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Asia's long-stay schemes lure sun-seeking, calamity-weary foreigners

Published on Dec 23, 2012 12:54 PM
 
Japanese retiree Shigeru Tanida supervising karate students in Kuala Lumpur. Mr Tanida, 65, has lived in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur since 2006, drawn by the year-round sunshine and far lower living costs than in Japan. With its warm climate, political stability and modern economy, Malaysia has drawn 19,488 foreigners to settle in the country since launching the Malaysia My Second Home programme 10 years ago. -- PHOTO: AFP

GEORGETOWN, Malaysia (AFP) - Like many Japanese mothers, Ms Ritsuko Kawasaki fretted over the health and safety risks of remaining in Japan after last year's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters.

So in August she and her two boys moved to the Malaysian island of Penang under a government long-stay programme that aims to lure foreigners - and their money - to the country.

"I don't think I want to return to Japan. Life here in Penang is so comfortable," said Ms Kawasaki, 43.

With its warm climate, political stability and modern economy, Malaysia has drawn 19,488 foreigners to settle in the country since launching the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme 10 years ago.

 
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