Malaysia's success as top 10 countries for retirement a well-deserved recognition

Expert says it is no surprise that the country is listed among the top 10, given its unique ambience capable of attracting expatriates to settle here.

20 Mar 2024 01:49pm
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia’s achievement in securing the 8th spot globally as the best retirement destination is a recognition for the nation, renowned for its multicultural society.

Universiti Malaysia Kelantan deputy vice-chancellor, Prof Datuk Dr Nik Maheran Nik Muhammad, said it is no surprise that the country is listed among the top 10, given its unique ambience capable of attracting expatriates to settle here.

"Malaysia offers a highly versatile environment, where individuals can choose whether to settle in rapidly developing urban areas or in rural regions to enjoy natural surroundings, spanning from Kuala Lumpur to Sabah,” she said.

In February, International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2024 listed Malaysia as among the 10 best places to retire, surpassing France and Colombia, which ranked 9th and 10th, respectively.

Nik Maheran highlighted that alongside the low cost of living and the rich culinary landscape, the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, initiated in 2002, has been instrumental in attracting individuals to Malaysia due to its unique initiatives.

Elena Sotnik, a 61-year-old Russian citizen, fell in love with Malaysia the moment she arrived in the country in 1999, and she intends to continue calling Kuantan, Pahang, her home.

Elena fondly remembers the warmth and hospitality of Malaysians since her first day here, even though they were complete strangers to her.

"Wherever I go, people always greet me with a smile, and eventually, I came to realise that it’s a part of Malaysian hospitality. I also cherish the diversity here. Once, a friend in Russia asked me about the celebrations in Malaysia, and I replied that there were too many.

Related Articles:

"We have Eid, Deepavali, Chinese New Year, Christmas and others. I never miss any of them because many people extend invitations. I gladly accept them as I enjoy the festive atmosphere. Everyone, regardless of their cultural or religious background, is incredibly kind,” she said.

Elena, who brought her mother and children to live in Malaysia, loves the country’s natural beauty and enjoys exploring new places.

She has already travelled to several destinations, including Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan, Terengganu, Perak, Perlis, Kedah and Johor, but her heart remains attached to Kuantan.

"I love it because it is near the sea. The seafood is always fresh, and one of my favourite dishes is the ‘ikan tiga rasa’ cooked by my daughter-in-law. Yes, my son found his life partner in Malaysia, and the presence of three grandchildren only strengthens my resolve to remain here,” she said.

Meanwhile, MyExpat MM2H consultant Arlynna Ujang said the company received MM2H applications from over 200 people from various countries, such as China, Bangladesh and others, last year.

"Usually, they opt for the Silver package, which allows them to work and stay in Malaysia for five years, with a fee of only RM5,000.

"The Gold package, on the other hand, costs up to RM2 million and permits the applicants to stay in Malaysia for 15 years. The Platinum package costs up to RM5 million, but it allows the applicants to apply for Permanent Resident status,” she said. - BERNAMA