In a significant step towards strengthening the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Malaysia, the Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris or Sultan Idris University of Education (UPSI) and the University of Dhaka on Monday (Oct 10) signed a deal to establish a Centre for Malay Studies.
The signing ceremony at the University of Dhaka was witnessed by Haznah Md Hashim, High Commissioner of Malaysia to Bangladesh.
Prof Md Amin Md Taff, Vice Chancellor of UPSI and Prof Md. Akhtaruzzaman, Vice Chancellor of University of Dhaka signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of their respective universities.
Among those present were officials of the High Commission of Malaysia in Dhaka, along with Prof Marzita Puteh, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic and Internationalisation of UPS, Associate Professor Mazura @ Mastura Muhamad, Dean of Faculty of the Languages and Communication, UPSI; and Prof ABM Razaul Karim Faquire, Director, Institute of Modern Languages, University of Dhaka.
This establishment of a Centre for Malay Studies at the University of Dhaka is indeed a significant step towards strengthening the bilateral relations, in marking the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Bangladesh, said the High Commission of Malaysia in Dhaka.
It said Malaysia enjoys a close bilateral relation with Bangladesh, and the former was the first predominantly Muslim nation to recognise the sovereignty of the latter in 1971, which was followed by an official correspondence on 31 January 1972.
The High Commission of Malaysia strongly advocated for the establishment of such Centre for Malay Studies, towards the advancement of Malay language at international fora through cultural diplomacy.
Malay Language or BahasaMelayu was a Lingua Franca which was widely spoken in commerce and diplomacy in the past, and is currently spoken by about 300 million people in Southeast Asia.