Malaysia Look East Policy Essay

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Malaysia Look East Policy

Background
The Look East Policy (LEP) is announced by former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on the 8th February 1982 during the 5th Joint Annual Conference of MAJECA/JAMECA in Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The policy was essentially an attempt to encourage the Malaysian to change their traditional perspectives of Western countries as role models and instead look towards the East. The underlying assumption was that Malaysia had much to learn from the experiences of countries in the East especially Japan and Korea, which succeeded in achieving remarkable economic progress. Therefore, Tun Dr. Mahathir felt that enabling young Malaysians to learn in Japan would contribute to the economic and social
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* Japan is one of Malaysia’s major trading partner sourcing natural resources such as oil and gas, timber and palm oil while Malaysia imports vehicles, electronics, machineries, iron and steel products from Japan.
Economic Cooperation * One of the Petronas Twin Towers was built by Samsung Engineering and Construction and Kukdong Engineering and Construction. * The RM400 million Dayabumi complex was built by Japanese company. * The 13.5km Penang Bridge, one of the longest bridges in the world of which 8.4km is over water was constructed by Hyundai Engineering Construction Company Ltd. * The partnership between Heavy industries Corporation of Malaysia (HICOM) and Japan’s Mitsubishi was the foundation of Malaysia’s national car industry and the birth of the national car company Proton was formed in 1983. * Malaysia’s very own Sogo Shosha (a general merchant or trader) was formed in 1983 to emulate Japanese corporations which venture in international trade and are in a wide range of commodities.
Socio-Cultural Cooperation i. Tourism * In 2011, 386,974 Japanese’s visited Malaysia. (Appendix: Table 1) * In July 2011, Malaysian government lifted the travel ban after a visit to Japan by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib. * Air Asia has sparked to Japan with its low cost airline revolution making air travel cheaper by flying to Fukuoka, Okinawa, Osaka, Sapporo and Tokyo.

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