Published: Tuesday February 12, 2013 MYT 11:36:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday February 12, 2013 MYT 5:13:10 PM
DPM launches Malaysia Hall in Jakarta, hopes it will help forge closer ties
By FARIK ZOLKEPLI
JAKARTA: The new Malaysia Hall Jakarta can be a hub to promote Malaysia in Indonesia, said the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Designed as a central meeting place for Malaysian students and community, Muhyiddin said such groups could forge closer ties between the two countries through utilising the hall effectively.
"Malaysian students and community in Jakarta can play their role as 'small ambassadors' more effectively through the hall.
"The hall symbolises the country's achievement in Indonesia, thus it is the responsibility of all to ensure its name is not tarnished," he said in his speech before launching the hall in Central Jakarta on Tuesday.
With the goal of forming an ASEAN community, Muhyiddin also called on Malaysian students to seize the ample opportunities provided by both countries in terms of job and economic opportunities.
"Malaysian students here should not only gain knowledge but also start networking with the local community in various sectors.
"The students can assist in making the ASEAN community aspirations a reality while forging closer ties between Malaysia and Indonesia," he said.
Muhyiddin also hoped the close bilateral ties between Malaysia and Indonesia could be enhanced further as they have been beneficial in several areas, especially in education and economy.
Meanwhile, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the Malaysia Hall, which cost RM3.79mil, would be able to accommodate 6,004 Malaysian students.
"It has been built with the welfare of our students in mind.
"It has been in operation since Feb last year under the ministry's purview," he said.
He added that Education Malaysia, consisting of the Malaysian Students Department (MSD) and the Malaysian Education Promotion Centre (MEPC) will shift its operations to the Malaysia Hall here.
Previously it was based at the Malaysian Embassy.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, is in Jakarta for a two-day working visit.
During a dinner with Malaysian citizens here Monday night, he told reporters and guests that Barisan Nasional is prepared to accept the outcome of the 13th General Election as it believes in the democratic system.
"Barisan will abide and accept the decision made by the people.
"We hope the other side will do the same and be gentlemen as it is part of the democratic system that worked since the first elections were held in 1955."
Muhyiddin said there should not be any protest against the country's election system as it is transparent and just.
"Barisan lost five states in the last elections and failed to gain a two-third majority in Parliament thus there should not be any doubt in the election system," he said.
He said he hoped the rakyat would make the right decision during elections as the various transformation programmes put into place were "like a moving locomotive with the destination to make Malaysia a developed country by 2020.
"Why should the locomotive be derailed?" he questioned.
On the date of the elections, Muhyiddin said it may be held earlier than when the current term ends.
"The current term ends in April, it maybe held a little bit earlier than that," he said.