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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    9 November 2012 

China tops Malaysia's residency scheme


The number of Chinese nationals taking part in the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme -- an international residency scheme -- is expected to increase in the next few years and spur domestic economic activities.

There were 3,332 Chinese participants as of August, making it the highest number of all MM2H participants, said Tourism Minister Dr Ng Yen Yen.

From January to August, 475 Chinese nationals joined the programme compared with 133 the same period last year, she said.

“We expect to see a substantial increase in the number of participants from China from next year onwards,” she said during the memorandum of understanding signing ceremony between the ministry and the Bank of China (BOC), for the latter to promote MM2H to all its bank customers through its branches in China and other parts of the world.

Dr Ng pointed out that with 10,961 branches in and outside China (six in Malaysia), the bank has 300,000 high net worth (more than US$1 million) customers.
Since 2002 until August, the MM2H programme had successfully attracted 19,488 participants from 120 countries and after China, the other highest participants were Bangladesh (2,407), Japan (2,187), Britain (1,889) and Iran (1,211).

Dr Ng said Malaysia needed to maintain its economic vibrancy not just by drawing tourists in but also by getting them to stay longer.
The programme had also spurred the property market, as 1,659 pieces of property worth 1.5 billion ringgit ($488.84 million) were bought under MM2H from 2007 to 2012, she said.

For the programme, successful applicants are given a 10-year social visit pass with a multiple entry visa which is renewable for as long as they like. besides enjoying tax-free income from abroad.

Ambassador of China to Malaysia Chai Xi said he foresaw the number of Chinese nationals participating in MM2H to triple in five years.
He added that Malaysia was one of the nicest countries in the world to live in while Bank of China chie

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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