The Malaysian government has been providing various facilities to Bangladeshi students in the Southeast Asian country and the facilities will be increased gradually, Higher Education Minister of Malaysia Mohamed Khaled Nordin said today. The Malaysian minister said this while talking to reporters after a meeting with Education Reporters Association Bangladesh (ERAB) at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur. He also assured of the continuation of the facilities for Bangladeshi students there. Also read; Malaysia's UCSI University launches international branch campus in Bangladesh Talking to reporters, Nordin said Malaysian universities are performing well in various rankings — for ensuring quality education and research. Besides, many campuses have also been opened abroad due to the increase in demand, he added.
The UCSI University, one of the top-ranked and largest private universities in Malaysia, has gone transnational with the soft launch of its first international branch campus in Bangladesh. The new campus will be based in the capital and operations will commence in May this year. It is the first time UCSI is committing to a branch campus overseas. Malaysia's Higher Education Minister Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the launch dovetailed well with the ministry's internationalisation plans. "The UCSI University Bangladesh will boost Malaysia's status as a global education hub, and I commend UCSI for this post-pandemic initiative," he said at the launch event held at UCSI's Kuala Lumpur campus Friday. Read more: Cheapest countries for Bangladeshi students for higher studies "I encourage more private providers to consider similar arrangements. The Malaysian brand of higher education is synonymous with quality, and we can impact international markets," he added.
Bangladesh expects to have an “elaborate discussion” with Malaysia this week on manpower recruitment in an effort to make the overall recruitment process more transparent and expeditious. Malaysian Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail is expected to pay a “working visit” to Bangladesh on February 4-5, spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Seheli Sabrin told reports at a weekly briefing on Thursday. This is going to be the first minister-level visit from the Southeast Asian country since the formation of a new government there. The Malaysian Home Minister is likely to have meetings with his Bangladesh counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan and Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad during his two-day visit. “The upcoming visit will hopefully bring momentum in Bangladesh-Malaysia bilateral relations,” said the MoFA spokesperson. Bangladesh wants to ease the manpower recruitment process in Malaysia with a reduced cost through discussion. Read more: Manpower export to Malaysia resumes after four-year gap “The Malaysian home minister is coming with a big team. It will help make things (related to manpower recruitment) more rationalized. We want to send our workers at a reduced cost,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently. He said Bangladesh wants the manpower “cartel” to be dismantled, the recruitment cost reduced, and the rules of recruitment eased. Earlier, Bangladesh High Commissioner to Malaysia Md Golam Sarwar met with the Malaysian home affairs minister and discussed various issues of mutual interest. The high commissioner welcomed the Malaysian minister’s crucial visit to Bangladesh and discussed various aspects of the visit, according to the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur. As it is his first foreign visit after taking charge as home minister, it is significant for both countries. They also discussed recruiting more manpower from Bangladesh in a short time at a low cost. High Commissioner Golam Sarwar requested the home minister of Malaysia to legalise the undocumented Bangladeshis in the Southeast Asian country on easy terms under the recalibration programme. The Malaysian home minister assured the high commissioner that they would look into the matter, according to the High Commission.
Rescuers on Saturday found the bodies of a woman and two children, raising the death toll from a landslide on an unlicensed campground in Malaysia to 24 with nine others still missing. Selangor state fire chief Norazam Khamis told reporters the bodies of a mother and son were found buried under a meter (3 feet) of mud and debris. The body of a little girl was discovered later. He said there was hope of finding survivors if they clung on to piles or branches or rocks with pockets of air but that chances were slim. Read more: Landslide at Malaysia campground leaves 16 dead, 17 missing Authorities said 94 people were sleeping at the camp site on an organic farm early Friday when the dirt tumbled from a road about 30 meters (100 feet) above them and covered about 1 hectare (3 acres). Most were families enjoying a short vacation during the yearend school break. The 24 victims included seven children and 13 women. Authorities were still carrying out autopsies and waiting for next of kin to identify the victims. A mother and her toddler daughter were found Friday hugging each other in a heart-rending scene, rescuers said. Seven people were hospitalized and dozens more, including three Singaporeans, were rescued unharmed. Read more: 1 dead, up to 12 missing in landslide on Italian island Wearing helmets and carrying shovels and other equipment, rescuers worked in teams Saturday to comb through debris as deep as 8 meters (26 feet). Excavators were deployed to clear mud and fallen trees and rescue dogs were sent to sniff out possible signs of life and cadavers. Officials said an estimated 450,000 cubic meters (nearly 16 million cubic feet) of debris — enough to fill 180 Olympic-sized swimming pools — hit the campsite. Norazam said rescuers were treading carefully as underground water streams may trigger further landslides. Authorities have said the landowners did not have a license to run a campground. Officials are unable to pinpoint the exact cause of the landslide, which came without warning, but believed it could be due to underground water movement while the yearend monsoon rains made the soil unstable. Survivors recounting their ordeal told local media they heard a thunderous noise and felt the earth move before soil collapsed on their tents. The government has ordered all campsites nationwide that are near rivers, waterfalls and hillsides to be shut for a week to assess their safety. The campsite in Batang Kali, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur, is a popular recreational site for locals to pitch or rent tents from the farm. But authorities said it has been running illegally for the past two years. It has permission to run the farm but no license to operate camping activities. If found guilty, the operator faces up to three years in prison and a fine.
Malaysian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Haznah Md Hashim has said her country's policy towards Bangladesh remains the same although a new government has come into power in Malaysia. The envoy was speaking at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) Saturday at a Dhaka hotel. "Bangladesh and Malaysia have had a brotherly relationship since the emergence of Bangladesh. And Malaysia values its friends," Haznah, also chief patron of the BMCCI, added. Read more: Bangladesh invites Malaysian businesses to invest in ICT parks "We will help the Bangladeshi business community, especially the BMCCI members in any kind of endeavour." BMCCI President Syed Almas Kabir presided over the AGM. BMCCI Secretary General Md Motaher Hoshan Khana and Treasurer BMCCI Syed Moinuddin Ahmed also spoke.
A landslide early Friday at a hillside tourist campground in Malaysia left 16 people dead and authorities said 17 others were feared buried at the site on an organic farm outside the capital of Kuala Lumpur. An estimated 94 Malaysians were sleeping at the campsite in Batang Kali in central Selangor state, around 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur, when the incident occurred, said district police chief Suffian Abdullah. He said the death toll has risen to 16, including a five-year-old boy. Seven people have been hospitalized with injuries and rescuers were searching for the estimated 17 missing people, he said. Another 53 people were rescued without harm. Suffian said the victims had entered the area, a popular recreational site for locals to pitch or rent tents from the farm, on Wednesday. More than 400 personnel, including tracking dogs, were involved in the search and rescue efforts. The Selangor fire department said firefighters began arriving at the scene half an hour after receiving a distress call at 2:24 a.m. The landslide fell from the side of a road from an estimated height of 30 meters (98 feet) and covered an area of about three acres (1.2 hectare). The fire department posted photos of rescuers with flashlights digging through soil and rubble in the early hours of the morning. Read more: Newborn among 7 dead in Italian island landslide Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has called for a thorough search and is expected to visit the site late Friday. Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming told local media that the campsite has been operating illegally for the past two years. The operator has government approval to run an organic farm but has no license for camping activities, he said. If found guilty, Nga warned the camp operator could face up to three years in jail and a fine. Some families with young children who were rescued took refuge at a nearby police station. Survivors reportedly said they heard a loud thundering noise before the soil came crashing down. Leong Jim Meng, 57, was quoted by the New Straits Times English-language daily saying he and his family were awakened by a loud bang “that sounded like an explosion” and felt the earth move. “My family and I were trapped as soil covered our tent. We managed to escape to a carpark area and heard a second landslide happening,” he told the newspaper. He said it was surprising because there was no heavy rain in recent days, only light drizzles. Read more: 33 killed in Colombia landslide The campsite is located on an organic farm not far from the Genting Highlands hill resort, a popular tourist destination with theme parks and Malaysia’s only casino. Access to roads leading to the area have been blocked. Authorities have halted outdoor recreational activities in Batang Kali. Nga, the local government development minister, said all campsites nationwide that are situated by rivers, waterfalls and hillsides will be closed for a week to assess their safety amid forecasts of downpours in the next few days. Malaysia is currently experiencing year-end monsoon rains.
Reformist leader Anwar Ibrahim has won a hard-fought battle to become Malaysia’s new prime minister. But working with former foes to form a unity government as a polarized nation watches will immediately test his political mettle. There is no honeymoon period for Anwar, 75, who got straight down to work less than 24 hours after he was sworn in as the nation’s 10th leader. National television showed Anwar clocking in Friday morning at the government administrative capital of Putrajaya. His first test will be the construction of a Cabinet and the distribution of portfolios to appease the diverse members of his unity government. Anwar promised Monday that his Cabinet will be leaner compared to the previous, oversized administration, and said he will forego his salary as prime minister amid the country’s economic slowdown. He said new Cabinet members would be asked to cut their salaries, too. “My main priority now is the cost of living,” he told a news conference. Anwar pledged to work swiftly to find ways to help Malaysians struggling with rising food costs, a currency at its lowest point in over two decades and stagnating wages ahead of an expected economic slowdown next year. Read: Long-time reformist leader Anwar sworn in as Malaysian PM Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan, or Alliance of Hope, won 82 out of 222 seats in the Nov. 19 general election. To cobble a majority, he won support from two key rival blocs: the long-ruling National Front, which has 30 seats, and the Sarawak Parties Alliance with 23. Several smaller blocs have said they will also join. Former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s Malay-centric National Alliance unexpectedly won 73 seats. Muhyiddin’s hard-line ally, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party that touts Sharia, took 49 seats to become the country’s single largest party in an indication of the rise of conservative Islam. Anwar’s victory with support from political rivals marked another “watershed moment that heralded a new era for Malaysian democracy,” said Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid, political analyst with the University of Science, Malaysia. It came on the back of his alliance’s stunning victory in 2018 polls, which ended the National Front’s 60-year grip on power and led to the country’s first regime change since independence from Britain in 1957. But the new government crumbled after power grab that led to turmoil and saw a total of three prime ministers in four years. Anwar was in prison at the time on a sodomy charge he said was politically motivated. Anwar fostered a conciliatory tone after his appointment, welcoming all parties to his government as long as they adhere to the basic rules of good governance, no corruption and a “Malaysia for all Malaysians.” Read: Reformist leader Anwar close to becoming Malaysia's next PM Analysts said the makeup of his Cabinet will provide a clearer picture of his policies going forward, as he puts flesh to bones on his campaign promises to clean up the government and heal deepening racial and religious gashes. His anti-corruption platform will be tested amid concerns that concessions will be made for some National Front leaders battling graft charges in return for their support. An ethnic Muslim, Anwar must also earn the trust of conservative Malays, who viewed him as too liberal and opted for Muhyiddin’s right-wing bloc in the contentious election. Police have tightened security and Anwar’s supporters have been told to hold off celebrations that may provoke Islamic supporters. In such a racially charged environment, Anwar’s aims — including replacing a decades-old affirmative action plan that gives privileges to Malays in jobs, education and housing — may be a minefield. Anwar has assured Malays that their rights under the constitution and the position of Islam as the national religion will be protected. But he stressed that other races must not be marginalized so that the country can be united. “Racial divide has been in existence in Malaysia since independence,” said political analyst Ahmad Fauzi. “Anwar will come up with his own formula to rein in the problem, but thinking that he’ll be able to extinguish it is to expect the impossible from him,” he added.
Long-time opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as Malaysia's prime minister Thursday, in a victory for political reformers locked in a battle with Malay nationalists for days after the divisive general election produced a hung Parliament. Broadcast live on national television, Anwar took his oath of office Thursday evening in a simple ceremony at the national palace. Malaysia's king, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, named Anwar, 75, as the nation's 10th leader after saying he was satisfied that Anwar is the candidate who is likely to have majority support. Anwar’s Alliance of Hope led Saturday’s election with 82 seats, short of the 112 needed for a majority. An unexpected surge of ethnic Malay support propelled Former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s right-leaning National Alliance to win 73 seats, with its ally Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party emerging as the biggest single party with 49 seats. The stalemate was resolved after the long-ruling bloc led by the United Malays National Organization agreed to support a unity government under Anwar. Such a tie-up was once unthinkable in Malaysian politics, long dominated by rivalry between the two parties. Other influential groups in Borneo island have said they will follow the king’s decision. “His Royal Highness reminds all parties that the winners do not win all and the losers do not lose everything,” a palace statement read. The monarch urged Anwar and his new government to be humble, and said all opposing parties should reconcile to ensure a stable government and end Malaysia's political turmoil, which has led to three prime ministers since 2018 polls. The statement gave no details on the government that will be formed. Read more: Reformist leader Anwar close to becoming Malaysia's next PM Muhyiddin, 75, has refused to accede defeat. At a news conference, Muhyiddin challenged Anwar to prove that he has the majority support of lawmakers to deflect doubts over his leadership. Police have tightened security nationwide as social media posts warned of racial troubles if Anwar’s multiethnic bloc wins. Anwar's party has urged supporters to refrain from celebratory gatherings or issuing sensitive statements to avoid risk of provocation. Read more: Former Malaysia PM Mahathir loses ground to poll rivals Anwar’s rise to the top caps his roller-coaster political journey and will ease fears over greater Islamization. But he faces a tall task in bridging racial divides that deepened after Saturday’s poll, as well as reviving an economy struggling with rising inflation and a currency that has fallen to its weakest point. Malays form two-thirds of Malaysia’s 33 million people, which include large ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities. “He will have to make compromises with other actors in the government that means that the reform process will be a more inclusive one," said Bridget Welsh, a Southeast Asia political expert. “Anwar is a globalist, which will assure international investors. He has been seen to be a bridge builder across communities, which will test his leadership moving forward but at the same juncture offers a reassuring hand for the challenges that Malaysia will face.” Anwar was a former deputy prime minister whose sacking and imprisonment in the 1990s led to massive street protests and a reform movement that became a major political force. Thursday marked his reformist bloc's second victory — its first being the historic 2018 polls that led to the first regime change since Malaysia’s independence from Britain in 1957. Anwar was in prison at the time for a sodomy charge he said was politically motivated. He was pardoned and was due to take over from Mahathir Mohamad. But the government collapsed after Muhyiddin defected and joined hands with UMNO to form a new government. Muhyiddin’s government was beset by internal rivalries and he resigned after 17 months. UMNO leader Ismail Sabri Yaakob was then picked by the king as the prime minister. Many rural Malays fear they may lose their privileges with greater pluralism under Anwar. Fed up with corruption and infighting in UMNO, many opted for Muhyiddin’s bloc in Saturday’s vote.
Reformist opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim edged closer to become Malaysia's new prime minister after a political party agreed Thursday to support a unity government following inconclusive general elections. Any agreement must still be approved by Malaysia's king. Last Saturday's divisive election led to a hung parliament that renewed a leadership crisis in Malaysia, which had three prime ministers since 2018. Police have tightened security nationwide as social media warned of racial troubles if Anwar’s multiethnic bloc wins. Anwar's Pakatan Harapan, or Alliance of Hope, topped the race with 82 parliamentary seats, short of the 112 needed for a majority. Former Prime Minister Muhyiddin’s Malay-centric Perikatan Nasional, or National Alliance, won 73 seats. The alliance led by the United Malays National Organization, which has 30 seats, hold the key that will tilt the balance. UMNO reversed its decision to remain in the opposition, saying it will heed the king's proposal for a unity government. UMNO's secretary-general Ahmad Maslan said Thursday the party's highest-decision making body has decided to now support a unity government that is not led by Muhyiddin's camp. He said the party will accept any unity government or any other form of government decided by the king. UMNO holds 26 seats and four others are held by component parties in its National Front alliance. It is unclear if the other party members have agreed to go along with UMNO's decision. If all 30 National Front lawmakers support Anwar, he will secure a majority. Anwar already has the support of a small party in Borneo island with three seats. In all, that will give him 115 parliamentary seats. Read more: Former Malaysia PM Mahathir loses ground to poll rivals If Anwar clinches the top job, it will ease fears over the rise of right-wing politics in the country. Muhyiddin's bloc includes the hard-line Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, which has 49 seats — more than double what it won in 2018. Known as PAS, it backs Islamic Shariah law, rules three states and is now the single largest party. Malay Muslims are two-thirds of Malaysia’s 33 million people, who include large ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities. King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah is to meet Thursday with royal families from nine states to consult them on the deadlock. Malaysia’s hereditary state rulers, who take turns as the country’s king every five years under a unique rotation system, are highly regarded by the country’s Malay majority as the guardians of Islam and Malay tradition. Anwar’s reformist alliance won 2018 elections that led to the first regime change since Malaysia’s independence from Britain in 1957. But the government collapsed after Muhyiddin defected and joined hands with UMNO to form a new government. Muhyiddin’s government was beset by internal rivalries and he resigned after 17 months. UMNO leader Ismail Sabri Yaakob was then picked by the king as the prime minister. Read more: Malaysian foreign minister, int’l lawmakers demand decisive action on Myanmar Many rural Malays fear they may lose their privileges with greater pluralism under Anwar. Fed up with corruption and infighting in UMNO, many opted for Muhyiddin’s bloc in Saturday’s vote.
The death toll from Monday's Malaysia-bound trawler capsize rose to six, with the recovery of two more bodies from the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday night. However, the identities of the two deceased, both women believed to be in their 20s, could not be ascertained immediately. Md Hafizur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Teknaf Model Police Station, said that on information, they recovered one body from the Shilkhali Sea beach and another from the South Shilkhali Sea beach, respectively, on Wednesday night. The bodies were sent to Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital morgue for post-mortem, he said, adding that the bodies will be handed over to their families once their identities are ascertained. Read: Trawler capsize: 29 Rohingya refugees among 33 detained en route to Malaysia The Malaysia-bound trawler carrying over 100 Rohingya refugees capsized in the Bay of Bengal on Monday. Some 45 Rohingya refugees have been rescued so far, while the bodies of five women and one child were also recovered from the sea later. Meanwhile, police filed a case against 24 human traffickers at the local police station on Wednesday. However, none has been arrested in connection with the case.