Saturday, March 24, 2007

Japanese keen on Malaysia My Second Home

Ishihara Shotaro
PENANG: The Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme is gaining popularity among the Japanese who regard Malaysia as the second most preferred retirement home after Australia, according to an MM2H agent.

Tropical Resort Lifestyle (MM2H) Sdn Bhd managing director Ishihara Shotaro said he expected the number of Japanese staying in Malaysia under the programme to double from the current 700 people to 1,400 in three years.

“We receive at least 30 enquiries about the MM2H programme daily and submit five to 10 applications a month for our clients.

“Penang and Kuala Lumpur are among the most preferred states for MM2H participants as they both offer good security and healthcare facilities,” he said.

He said Malaysia's warm weather and diversity in its food and culture attracted many foreigners who wanted to experience a different lifestyle after retirement.

Ishihara said the company expected more Japanese to come in under the MM2H programme this year as baby boomers in Japan reach retirement age.

“There are about seven million Baby Boomers retiring this year and statistics show that 20% of them, or 1.4 million people, will seek a retirement home outside Japan,” he said.

Ishihara said the MM2H programme was a good income source for Malaysia as the participants spend an average of RM5,000 to RM7,000 a month in the country.

He added that 15% of the participants had bought property in Malaysia.

“They also promote tourism to Malaysia as many of their friends and family come for holidays while visiting them,” Ishihara said.

He said feedback from the 500 MM2H participants the company had handled was very encouraging as most of them found Malaysia an idyllic place.

Ishihara said many of the Japanese staying in Malaysia were looking forward to making friends with locals and learning some of the dialects such as Hokkien.

“We encourage local people, especially pensioners, who want to make new friends among the Japanese community to approach us.”

Those interested can call Tropical Resort Lifestyle at 04-2286540 for details.

Source : STAR
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