Zahid: Malaysia appreciates Japan's commitment in TVET, halal, disaster management issues

OSAKA: Malaysia appreciates Japan's commitment towards its cooperation shown following both countries' enhanced ties under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) last December.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said throughout his seven-day working visit to Japan, he had received valuable input on behalf of the country in various fields including Technical and Vocational Education and Training, the halal sector and disaster management.

"I followed up on matters only one and a half months after the Prime Minister's visit to Japan. They really appreciated the follow up visit I conducted.

"More importantly, we received commitment from the Japanese government thanks to the Prime Minister's visit in December to boost Malaysia's diplomatic ties concerning the CSP," he told Malaysian media at the end of his visit to Tokyo and Osaka today.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida had issued a joint statement about boosting bilateral ties to the CSP level during his working visit in December.

Zahid also said there was much to gain as a result of the working visit in the field of TVET as Japan have had TVET-integrated education institutions since 35 years ago and had successfully nurtured students who excelled in the sector.

"We can see how Japan is so developed, they have TVET-integrated KOSEN institutions and they turn them into professional institutions…. in Japan, TVET is not the second choice but the main choice," the National TVET Council Committee chairman said.

Zahid, who was accompanied by Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) chairman Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki and officials from institutes of higher education, had earlier visited the National Technology Institute, Tokyo College (Tokyo KOSEN) to study the KOSEN model.

The KOSEN model emphasises on a comprehensive TVET learning concept by providing a five-year learning programme to students as young as 15 who are keen in the field.

He said the government intents to send more Malaysian students to Japan to further their studies in the TVET field to empower the local TVET sector.

"This is because we have received offers for our students to further their studies in Japan, especially those from Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and the Malaysian Technical Universities Network (MTUN), as well as Japanese student exchanges to Malaysia," he said.

The MTUN is a network of four technical-based universities, Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM), Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP).

While in Osaka, Zahid, who is also the Rural and Regional Development Minister, witnessed the signing of two memoranda of understanding (MoU) by Halal Development Corporation Berhad (HDC) with two Japanese entities in the halal sector, which will boost bilateral trade in the halal industry.

Zahid, National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) director-general Datuk Khairul Shahril Idrus and the Malaysian delegation were also briefed about disaster management during their visit to Osaka.

Zahid's working visit is his first visit to Japan since his appointment as Deputy Prime Minister under the MADANI government administration in December 2022. --BERNAMA

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