Kuala Lumpur - Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today hailed a conference on Malaysia-Indonesia relations being held here as a platform that could forge greater cooperation in education between the two countries.
He said the 50th Merdeka Conference on Malaysia-Indonesia Relations, organised by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Universiti Malaya with the collaboration of the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, would help foster cooperation between the academic staff of the faculty and those of universities in Indonesia in the areas of conferences, research and publications.
Najib said this in his speech opening the conference at the university. The text of his speech was read out by Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed.
More than 60 working papers are expected to be tabled at the two-day conference beginning today.
Najib also expressed his appreciation to the university for conferring an honorary doctorate in economics on Indonesian Vice-President Muhammad Yusuf Kalla. The presentation will be held at a special convocation on July 21.
The deputy prime minister said Malaysia-Indonesia relations in education had been forged a long time ago.
He said Indonesia had contributed teaching manpower to Malaysia when Malaysia started the teaching of Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia in the 1970s.
At the same time, he said, Malaysia sent its students to Indonesia to pursue courses in Science and Arts because of the similarity in language and culture.
"Now, Malaysia is sending students in large numbers to take up medicine and pharmacy in Indonesian universities," he said.
Source: www.bernama.com (19 Juli 2007)