FUKUOKA (Japan), Aug 8 (Bernama) — Hailing Japan as the right model, Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad Thursday spoke of the need for Japanese universities to be established in Malaysia for Malaysians to learn Japanese values.
“Malaysians can learn Japanese values without the need to come to Japan,” said Dr Mahathir, who has an avid interest in the Japanese work culture and value system, in an address at the Kyushu-Asia Institute of Leadership (KAIL) to Kyushu-based business executives and young professionals.
KAIL, founded in 2004, is a non-profit organisation that provides intellectual and social infrastructure for global educational programmes.
Dr Mahathir has been the main speaker at the KAIL talks, and this year marks his 15th appearance.
Malaysia sent thousands of students to tertiary institutions in Japan under Dr Mahathir’s ‘Look East’ policy during his previous stint as the prime minister, hoping that they will learn not only engineering and technology, for example, but also Japan’s work ethics and noble values.
Asked by a participant on how the Japanese education system can be improved, Dr Mahathir proposed that it should be made possible for young Japanese to travel and learn of the experience in other countries.
“At the same time, they can study other (world) cultures in classes.”
Responding to one Japanese professional on his thoughts about Japan’s role in the future, Dr Mahathir said Japan has a good culture that can be shown to the rest of the world.
He said that if in the past the Japanese committed ‘harakiri’ (suicide) due to shame, they now overcome that by accomplishing whatever they do by doing it well.
In his address on New Dilemma in Rapidly Growing Asia, Dr Mahathir envisioned that the world will eventually become multiracial following the ease of travel and porous borders.
“Eventually, countries will become multiracial. It is not going to happen soon but over time it will happen,” he said.
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