Malaysia to Look East on education, says Mahathir

(FMT) – Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said Malaysia would continue its Look East Policy in cooperation with Japan to further empower the national education system.

“This time under the Look East Policy, we will be looking at the whole Japanese system of education, from kindergarten stage to higher education in universities,” he said in a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe meanwhile said Japan remained committed to continuing cooperation in education as well as promoting investment, human resources development and technology transfer, among others.

He added that Japan had agreed to begin a thorough consultation geared towards realising Mahathir’s request of opening a Japanese university branch campus in Malaysia.

In addition, Mahathir welcomed the proposal that the Kyushu Railway Company, also known as JR Kyushu, look into Malaysia’s transportation problems and provide advice on how to run the national railway.

Abe said experts from JR Kyushu and the Japan Freight Railway Company would be dispatched to Malaysia at the end of the month.

Mahathir was earlier conferred Japan’s highest award by the country’s ruler, Emperor Akihito, in recognition of his contributions to strengthening bilateral ties.

Abe congratulated Mahathir on the award and acknowledged the latter’s years of service in advancing the relationship between Japan and Malaysia.

“I also pay my deep respects to Mahathir, who has taken up heavy responsibilities as prime minister once again to press ahead with steady reforms to enhance transparency, eradicate corruption and build an equitable nation,” he said.