Malaysia My Second Home – One Of Asia’s Best Retirement Home
MALAYSIA is one of Asia’s best kept secrets. But more needs to be done to promote the country as a popular retirement destination among the well-earning expatriate community.
“Malaysia is a beautiful country and has so much to offer. It would benefit the country in a big way if they had more quality participants in the Malaysia My Second Home programme,” says 65-year-old Beverly Johnson. Johnson, who was born in England and lived in Sydney, Australia, moved to Kuala Lumpur in 2007 and has enjoyed every day of her stay.
The former chief financial officer of an engineering company says even her two sons “adore” Malaysia and have visited her several times over the last six years. “In the past, I travelled often to Malaysia for work and had always enjoyed my visits here. Upon my retirement, we lived in Sydney but there is nothing much to do there past 9pm, except watch television. But in Kuala Lumpur, there are things to do 24/7.”
“Kuala Lumpur is such a vibrant city and everything from the weather and food, to Malaysian hospitality, has suited me well. When I applied to move to Kuala Lumpur, the entire process was simple and quick. For retirees, Malaysia offers a very affordable lifestyle with world-class infrastructure and good quality healthcare. If I wanted to see a specialist in Australia, I would have to wait for at least two months. But here, I can see one in a day,” Johnson says Malaysia is a great home for people of all ages and culture.
“Frankly, the programme is a very clever immigration plan by the Malaysian government to get quality expatriates to stay here. I am certainly much happier in Kuala Lumpur than I was in Australia, ” she says the one thing that is lacking for expatriates in Malaysia is a MyKad. Otherwise, she has little to complain about her “adopted” country.
The Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme is the brainchild of the Tourism and Culture Ministry.
“When I applied to move here under the MM2H programme, it was easy and quick. In Thailand, it is a different story because there is too much bureaucracy.” Laird has been visiting Malaysia since the early 1980s when the Kuala Lumpur skyline was a different view, with only a handful of five-star hotels.
Two-and-half decades later, Laird 66, who hails from Glasgow in Scotland, says moving to Kuala Lumpur was one of the best decisions he made.
“The weather and its people are Malaysia’s biggest selling point. I have a brother who has also moved to Malaysia and he is a yacht broker in Langkawi. I suppose Malaysia is going to be my permanent home, now that my mother had passed on. She was probably the only reason why I went back home to Glasgow. In Malaysia, I am getting to know more people of all races and religions, and I still have the friends whom I have known for years,” says Laird, who has called Malaysia his home since July last year.
When Flemming Larsen and his wife, Mitsuru, were looking for retirement options, they looked at various locations in Asia, Europe and Australia.
But it was Malaysia that had the best to offer in terms of infrastructure, weather, people and food.
The Larsens, who moved to Malaysia in December, were totally awed by the food and the people, and appreciates the warm weather which is good for them.
“The weather in Denmark is just too cold. When we were looking for a place to retire, we found that Malaysia offered the most attractive package. The MM2H programme allows retired expatriates to stay and spend here. We have been visiting Malaysia since the late 1970s and what we truly love about Malaysia is its street food,” says Flemming.
For the couple, the last six months has been about exploring the country’s culinary delights, including its curries and spicy hot chilli dishes.
“Kuala Lumpur has changed so much in the last 30 years and we see ourselves here for the next 10 years.”
The plus point, says Larsen, is that Europe and Japan are easily accessible from the country.
“My wife is from Japan. We can travel back to our home countries anytime.”