Kuala Lumpur – The government plans to close five Education Malaysia (EM) offices overseas, namely the office in Chicago and Los Angeles in the United States, New Zealand, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam and Perth, Australia.
Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Mansor Othman said the reason being that the offices no longer contribute to the increase in international students to Malaysia, increase in education grants or revenue to the country.
He said following the proposal on the rationalisation of the Education Malaysia offices abroad by the Public Service department (PSD), a series of discussions and engagement sessions with the ministry’s stakeholders, as well as with the PSD and the Foreign Ministry, were held.
“The outcome from that is a proposal on the rationalisation of the EM offices was submitted to the PSD and tabled to the steering committee on the establishment and closure of the offices of Malaysian government agencies abroad on Jan 16, 2020.
“The committee further suggested that the rationalisation of the EM offices be implemented inclusively with the rationalisation of the offices of representatives of the Malaysian government agencies abroad and the matter is being studied,“ he said during the question and answer session in the Dewan Rakyat, today.
He was responding to a question from Dr. Maszlee Malik (Bebas-Simpang Renggam) who asked on the current status of the rationalisation of EM offices overseas.
The establishment of the EM offices began with nine Malaysian Student Department (MSD) offices in 1994 with the original purpose of managing the affairs of Malaysian students abroad.
In 2003, four Malaysian Education Promotion Centres (MEPC) were opened overseas with four main objectives, namely to encourage private investment, strengthen the country’s competitiveness, generate new growth and increase the effectiveness of the government and the private sector’s delivery service systems.
Subsequently, on July 9, 2010, the cabinet meeting agreed to rebrand the MSD and MEPC offices to EM which aims to promote the Malaysian education brand as a world education hub to encourage the entry of international students into the country.-Bernama