Dr Mahathir Proposes Japanese University Branch In Malaysia

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By Muin Abdul Majid
TOKYO, June 12 (Bernama) – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has proposed that Japan establish a presence in the Malaysian higher education landscape by setting up a branch university campus there.

The Malaysian prime minister said this was conveyed to his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe during their meeting here on Tuesday.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia was a good location for this purpose due to its much lower costs.

"If this materialises, more Malaysians can avail themselves of Japanese education and, at same time, poorer countries in Africa and Asia as well can send students to Malaysia where they can get Japanese education without having to come to high-cost Japan," he said.

Dr Mahathir was speaking to the Malaysian media on Tuesday at the conclusion of his three-day working visit to Japan during which he attended the 24th International Conference on the Future of Asia, or Nikkei Conference.

The Prime Minister said he pointed out to Abe that countries like Australia, China and others had set up university branch campuses in Malaysia.

"We've asked Japan to do the same but, unfortunately, they are constrained by their policies and also funding. But we hope that the government will consider it," he said.

Dr Mahathir said Abe accorded him ample time to share about the challenges facing Malaysia.

"He gave the assurance that he would assist as far as he could,” he said.

On his meeting with the leaders of major Japanese economic organisations Tuesday morning, Dr Mahathir said they showed keen interest to increase their investment and boost their activity in Malaysia.

"I detected a very positive sentiment among them about Malaysia," he said, adding that the government would review the rules or procedures that were not business-friendly.