KUALA LUMPUR: Based on their outstanding contribution to promoting exchanges and mutual understanding between Japan and Malaysia, four Malaysian individuals and two groups will be awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation this year.
A statement from the Japanese Embassy on Saturday said those selected represented a wide range of backgrounds.
Individual recipients include Dr Charles S. Vairappan, professor at the University of Malaysia Sabah (UMS); Associate Professor Kumaraguru A / L Ramayah of University Technology Malaysia (UTM); Hasparina Abdul Ghafar, Head of the Center for Japanese Language and Culture, Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT); and Kenneth Ch’ng, president of the Malaysia Origami Association.
The two groups that have been recognized are the Japanese Language Teacher Training Programs at the Institute of Teacher Education International Languages Campus (IPGKBA) and the Malaysia Kendo Association (MKA).
The major contributions of Prof. Dr. Charles have been the joint research activities with Japanese research institutions through the Scientific and Technological Research Partnership Project for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) and the JICA Third Country Training Program. (TCTP) on biodiversity conservation in Sabah.
He is also an Ambassador and Visiting Professor at four Japanese universities and has initiated high school exchange programs between Malaysian students and Keisei Super Science High School through the Sakura Science Project.
Under the guidance of Associate Professor Kumaraguru, UTM has become one of the hubs for the teaching of Japanese in the southern region of Peninsular Malaysia.
Likewise, Hasparina has also made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of Japanese language education in Malaysia.
Ch’ng founded the Malaysia Origami Association in 2014, dedicated to promoting the art of paper folding in Malaysia through university lectures and seminars by showcasing how computer origami is developed and how origami designs are developed. are used in fields such as medicine and architecture.
Of the two recognized groups, IPGKBA has greatly contributed to the training of Japanese teachers in Malaysia while MKA plays an important role in introducing and promoting the modern traditional Japanese art of Kendo in Malaysia.