Govt mulls closing EM offices

THE government is mulling shuttering five Education Malaysia (EM) offices abroad as they are not contributing to the increase in international students, research grants or revenue to Malaysia, says Datuk Mansor Othman.

The Deputy Higher Education Minister told Parliament that the Public Service Department (JPA) through a letter dated May 16, 2019, notified its intention to conduct a rationalisation on representative offices and Malaysian government agencies overseas.

Mansor said the EM offices involved were located in the United States (Chicago and Los Angeles), New Zealand, Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) and Australia (Perth).

“The implementation of rationalisation of government representative offices and agencies overseas is being scrutinised and refined at the central agency level,” he told Dr Maszlee Malik (Independent-Simpang Renggam) during Questions for Oral Answer session.

Maszlee asked the Higher Education Ministry to state the status of the rationalisation process.

Mansor explained that to further scrutinise the rationalisation process submitted by JPA, several engagement sessions and a series of discussions had been conducted with the relevant stakeholders with the participation of representatives from JPA and Wisma Putra.

The outcome, he said, was that the rationalisation proposal of the EM offices had been submitted to JPA and tabled to a steering committee on Jan 16 this year.

“The committee then proposed that the rationalisation of EM offices should be done inclusively with the rationalisation of government representative offices overseas.”

Asked to explain the ministry’s plans to attract international students to study in the country’s higher learning institutions, Mansor said the government would continue to focus on attracting foreign students to study here as it contributed to the country’s revenue.

“Several promotional initiatives were done with the private and public higher learning institutions to attract international students and to further improve the quality of education as done by the former Education minister,” he said.

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