Selangor Journal
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (centre left) attending the Malaysian diaspora high-tea event the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan, on December 18, 2023. — Picture by BERNAMA

Anwar attends Malaysian diaspora event in Tokyo

TOKYO, Dec 18 — Malaysians in Japan had the opportunity to meet and greet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the Malaysian diaspora high-tea event held at the Imperial Hotel.

There were 416 attendees, ranging from students to those working and residing in Japan.

Also present at the event was Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and Investment, Trade, and Industry (Miti) Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, who took to the stage to address the attendees first.

Anwar and his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail arrived later from the Imperial Palace, where they had an audience with Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.

His message to the diaspora touched on the developments back home and the need for Malaysians to change their mindset and free themselves from the racial and religious divisions which undermine unity.

“Stop racial and religious enmity and use race and religion to strengthen relationships. Only then can we develop a new Malaysia that we can be proud of as an important and leading country in our region,” he said.

The Prime Minister was also asked about the difficulties in renewing passports as they have to go to the embassy in Tokyo (from other cities in Japan) and what Malaysia has done to address climate change.

On passports, Anwar said he would look into it and that climate change is already being addressed, including through the National Energy Transition Roadmap.

He was also asked by a Public Service Department-sponsored postgraduate student about conditions upon returning home, as they see themselves as overqualified and their salaries not commensurate with the qualifications.

In response, Anwar said things are really not that bad back home and the government is also looking into ways to improve wages for all.

A Mara-sponsored student voiced his concern that students sent to Japan, among others, to learn the Japanese culture and showcase the Malaysian culture are now just going one way as many are opting to remain and work in Japan after finishing their studies.

Anwar said they are encouraged to work overseas, especially where they can learn the Japanese work culture, but should return and contribute to their country when the time comes.

Meanwhile, during the press conference following the Malaysian Diaspora high tea, he said that Dr Wan Azizah and himself had a memorable audience with the Japanese royals.

What was initially planned as a 20-minute audience was extended, as the Emperor showed keen interest in various aspects of Malaysia.

— Bernama


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