By THE STAR
SHANGHAI: Chinese nationals still rank as the top participants in the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme.
From 1996 till May this year, the programme has attracted 2,051 Chinese nationals to Malaysia.
Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai said China was still considered as one of the biggest market for the programme as its people accounted for 20% of the world’s population.
“Its economy is also growing rapidly and people, especially those from the eastern part of the country, are some of the wealthiest people in the country whom we would like to attract to participate in the programme,” he said during the sales mission to East China here.
There are 9,275 foreigners from various countries – including China, Britain, Korea, Bangladesh and Japan – who participated in the programme since its inception in 1996, which was then known as the Silver Hair programme under the administration of the Immigration Department.
The programme was reintroduced as MM2H in 2002 under the Tourism Ministry.
Lim said the programme was aimed at boosting the Malaysiaan property market and attracting foreign investors to the country.
“We hope that there will be 2,000 to 3,000 foreigners participating in the programme each year in the future,” he said.
On the Wenzhou people, who are regarded as among the smartest businessmen in the country, Lim said the ministry would discuss with Malaysian real estate agents and travel agents how to attract these people to visit Malaysia as well as invest in the property market.
“We will consider introducing some travel packages which include the viewing of properties in Malaysia to encourage them to invest in the real estate industry and participate in the MM2H programme,” he said.