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Monday, March 6, 2017
Foreigners love our food and weather, says MATTA
PETALING JAYA: Sunny skies, good food and affordable living.
This complete package was why foreigners favoured living in Malaysia, said the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Hamzah Rahmat.
“The tropical weather, beaches and shopping are definite attractions,” he said when asked to comment on Malaysia being listed sixth in International Living’s “The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2017”.
Hamzah said he had many friends from the West who had second homes in Malaysia just to escape the winter.
The US-based International Living is a monthly magazine that informs about global retirement and relocation options.
“Malaysian cities are clean and modern, its public transport unrivalled, and its people the friendliest in Asia.
“And while other Asian countries offer great budget holidays, and some offer first-class vacations, Malaysia manages to cater extraordinarily well to both,” it said on its website.
It named Mexico, Panama and Ecuador as the top three countries to retire in.
Among the foreigners who now call Malaysia home is Canadian R.J. Boocock, in his 60s.
Originally from Calgary, Boocock, his wife and their 16-year-old son have been living in the country for the last eight years.
Semi-retired from the oil and gas industry, Boocock said they also liked that English was widely spoken here.
“It has every food you would want and a good selection of accommodation which is cheaper than in Singapore,” he said.
Retiree Takikawa Tsutomu, 82, fell in love with Penang 13 years ago when he went holidaying there with his wife.
“We decided to participate in the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme and move here.
“The climate is incredible and the people here are lovely. It is an affordable place to live,” he said.
Although he goes back to Japan twice a year, Takikawa, who was involved in the import and export business, and his wife felt that Penang was home.
“The healthcare and food are superb too,” he added.
For Singapore-born R. Jayaram, 69, who previously lived in Britain for 35 years, it was the great weather that lured him to Penang.
He moved there 11 years ago with his wife.
“After I retired, I wanted to settle down in a more laid-back environment.
“Friends then recommended that I enrol in the MM2H programme,” said the former airline catering company manager.
Malaysia’s multicultural aspect also appeals to Jayaram.
“I enjoy going for Thaipusam and gathering with friends during Chinese New Year,” he said.
He also observed that there were many shopping malls catering to the needs of expatriates in Malaysia.