Government “very serious” about MM2H
 
 
If anyone has any doubts about how serious the government is on promoting the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, this is the government’s reply: “We are very serious.”
 
Moreover, says Datuk Dr Victor Wee, the secretary-general of the Ministry of Tourism, the government is also learning from its mistakes such as ensuring there is no more confusion about the programme. Wee concedes that this was the case in the past.
 
One of the key lessons learnt is the need for interagency cooperation and open communication with those involve in MM2H. “People would go to our embassies to make enquiries but the officers themselves were not sure about the rules. In the past, the rules were changed too often and too much without first deliberating with the relevant parties and this resulted in confusion,” Wee says.
 
MM2H evolved from the Silver Hair Programme, which the government introduced in 1996 to convince foreign retirees above 50 years of age into making Malaysia their second home.
 
Wee tells City & Country that the Cabinet – well aware of the programme’s initial problems – has decided to “take the bull by the horns”. A Cabinet committee on tourism, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, has been formed in a move that signals how much the government wants the programme to succeed. Wee chairs the MM2H steering committee, which was formed in end 2004. The government’s goal: to reposition MM2H on the right path.
 
Meanwhile, the number of MM2H participants has increased over the years with the total since 2002 to August 2006 standing at 9,576. See table below :
 
Number of MM2H Participants :
 
Year 2002 2003 2004 2005 - Aug 2006 Total
Number 818 1,645 1,917 2,615 2,581 9,576
 
Japanese target
 
Japanese baby-boomers are a key market for MM2H. “We already have a lot of Japanese residing in the country under the programme. There is even a Japan Club formed by expatriates living here.
 
Other countries targeted by the ministry are the UK, South Korea, Bangladesh and China. There is no denying that the ministry is determined to take MM2H places.
 
 
 
Source :The Edge 2/10/2006 Close Window