NASSAU – Malaysia’s desire to produce Olympic champions is being given a push with Jamaica’s offer to share its experience and expertise in sport education and development with the Southeast Asian country.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the matter was raised in talks between him and Jamaican Education Minister Reverend Ronald Thwaites here Tuesday.
“We welcome this offer as, despite being a small Caribbean nation, Jamaica has produced notable Olympic champions like sprinter Usain Bolt and others in athletics, for example,” he said after the bilateral meeting that was held on the sidelines of the 19th Conference of the Commonwealth Education Ministers (19CCEM).
Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, said Malaysia was keen to learn more about the sport education system in Jamaican schools.
“With this understanding with Jamaica, we may be able to learn from them how they have been able to produce international sporting icons,” said Muhyiddin who later attended the opening of the conference at the Atlantis Resort’s Conference Centre on Paradise Island here.
He said that as the Education Ministry took measures to nurture young Malaysian athletes, this would eventually prove to be advantageous to the Youth and Sports Ministry.
Muhyiddin said that notwithstanding the absence of a formal cooperation framework between the two countries, the Jamaican minister had expressed interest to forge linkages with Malaysia in fields like higher education, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as well as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programmes.
“They are also keen to have a closer look at how we implement information and communication technology (ICT) programmes in our schools,” he said.
In talks with his Bahamian counterpart Philip E. Brave Davis, Muhyiddin said he mooted the establishment of a more formal framework for bilateral relations in the form of a pact in economy and trade.
“This matter will be looked into by officials before we can sign the cooperation agreement,” Muhyiddin said, adding that the private sector should be involved in trade and investment activities involving both sides.
Among the sectors that should be explored were infrastructure like ports, airports and roads besides tourism and the hospitality industry, he said.
Muhyiddin also said that Malaysia was ready to provide courses and training sessions for Bahamian officials under the Malaysia Technical Cooperation Programme.
He also held a bilateral meeting with Bahamian Education, Science and Technology Minister Jerome Fitzgerald, during which they discussed areas of possible cooperation.