Malaysia to Look East on education: Dr M
Published on: Wednesday, November 07, 2018

TOKYO: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia will continue the Look East Policy and further enhance it.The Prime Minister said Malaysia also hoped for greater cooperation from Japan, especially in education.

He said he believed that it is was the Japanese culture and value system that contributed to Japan's recovery after the war (World War Two) and ability to develop very fast to catch up with western developed countries.

"This time under the Look East Policy, we will be looking at the whole Japanese system of education, right from kindergarten to higher education," he said at a joint press conference with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, here, Tuesday.

Earlier, Dr Mahathir and Abe had a delegation meeting at the Japanese Prime Minister's Office.

Dr Mahathir is on the second day of his three-day visit to Japan.

Dr Mahathir said he also welcomed a proposal that JR Kyushu Railway Company would be looking into the transportation problem of Malaysia and to help Malaysia and advise on how to run the national railway.

He said during the meeting, both sides were very concerned about natural disasters which seemed to befall countries facing the Pacific.

" We are not able to extend much help but I hope we can do something to mitigate the disaster occurring in Japan and countries facing the Pacific.

"We are also concerned about the situation in East Asia. We are aware of the threats posed by North Korea. We feel that the best way to handle this problem is to have contact with them, which Malaysia has done.

"We believe if Malaysia and Japan work closely together we maybe able to influence the course of the development in this area. So that all countries here will experience peace and stability," said Dr Mahathir.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir was conferred the "Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers" by Emperor Akihito of Japan. The conferment of Japan's highest award follows the huge contributions by the Prime Minister in strengthening bilateral ties.

The conferment ceremony was held at the Imperial Palace here at 9.45am local time (8.45am Malaysian time).

The order is the highest award to be conferred upon foreign statesmen for their contribution towards the bilateral relations between their respective countries and Japan, as well as their contribution to the region.

Dr Mahathir is the third leader from Asia conferred the prestigious award after former Singapore Prime Minister the late Lee Kuan Yew and former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He is on a three-day working visit to Japan since Monday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the conferment of the country's highest award is because of Dr Mahathir's various services for over many years in advancing relationship between the two countries.

"Prime Minister Mahathir, please accept my warmest congratulation on the conferment of the "Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers". Under the Look East Policy put forward by the Prime Minister who is a long time friend of Japan and (had) visited Japan more than 100 times, students and trainees in excess of 60,000 have come to Japan for the last 36 years," he said in his joint press conference with Dr Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir said he felt greatly honoured to be awarded the highest award by the emperor and Japanese government Tuesday morning.


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