Jan 13, 2008

More Brits Making Sarawak Second Home

More Brits Making Sarawak Second Home

KUCHING, Jan 7 (Bernama) -- More people from Britain are making Sarawak their second home under the "Malaysia: My Second Home" (MM2H) programme since it was introduced in 2002.

Sarawak Immigration director Datuk Robert Lian said his department had approved 41 applications for social visit passes from Britons under the MM2H programme.

"Last year alone, 17 Britons applied to participate in the programme," he told a press conference here today.

He said until last year, the department had issued 105 social visit passes to MM2H participants, including 45 issued last year.

"Taiwanese formed the second largest number of MM2H applicants, with 18, followed by Indonesians, with 13."

Lian also said that 4.1 tourists visited Sarawak last year with Bruneians comprising the largest number, coming through Sungai Tujuh in Miri, Tedungan and Pandauan in Limbang and Mangkalap in Lawas.

Tedungan is the busiest entry point as the small town, located in northern Sarawak, is nearest to the Brunei district of Temburong.

"Sarawak, especially Miri and Limbang, are popular with shoppers from Brunei as there are many shopping complexes with a wide variety of quality products," said Lian.

"Brunei's stronger currency than the ringgit is another factor that draws Bruneians to spend their money on accommodation and food in Sarawak."

Lian said Indonesians formed the second largest number of visitors to Sarawak, with many looking for job opportunities or visiting their relatives, and Indonesian parents visiting their children studying at the higher learning institutions.

He said to cater to the increasing number of visitor arrivals, the department would build two Immigration complexes at Lubok Antu in Sri Aman and Biawak in Lundu, both at the Sarawak-Indonesian border, under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

He added that the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complexes near Tedungan in Limbang and at Mangkalap in Lawas were expected to be ready this year, while the construction of the CIQ complex in Sungai Tujuh, 38km from Miri, would begin this month and should be completed in two years' time.


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