Q: I am interested to retire in Malaysia especially Penang. Are there any retirement villages there? I heard there is one in Balik Pulau. Where in Penang would you recommend for retirees to live in if there are no retirement villages? What are the advantages and disadvantages of applying for the MM2H visa?
LV: There’s no retirement village in Penang, however we do have nice developments on the island. Thus, it mainly depends on the budget of the retirees/ and where they want to stay. There are many liveable areas in Penang depending on what they are looking for and their personal preference. If they are looking for beachfront, it has to be Batu Feringghi area; and, if they are looking to invest in the local heritage culture, they have to stay in the UNESCO Heritage City of Georgetown.
I believe Balik Pulau is ideal due to its close proximity to the kampong (village), seaside, seafood and schools. For those with schooling kids, there are various private schools nearby in Balik Pulau namely Prince of Wales Island International School. Besides that, there are many developments in Balik Pulau, and they also have a botanica. I guess what’s most important for retirees is to find a place close to the healthcare centre. However, there’s no private hospital there yet at the moment. The nearest to Balik Pulau would be Pantai Hospital.
There’s no disadvantage for holding a MM2H visa. One of the main disadvantages is that they get to buy properties priced only RM500,000 and above instead of RM1 million and above (condo) and RM2 million and above (landed property) if they do not have the MM2H visa. The minimum price applies only to Penang state as other states may have a different thereshold.
Apart from that, they also get to purchase cars with certain tax exemptions and a visa for easy-in-out entry at the immigration.