Mahathir woos Japanese university to set up Malaysia campus
BEPPU, Japan — The governments of Malaysia and Japan are in talks on setting up a Japanese university campus in Malaysia as part of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s long-standing Look East vision, according to sources close to the matter.
Although discussions are at a preliminary stage as both countries need to clear legal hurdles concerning the conferring of degrees and conduct a market survey, the privately-owned University of Ritsumeikan has expressed interest. The Japanese government is also willing to support the initiative.
Mahathir, on a four-day working visit to the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka, proposed the move to officials from the university and the Japanese government. If the deal goes through, Ritsumeikan will be the country’s first university to venture outside Japan.
One source said Mahathir told Japanese officials that while universities from Australia, the U.S., U.K and even China had already set up campuses in Malaysia, none from Japan had done so.
Under Mahathir’s Look East policy during his previous stint as prime minister for 1981 to 2003, Malaysia sent thousands of students to tertiary institutions in Japan, hoping that they would learn not only science and technology, but also the country’s work ethic. Mahathir has said he admires Japanese teamwork and sense of responsibility. Read More—