Praise as Look East policy turns 30

MALAYSIA’S Look East policy, now entering its 30th year, has contributed to the existence of more than 1,500 Japanese companies in the country.

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) School of Social Sciences acting dean Nor Malina Malek said Japan, being Malaysia’s third largest trading partner after China and Singapore, had become the country’s second largest source of foreign direct investments (FDI).

“These investments have allowed Malaysia to move up the ladder and it will also help us achieve our aim of becoming a high-income nation by year 2020,” said Nor Malina.

She was speaking during the presentation of the International Public Lecture on ‘The Great East Japan Earthquake and Japanese NGOs Endeavors for its Relief and Revival’ by Professor Ohashi Masaaki of Keisen University (Japan) Inter- national Development Studies, NGO Studies and South Asia Studies,.

Jointly organised by USM and Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur (JFKL), the International Public Lecture saw the participation of more than 200 people including USM lecturers and staff as well as international students from Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, Japan, the United States and India.

This is the third time such a lecture has been jointly organised by USM and JFKL.

During his speech, Masaaki touched on the roles played by non-governmental organisa- tions and non-profit organisations in providing relief and rehabilitation after the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11 last year.

“When we see a crisis like the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan just a year ago, we have a responsibility to learn from it and draw from it whatever lessons to ensure the safety and security of our people.

“The catastrophe also caused an impact on the nuclear reactors to add to Japan’s struggle,’’ he said.

Masaaki also expressed gratitude to Malaysians who were quick to show support and solidarity after the disaster.

“We would like to thank Malay-sians for their kind support.

“The warm message sent by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong and the relief goods brought by the 48-people mission from Putera1Malaysia and the huge amount of money donated through the Malaysia Red Crescent were very helpful to us,” he said.

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