are working on value-adding packages for customers such as a free car or bike but the mechanism is still being worked out, he said after signing a memorandum of understanding with Naza Group joint executive chairman Datuk SM Faisal Nasimuddin yesterday.

We signed a general MoU (memorandum of understanding), we will explore other options for joint development in the future as Naza Group has a well-diversified portfolio. This could take place within Bandar Enstek or elsewhere. At the moment, the residential enclave is our main focus,he said.

The residential enclave comprises 52 Italian-style single- and double-storey luxury homes targeted at foreigners in line with Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) concept.

Zaharuddin said the location of the 30-acre (12ha) development was good for those who were looking for a quiet and unique home, away from the city.

Property owners will be living in a unique and distinct enclave that fuses TECHNOLOGY  and natural greenery, and enjoy a tranquil living space within a meticulously planned community, he said.

Faisal said that the joint venture was a milestone for both companies, and Naza would strive to provide more value to customers.

For a start, we would see how we could offer attractive packages which include a free car with the purchase of a bungalow, he said. However, this is just a starting point for other possible joint developments as Naza Group has a diversified portfolio from automotive to insurance.

In line with the Immigration Circular No. 6 of 2009

The following improvements have been made to the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Programme, with effect from 13 February 2009:
1. Qualified MM2H participants aged 50 and above with specialised skills and expertise that are required in the critical sectors of the economy, are allowed to work not more than 20 hours per week.
2. MM2H participants are allowed to invest and actively participate in business, subject to existing Government policies, regulations and guidelines which are in force for the relevant sectors.
3. Foreign spouses of Malaysian nationals are eligible to apply for MM2H, subject to the terms and conditions of the MM2H programme. Alternatively, they have the option to apply for the Spouse Programme.
4. The ten-year Social Visit Pass is extended to all Silver Hair and MM2H participants who were previously approved under the five-year Social Visit Pass, subject to the validity of their passports.
5. Employment Pass holders who wish to participate in the MM2H programme are exempted from the cooling off period on the condition that their application to participate in MM2H programme is submitted 3 months before the expiry of the Employment Pass.
6. ID-Cards will be issued to MM2H participants with permanent address in Malaysia. This is validated by submitting the Sales and Purchase Agreement or Tenancy Agreement in Malaysia.
7. Age limit of unmarried dependent children is raised from 18 years to 21 years. A declaration stating that the child is unmarried and all expenses during the stay in Malaysia will be borne by the principal participant of the MM2H program is required.
8. Dependants include unmarried children aged 21 years and below, step-children, disabled children and parents.

PM: 30% Bumi quota for 27 sub-sectors business scrapped - April 2009

MALAYSIA - PUTRAJAYA: The government has removed the 30% bumiputera equity requirement for the 27 services sub-sectors with immediate effect in line with the Asean trade liberalisation and efforts to boost the services sector.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said on April 22 the sub-sectors covered health and social services, tourism services, transport services, business services and computer and related services.
There will be no more 30% bumiputera equity requirement for these sub-sectors, he said at a press conference at the Prime Ministers office.
The move to liberalise the services sector, which was first announced during the presentation of the Second Stimulus Package on March 10, was also expected to attract more investments, bring in more professionals and technology and strengthen the competitiveness of the sector.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the government was intensifying its efforts, with the hope that the services sector will increase its contribution to the GDP to 60%.
The services sector contributed 55% to the gross domestic product in 2008, of which 47.6% came from non-government services. The sector also accounts for 57% of the total employment in Malaysia.
Recognising the growth potential in the services sector, the government has decided to immediately liberalise 27 services sub-sectors, with no equity conditions imposed,” said Najib.
Prior to this, companies in the services sector must offer 30% of its equity to Bumiputera.
However, Najib did not include the financial services. When asked, he explained that the financial services liberation plan will be announced next week.
The government was confident these initiatives would not adversely affect the domestic services industry.
To help support the industry in capacity building and opening up of the export markets, a development fund of RM100 million was established under the First Economic Stimulus Package.
The fund will be run by Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Mida). To facilitate investments in the services sector, a national committee for approval of investments has been created under Mida.
This committee will act as a focal point to receive and process applications of investments in the services sector excluding financial services, air travel, utilities, economic development corridors, multimedia super corridor and Bionexus status companies and distributive trade, said Najib.
According to him RM50.1 billion of investments in the services sector was approved in 2008, with foreign investments totaling 11%. For exports in 2008, RM102.1 billion was recorded while imported services amounted to RM99.8 billion.
Malaysia recorded its first surplus in this sector in 2007. And according to WTO, Malaysia is among the 30 leading global exporters of services, said Najib.
The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) has also been tasked to coordinate and spearhead all export promotion initiatives.
To help develop Malaysia as an international Islamic finance hub, said Najib, the legal profession will be liberalised to allow up to five top international law firms with expertise in international Islamic finance to practise in Malaysia.
However, these firms will only be allowed to offer legal services in international Islamic finance.

SERVICES SUB-SECTORS FOR LIBERALISATION

Computer and relater services
1. Consultancy services related to installation of computer hardware
2. Software implementation services – systems and software consulting services; systems analysis services; systems design services; programming services and systems maintenance services
3. Data processing services – input preparation servies; data processing and tabulation services; time sharing servies and other data processing services
4. Database services
5. Maintenance and repair services of computers
6. Other services – data preparation services; training services; data recovery services; and development of creative content

Health and social services
1. All veterinary services
2. Welfare services delivered through residential institutions to old person and the handicapped
3. Welfare services delivered through residential institutions to children
4. Child day-care services including day-care services for the handicapped
5. Vocational rehabilitation services for the handicapped

Tourism services
1. Theme park
2. Convention and exhibition centre
3. Travel agencies and tour operators services (for inbound travel only)
4. Hotel and restaurant services (for 4 and 5 star hotels only)
5. Food serving services (for 4 and 5 star hotels only)
6. Beverage serving services for consumption on the services (for 4 and 5 star hotels only)

Transport services
1. Class C freight transportation (Private carrier license – to transport own goods)

Sporting and other recreational services
1. Sporting services (promotion and organization services)

Business services
1. Regional distribution centre
2. International procurement centre
3. Technical testing and analysis services – composition and purity testing and analysis services, testing and analysis services of physical properties, testing and analysis services of integrated mechanical and electrical systems and technical inspection services
4. Management consulting services – general, financial (excluding business tax), marketing, human resources production and public relations services

Rental/Leasing services without operators
1. Rental/leasing services of ships that excludes cabotage and offshore trades
2. Rental of cargo vessels without crew (Bareboat Charter) for international shipping

Supporting and Auxiliary Transport Services
1. Maritime agency services
2. Vessel salvage and refloating services

23rd June 2009 - JEAN TODT - Appointed Tourism Malaysia Ambassdor

KUALA LUMPUR: With a jetset lifestyle and an extensive network of influential friends around the globe, Datuk Seri Jean Todt has the best credentials to help him in his role as Tourism Malaysias ambassador.

Todt, who is fiance to Malaysian actress Datuk Michelle Yeoh and was formerly Formula 1 Ferrari executive director taps into his contacts overseas to promote Malaysia.

I would speak to influential people overseas about the country. Malaysians are low profile, so I ll help them to speak about the beauty of Malaysia, he said at An Evening with Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen and Tourism Ambassador for Malaysia Datuk Seri Jean Todt at The Royale Chulan here last night.

Todt said he would also conduct familiarisation trips for selected groups of people in the hospitality industry and media, and bring them to various interesting spots in Malaysia.

Im very busy but I am happy to give a little contribution. As much as I can come (over), I ll come, he replied when asked if he has a fixed programme as a Tourism Ambassador.

Todt, who had always considered Malaysia as his second home even before he received the approval letter for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme two months ago, lists Sabah and Sarawak as his next destinations to visit.

Though based in Italy, Paris and Hong Kong, Todt has recently bought a condominium at One KL, located adjacent to the Petronas Twin Towers.

Asked what was the best thing he loved about Malaysia, he promptly replied: Michelle !, drawing laughter from those present.

Pressed about the details of his impending marriage to Yeoh, Todt said: We are living together and happy together. Time will come and tell.

Dr Ng said the evening was very special as it was the first time the ministry invited top multi-national company leaders to dine with Todt.

We have a big community of expatriates here. Its about promoting MM2H as a lifestyle, she said.

Thestar.com.my

4th Sept 2009 - MM2H: Up there among the top 12

DATUK DR ONG HONG PENG, Secretary-General, Ministry of Tourism

THE Ministry of Tourism would like to thank J.H. of Penang for sharing his views on how we should promote the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme in Second home: MM2H offers few benefits ( NST, Aug 28).

The feedback is useful for us in charting our MM2H promotional strategies. Our promotional efforts are focused mainly on the Japan, Britain, the Middle East and China markets, which have higher returns or greater potential to attract more MM2H participants.

To increase participation, we do leverage on our overseas Tourism Malaysia offices, tourism ambassadors and MM2H agents as well as Internet marketing to raise awareness and promote the programme in potential secondary markets, including European countries.

From feedback from existing participants of the MM2H programme, we note that their choice of Malaysia was based on several factors.

These include Malaysia's tropical climate, value for money, affordable cost of living based on the premise of a comparatively good quality or standard of life, ample choice of residential accommodation, easy accessibility, vast opportunities to enjoy our nature, environment and recreational activities and the friendliness of the multicultural population.

Some of the features often cited as attractive to MM2H participants are the provision of a 10-year social visit pass (multiple entry) which can be renewed for as long as they abide by the terms and conditions of the programme; tax-and-duty exemption for import of personal vehicle from abroad or purchase of locally-assembled car; and tax-exemption on foreign income from abroad.

To further enhance the attractiveness of the MM2H programme, the government has recently allowed MM2H participants aged 50 years and above to work part-time (up to 20 hours a week).

In addition, MM2H participants are allowed to invest or engage in businesses in approved sectors of our economy.

The attractiveness of the MM2H programme compared with similar programmes offered by other countries is reflected in some of the surveys conducted by independent bodies.

For example, Malaysia is acknowledged as the top long-stay destination for the Japanese, as revealed by Japan's Long Stay Foundation's surveys.

Additionally, International Living.com, an online magazine, has ranked Malaysia as the world's 12th-best retirement destination.

George Town moves up rankings of most liveable cities

PENANG: George Town has moved up a notch to rank as the 9th most liveable city in Asia for Asians to live in for the year 2007/2008 in a survey of 254 cities worldwide. The ECA International Location Ranking Survey had last year ranked the Penang capital as the 10th most liveable city in Asia for Asians. 

George Town also saw the biggest improvement in scores among the 49 Asians cities surveyed by rising 11 notches in the global ranking from 74 to 63. 

ECA International general manager Lee Quane said in a press release that the big rise was due to improvements in recreation, housing and personal security. 

Globally, Singapore maintained the top spot as the best place for Asians to live in according to the annual survey which compares living standards according to categories, including climate, air quality, health services, housing and utilities, isolation, social network and leisure facilities, infrastructure, personal safety and political tensions. 

Kuala Lumpur is tied with George Town at the 9th most liveable city in Asia and the 63rd most liveable city in the world. 

Three Japanese cities made it to the top 10 in the Asian ranking. They are Kobe (2nd), Yokohama (3rd) and Tokyo (4th). Kobe and Yokohama were also among the top 10 in global ranking at 3rd and 8th spots respectively. 

The other cities which made it to the top 10 in the Asian ranking were Hong Kong which was tied with Tokyo at 4th spot, Taipei (6th), Macau (7th) and Bangkok (8th). 

Three Australian cities made it to the top 10 in global ranking. They are Sydney at second spot, Melbourne which was tied with Kobe at 3rd spot, and Canberra at 6th spot. The other cities in the top 10 in the global ranking were Copenhagen at 5th spot, Vancouver (7th), Wellington (8th) and Dublin (10th). 

The least liveable cities were Baghdad at the last spot, Kabul (253rd) and Karachi (252nd). 

ECA International is a membership organisation for international human resources professionals. It serves a global network of over 4,000 human resource professionals in 71 countries.

March 29, 2008 - JB may join Singapore MRT network

JOHOR BARU: Talks are being held with Singapore to extend the republic's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system here.

Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said yesterday that the site of the 30-year-old Bukit Cagar flats, to be demolished in the next two weeks, had been slated for the proposed Johor MRT station.

The talks were being held under the auspices of the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee for the Iskandar Development Region (IDR).

It has not been determined whether the line will start in Kranji or Woodlands.It doesn’t matter as long as the Johor line is connected with either one, Abdul Ghani said, adding that he expected the project to start in two to three years.

Abdul Ghani said the MRT line would boost public transportation between Singapore and Johor Baru, as travel would be much smoother.

It will also reduce traffic congestion along the Causeway, which has been a common problem for a long time.

On another issue, Abdul Ghani said the state government was currently in talks with government-linked companies such as UDA Holdings Bhd, Permodalan Nasional Berhad and South Johor Investment Corporation to invest in and salvage abandoned projects.

He said that out of 15 abandoned commercial properties in the state, Kemayan City and Pacific Mall would be revived first as both were more obvious eyesores compared with the others.

I had a meeting this morning with the Iskandar Regional Development Authority and other government-linked companies to solve the problem of these two projects as soon as possible, he said.

He said new investors in the IDR had also shown interest in reviving other abandoned projects.

April 12th 2008 - Iskandar Malaysia project on track, says PM

JOHOR BARU: The Iskandar Malaysia project here will not be scaled down and the Federal Government is committed to seeing that it succeeds, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

It is important that Iskandar Malaysia succeeds and we will continue to back the commitment. I am still the co-chairman of this development, he said when asked if it would be scaled down to ensure long-term viability.

He said he was pleased with the inflow of investments into the project which was on track to achieve the target of RM47bil within the next two years.

At the moment we have secured 70% with almost RM33bil in investments, he told reporters after attending a three-hour briefing on Iskandar Malaysia's progress.

Abdullah speaking during a press conference after being briefed on the progress of Iskandar Malaysia in Johor Baru Friday as Ghani (left) and Iskandar Malaysia CEO Datuk Ikmal Hijaz Hashim (third from left) look on.

Abdullah reiterated Federal and state governments support for all ongoing projects in Iskandar and other economic corridors announced before the elections.

He also officially announced that the project, previously known as Iskandar Development Region (IDR), would be named Iskandar Malaysia with immediate effect.

It is not a new development project but just the same project which has been renamed.

There is no change in policy, commitment or the authority.

Abdullah also announced that RM200mil had been allocated to build housing units in Iskandar Malaysia, saying it was one of the most important of Iskandar initiatives.

To be launched in the second half of the 9th Malaysia Plan (9MP), 2,000 units, with a minimum built-up of 850-900 sq ft per unit, would be built in the first phase of the housing development, he said.

On the progress of the projects RM1.88bil infrastructure development, Abdullah said three projects had been completed while seven others were still under construction. Another six will start in June.

1st July 2008 - Million Dollars Home Purchase & above No Full FD

Effective 1 July 2008, new applicants who have purchased and owned residential  property which were bought at RM1 million and above in Malaysia are eligible to apply for exemption from placing the full FD amount required of MM2H participants. They only have to comply with the basic financial requirement of FD or RM 60,000. This amount may not be withdrawn until the participants decide to terminate their participation in MM2H programme

1.The purchased residential  property may be a fully-completed unit or one under construction.  For any property purchased, applicants aged below 50 and those aged 50 and above must produce copies of payments made to  developers, amounting to a minimum of  RM 300,000 or RM 150,000  respectively, in place of the required Fixed Deposit under this programme.    This amount does not include legal fees, transfer fees, commissions and any other related payments.

2.The property must cost a minimum of RM 1 million OR

3. Several  properties  totalling RM 1 million and above can be accumulated for this exemption.

4.The exemption may be considered for residential property which was bought within 5 years of application to participate in MM2H programme.

6 Oct 2007 - Buy Malaysian Properties RM1 Million & above - MM2H application will be fast track

LONDON: Applications for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme will be fast-tracked for those who had bought properties worth RM1 million and above in Malaysia. 

Tourism Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Victor Wee said they must show proof such as the sale & purchase agreement and other documents when submitting their applications. 

He said although purchase of property was not a prerequisite for the programme, it showed the applicants' financial capabilities. 

If the person has already bought such a property in Malaysia, he would pass the test, he told Malaysian journalists after speaking at the Malaysia My Second Home & Medical Tourism seminar on Friday. 

Applications are usually processed within four weeks based on four main criteriafinancial, medical, health and security background checks. 

Dr Wee also urged health insurance companies to extend coverage to those above 65 years to give the programme a boost. 

Britons retire at 65 and that's when they really want to go to Malaysia under the MM2H scheme, he said. 

He said the insurance industry should work out a special package for those 65 years and above or even whole life coverage. 

Earlier, Dr Wee said a total of 1,183 applications were approved during the first nine months of this year. 

The top 10 countries were Britain (166), followed by Japan (139), Bangladesh (122), South Korea (121), China (58), Singapore (40), Sri Lanka and the United States (38 each) and India and Iran (both 33). 

He said most of them chose to live in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Malacca, Langkawi and Johor with Sabah gaining popularity recently. 

Dr Wee added Malaysia had been ranked seventh in the Fifth Annual Global Retirement Index survey of 29 countries by International Living magazines website, a global lifestyle, travel and investment site. 

Malaysian High Commissioner to Britain Datuk Abdul Aziz Mohamed noted that just over 1,000 British nationals had joined the MM2H programme. 

This was a sharp contrast to the estimated 700,000 Britons, mostly retirees, living in Spain or the relatively high number enjoying a similar programme in Thailand, he said. 

Given the long historical association as well as shared traditions and values, Malaysia should be the destination of choice, he added.

7 October 2007 - More Britons Want To Stay Here

LONDON: Another British couple is poised to make Malaysia their second home.

They decided on this after hearing explanations on costs and expenses at a Malaysia My Second Home seminar organised by Toursim Malaysia, the Tourism Ministry and Overseas Malaysian Executive Club (Omec) here yesterday.

We fell in love with Malaysia 10 years ago. Every time we go back to Malaysia on holiday, we always feel that we are going home.

Malaysia is now our home,” said Aileen Cook, who was satisfied with the regulations on applying to make Malaysia a second home.

At first we thought that we had to pay a fixed deposit and confirm that we have proof of a monthly income.

Now we realise that it is one or the other, she added.

Denis Clift chipped in to say that apart from the agents fee of UK Pound1,500 (RM10,400), which he thinks is quite heavy a payment to make, he is set to start the ball rolling and make the move.

Both Aileen and Denis are planning to spend their retirement days in Malaysia next year.

Aileen and Denis were among 30 British retirees who attended the half-day Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) and Medical Tourism seminar held at the Renaissance Hotel in central London yesterday.

Many, who had been going to Malaysia for holidays, only needed some reassurance before they made their final move.

To answer their questions and clear their doubts were Datuk Dr Victor Wee, secretary-general of the Tourism Ministry; Datuk Dr Jacob Thomas from the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) and Kumar Tharmalingam, president of FIABCI Asia Pacific Real Estate Federation .

Also present to tell those present about their experience living in Malaysia were David and Barbara Miller, who had made Malaysia their second home for the past 10 years.

We were told about Malaysia by a friend. When we went there for a holiday, within three dayswe had fallen in love with the country, said David.

It is a safe and friendly place, added Barbara.

In his opening speech, Malaysian High Commissioner to Br itain, Datuk Abd Aziz Mohamed, said he was confident Malaysia, with its comparatively cheap cost of living, conducive climate, language and historical links, would be a destination of choice for many British thinking of making Malaysia their second home.

Wee, addressing concerns about medical insurance for those aged over 65, said that insurance companies would have to think through and work out details.

People here (in Britain) retire at 65 and this is when peoplewant to think about this plan. Insurance companies will have to incorporate this as part of their offering. Wee also welcomed those who had volunteered to give their time teaching English to Malaysians.

We are all for people who want to contribute their services, but not for full-time employment. They can volunteer, as in the teaching of English. Full-time employment is not for this kind of programme.