Malaysia well-positioned to attract more Chinese students

Apart from education, Malaysian developers are also at an advantageous point to attract more Chinese buyers


MALAYSIA is well-positioned to attract more international students from China as a result of the current political spat between the republic and Australia, and while the US and the UK continue to wrestle with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

IQI Global group CEO Kashif Ansari said Malaysia now has the advantage to get Chinese students to enrol in schools and universities here as the best alternative to the UK, the US and Australia.

“More than two million foreign students continue their studies in just those three countries each year. Even if a small percentage decides to study here instead, that would be a big win for the Malaysian economy,” he told The Malaysian Reserve recently.

Kashif said China is the biggest source for overseas students, with more than half a million Chinese studying abroad each year.

The US and UK are still struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic compared to the safer condition in Malaysia.

Moreover, China’s Education Ministry has recently warned students from the country that they may face risks of discrimination in Australia. The tiff between China and Australia was reignited following the latter’s move to suspend its extradition agreement with Hong Kong as a result of the implementation of national security laws by the republic.

It is reported that Australia’s extradition treaty meant that it cooperated with requests from Hong Kong to extradite individuals who are wanted over criminal offences.

Kashif said such a circumstance gives Malaysis a huge potential as the next destination.

“More than a million foreign students study in the US each year. The UK hosts nearly 500,000 scholars, while Australia attracts more than 600,000 annually.

“Today, Malaysia hosts nearly 130,000 students, so we have tremendous opportunities for future growth,” he said.

Apart from education, Malaysian developers are also at an advantageous point to attract more Chinese buyers to invest in properties here.

As it is, the political unrest in Hong Kong has seen Chinese property buyers diverting their attention to countries like Singapore and Malaysia.

Reports from Chinese international property portal and IQI Global showed mainland Chinese buyers bought RM8.4 billion worth of properties or 12.1% of the overall transaction value in 2018.

However, the amount sold only accounted for 0.4% from the total property transactions.

Juwai-IQI said about RM4.3 billion worth of new residential construction in Malaysia is already intended for foreigners, including China and Hong Kong investors.

The report said Chinese buyers offer a significant multiplier effect as the impact of their investment spreads to other sectors, such as retail, hospitality, manufacturing, banking, insurance and transportation.

However, Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Consultants Association president Lim Kok Sai said there might not be a huge group of Hong Kong applicants coming into Malaysia this year despite Beijing’s new national security law.

“We already saw a big group of people from Hong Kong coming in last year. Those who were able to leave and meet the requirements of MM2H applications, including financially, had already done it last year.

“The Hong Kongers will continue to come into Malaysia, but not in big groups because that period is already over,” he said.

Lim added that the protesters of the new security law are the youths, who might find it hard to meet the requirements of MM2H.

The federal government last week announced a temporary freeze on the MM2H programme, to allow it to be evaluated, especially the process that involved approving the ownership of property under the programme.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri recently said the Immigration Department and her ministry are studying the process related to its application and ownership of property under the programme, which is aimed to be resolved by December.