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Malaysia to set up chair of Malay Studies at Indian, South Korean universities

By NNN-Bernama

Putrajaya, Malaysia : Another two Chairs in Malay Studies will be set up at Indian and South Korean universities this year to promote greater awareness and understanding of Malaysia, says Higher Education Minister Mustapa Mohamed.

The two institution chosen for the purpose are the University of Madras in Chennai, India,and Hankuk University in South Korea, he told reporters at his ministry at this administrative capital south of Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

“We are now talking to the University of Madras, where there is strong demand for the study of Malay and Malaysian history. The other is Hankuk University,” he said after announcing the appointment of the new holder of Tun Abdul Razak Chair (of Malay Studies) at Ohio University in the United States.

The Director of the Entrepreneurship Development Institute at the University of Northern Malaysia, Prof Salleh Din, has been appointed as the 13th holder of the Tun Abdul Razak Chair which was established in 1980 to enable its holder to lecture and carry out research in his or her chosen field at Ohio University for two years.

The Tun Abdul Razak Chair is supported with funds from the Malaysian government and United States firms with business interests in Malaysia.

The chair holder is responsible for promoting better understanding and enhancing the relationships between Malaysia and the United States as well as identifying new areas for future co-operation, especially in the field of higher education.

Besides the Tun Abdul Razak Chair, Malaysia has another three Malay Studies Chairs at the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) in China, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and Leiden University in Holland.

Asked about the establishment of an apex university in Malaysia, Mustapa said recommendations to identify one or two local universities to be groomed into world class institutions would be forwarded to the ministry by a committee by the middle of this year.

Mustapa also said that he hoped to visit some top American universities this year to establish stronger linkages in terms of student and staff exchanges with these institutions.