PETALING JAYA: Even North Koreans are coming to Malaysia under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi revealed yesterday.
Based on immigration department statistics 193 North Koreans have moved here under MM2H since 2014, The Sun reported.
Zahid said in total 2,453 people from North Korea have been recorded entering the country in the same period.
“Only 315 North Korean nationals remain at present, the majority of whom are MM2H participants, students and those working here,” Zahid was quoted as saying by the daily.
“Out of the 2,453 citizens, 801 were here under the temporary work visit permits. Another 193 are those under the MM2H programme, 11 are students and 180 are miners in Sarawak.
“However, our record shows that only 315 remain here in Malaysia, while the rest have returned to their homeland.”
Zahid said the government was not having an eye on the movement of all 315 North Koreans, but knew what was needed to monitor for any situation in the event there was any negative activity by any of them.
“There is also no need for a third party or country to intervene in finding a solution to the diplomatic row between our two countries,” The Sun quoted him as saying.
The MM2H programme is open to foreigners who are under 50 years of age and they need to bring in at least RM500,000 in terms of cash and have a monthly income of RM10,000.
For those over 50, all that is required is RM350,000 cash and a monthly income of RM10,000.
Meanwhile, foreigners who have retired in their country of origin, just need to show they are earning a pension or other forms of monthly income amounting to RM10,000 per month.
According to official statistics, the government has allowed 30,000 foreigners in the country under the MM2H programme since its launch in 2002.
Malaysian police are required to do the necessary security vetting while, a police clearance certificate or letter of good conduct from their home country is also required to show that they do not have any criminal record.
As of November 2016, Chinese nationals made up the largest number under the MM2H programme with 7,976. They were followed by Japan (4,127), Bangladesh (3,399), and United Kingdom (2,361). South Korea had 1,174 participants under the programme.