Only four North Koreans have been accepted under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, said Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz.
He said the ministry received hundreds of applications from North Koreans to be placed under the programme but the procedure did not grant automatic access.
"We only granted to four while the rest (MM2H applications from North Korea) were rejected," he said, commenting on the number of North Koreans accepted in the MM2H programme when asked by reporters at the Parliament lobby today.
He said the four were accepted under the programme in 2013 and 2014.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said yesterday in Tawau that only 315 North Koreans were still in the country, including those under the MM2H programme, students and those who are in the country for work.
The MM2H programme is promoted by the government to allow foreigners who fulfill certain criteria to stay in Malaysia for a long term on a multiple-entry social visit pass.
The pass is initially for a period of 10 years, and is renewable.
The programme is open to citizens of all countries recognised by Malaysia regardless of race, religion, gender or age and applicants are allowed to bring their spouses and unmarried children below the age of 21 as dependents.