KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 1,133 applications for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme have been approved in the first nine months of the year, according to sources from the Ministry of Tourism.

“During the period, we also have a good representational mix of participants with the top 10 markets being the UK (199), Iran (179), Japan (135), China (82), Pakistan (79), Bangladesh (72), Singapore (41), South Korea (38), the US (37) and Australia (36),” the sources said on Oct 19.  

Generally, 68% of the MM2H participants are aged 50 years and above and 84% come with families while almost 40% have liquid assets valued at RM500,000 and above, they said.

“On average, they (MM2H participants) spend in the region of about RM1.2 billion a year in Malaysia, assuming a nine-month stay in Malaysia with an average expenditure of RM10,000 a month,” they added.

The sources said the number of applicants received and approved has been quite steady, in the region of 1,500 between 2007 and 2008.

However, the number of applications received between January and September this year has fallen by 5.7% to 1,283 compared with 1,360 in the same period last year due to the recent global economic downturn.

MM2H is a programme promoted by the government to allow foreigners who fulfill certain criteria to stay in Malaysia for as long as possible via multiple entry social pass visits. The social pass visit is initially for a period of 10 years and is renewable.