Foreign Retirees Promoting Malaysia’s Second Home Plan To Countrymen
 
Thursday October 30, 2008 The Star / By WINNIE YEOH
 
 
GEORGE TOWN: When the going gets tough, come live in Malaysia.
 
This is what some foreigners under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme here are advocating to their countrymen, especially those living in countries facing the economic meltdown.
 
Australian Pat Jones, 65, said it was timely for the Malaysian Government to aggressively promote the MM2H programme as many foreign retirees were looking for lower-cost countries where they could live comfortably.
 
“Living in Penang is relatively cheaper. In fact, it is only about a third of what one would have to spend in Australia,” said Jones.
 
“We’ve spoken to people and friends back home about MM2H. Most of them are very interested but the Malaysian Government tends to change the rules very often, which is confusing.
 
“They should standardise procedures, get everything in print and maintain the same rules all the time,” she said.
 
Pat, who has been living in Penang with her husband Alan for four years, said the country had a lot to offer but the programme was not well-promoted among foreigners.
 
“They should recruit MM2H residents to help promote and speak to those interested in joining the programme, not send promoters who are unsure of the situation and cannot answer questions,” she said.
 
Penang Japanese Association secretary-general Hamasaki Yasu¬hiro, 67, who has been living in Penang for the past 10 years, said he was more than happy to promote the programme to friends in Japan.
 
“For the same monthly expenditure, we get to enjoy value for money,” he said.
 
“There is also a wide range of food to choose from; the people are nice and so is the weather,” he added.
 
Tropical Resort Lifestyle Sdn Bhd managing director Ishihara Shotaro said that although fewer Japanese expatriates were moving to Penang as some factories have relocated to Vietnam or China, the island still managed to woo the silver-haired market to retire here.
 
“Penang has many attractions. The cost of living is cheaper and the weather is warm, which is good for older people.
 
“The locals are very friendly and recreation like golf is cheap too. There are also many hospitals here with Japanese-speaking staff,” he noted.
 
Meanwhile, a state delegation led by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng left for Seoul on Tuesday to promote Penang as a MM2H destination to South Koreans.
 
 
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