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What You Need to Know About MJIIT UTM: A Driving Force for The Look East Policy 2.0

What You Need to Know About MJIIT UTM: A Driving Force for The Look East Policy 2.0

Photo by EPA-EFE: Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad exchanging greetings with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the end of their joint news conference at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo, on Nov 6, 2018.


The relationship between Malaysia-Japan has portrayed a significant development since the diplomatic friendship was established in 1957, and is now entering a new phase through the Look East Policy (LEP) 2.0, pioneering many opportunities for both countries. LEP 2.0 is expected to continuously improve the collaboration of training and education with more focus on economical aspects in advancing the trade and investment potentials that are also the prime concern for both Malaysia and Japan.

Inspired and launched by YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed in 1982, LEP is seen to remain relevant and it is now looked at from a wider perspective. LEP 2.0 is not only generating opportunities and expanding investments, but is also a bridge to share and exchange knowledge and skills in order to accelerate Malaysia’s progress in striving in this industrial revolution. The three potential industries to be enhanced in LEP 2.0 are the halal, education and tourism industries.

One of the initiatives introduced to drive LEP in the education sector is the establishment of tertiary education institutions incorporating the Japanese-style engineering education in Malaysia. In the year November 2001, a notable consensus is made between YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad and H.E. Koizumi Junichiro in the ASEAN3+ Summit to establish a ‘Japanese-style engineering education’ university in Malaysia.

In December 2005, the Malaysia-Japan University Centre was established in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and in April 2010, YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad and H.E. Koizumi Junichiro have agreed to form ‘Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology’ (MJIIT) under UTM. Months later, the government of Malaysia was awarded the Yen Loan Project from the Japanese government leading to the establishment of a special consortium, the ‘Japanese University Consortium’ (JUC), comprising of 29 leading Japanese universities to help in structuring the curriculum, research and incorporating critical thinking skills in MJIIT.

MJIIT UTM was launched in September 2011 with the concrete support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In July 2013, the first phase of the JICA Technical Cooperation Project was launched. The 5 years of this first phase has recorded the formation of 18 iKohza (research centres), 70 research laboratories (including service laboratories), the development of a comprehensive Japanese engineering curriculum, including mechanical programmes, electrical, green and environmental engineering technology as well as technology management, joint-supervision program with professors in Japan, double degrees with various Japanese universities, practical training and exchange of students and academics to Japan, as well as various Japanese industry initiatives in Malaysia.

Photo by UTM: Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad during the MJIIT Premier Lecture Series 2018 in UTM Kuala Lumpur.


This phase has also looked at the employability of MJIIT graduates among the leading Japanese companies and has attracted the Japanese to further their studies in MJIIT. MJIIT’s efforts to provide Japanese language exposure at various levels as well as the exposure to the Japanese work culture has provided a great opportunity for MJIIT graduates to serve in Japan. These graduates will return with valuable experience to be shared and learned by the local industries. A total of 30 selected Japanese professors from JUC have contributed to the development of MJIIT throughout this first phase.

Following MJIIT’s achievements, the second phase of JICA Technical Cooperation Project was launched in July 2018 with the purpose of reinforcing and restrategising on the Japanese-style oriented education and research in MJIIT, along the collaboration with other universities and Japanese industrial partners. Some of the missions in this phase are the establishment of special research funds, reinforcing the i-Kohza system (a research centre that is based on the “senpai-kohai” concept), the launch of the “Sangaku-Renkei” centre, which will drive the relationship between Japan-Malaysia academics and industries, strengthening all academic programmes and developing new ones which will contribute to the Industrial Revolution 4.0, as well as strengthening laboratory services and research collaborations with the industries.

Aligned with the launch of the second phase of the JICA Technical Cooperation Project, MJIIT is now steering towards a more contributive role to the LEP 2.0, where transparency and values are the prime policies to achieve sustainable development, efficiency, and visibility as an upgraded version of MJIIT that is relevant to today’s international dynamics. MJIIT operations is seeing continuous improvements, in line with its ‘kaizen’ concept and openness, while also promoting a holistic and persistent work culture through existing talents in UTM and its Japanese counterparts to meet the global needs.

Lembaga Kemajuan Pertanian Kemubu’s (KADA) official visit to MJIIT

Lembaga Kemajuan Pertanian Kemubu’s (KADA) official visit to MJIIT

News from the Media Room of Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) UTM:

On 17th July, 2019 marks the day of the first ever Lembaga Kemajuan Pertanian Kemubu’s (KADA) official visit to Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Kuala Lumpur (UTMKL), specifically to MJIIT UTM. We would like to express our appreciation and gratitude towards YB Senator Datuk Haji Husam bin Musa, Dato’ Frankie P. B. Cheah from the Green Master Global Fine Food Sdn Bhd, KADA board of directors, and delegates, for dropping by and journeying all the way from Kelantan. This visit comes with the purpose to discuss on the potential collaborations between KADA and MJIIT UTM.

Prof. Dr. Ali bin Selamat with YB Senator Datuk Haji Husam bin Musa, Dato’ Frankie P. B. Cheah.


The visit started off with the welcoming remarks and introduction to MJIIT UTM by the Dean, Prof. Dr. Ali bin Selamat. Next, we introduced and briefed on the professional services offered by MJIIT UTM. During the visit, what MJIIT may instantaneously offer to KADA was also discussed.

Inside the meeting room at Level 17, Menara Razak, UTMKL.

After the meeting, the guests were brought to have a look-see at the Advanced Precision Laboratory. Right after, they were entertained to lunch at Residensi UTMKL. Impressed by the services offered by the Gurney Mall @ Residensi UTMKL, YB Senator Datuk Haji Husam bin Musa even bought a few UTM wellness products to be promoted back in Kelantan.

Advanced Precision Laboratory visit.

Lunch at Residensi UTMKL.

We hope to be visiting KADA soon to kick start all the projects discussed today. InshaAllah.

Exchanging of token of appreciation between Prof. Dr. Ali Bin Selamat and YB Senator Datuk Haji Husam bin Musa.

The 1st Aofuoa Summer Camp In Japan 2019

The 1st Aofuoa Summer Camp In Japan 2019

From July 2 to 8, 2019, the first AOFUA summer camp in Japan was hosted by Tokyo City University with the participation of members of “Asia-Oceania Five University Alliance”, DLSU/Philippines, ECU/Australia, MJIIT/Malaysia and TCU/Japan, in addition to the staff participation from MJIIT/Malaysia, SIIT/Thailand and TCU. A total of 25 students attended the summer camp.

In this summer camp, we aim to deepen cross-cultural understanding through exchanges, to learn about problem solving methods required in globalization, and provide opportunities for growth to personnel who can practice it. We have prepared a program with the aim of offering it. The participating students from each country set themes and conducted workshops instructed by our lecturers, hands-on learning, and workshops at our Yatsugatake Mountain Villa for 3 nights & 4 days. Our university’s academic staff, Professor Dr. Shinji Yoshizaki, Vice President, Faculty of Environment, Associate Professor Dr. Kei Saito, Faculty of Urban Life, Associate Professor Dr. Caryl Jimenez, International Center delivered the lectures on sustainable environmental protection, sustainable urban development and leadership seminars. Students also participated in the field study programs such as Tokyo CBD observation, Waste Incineration Plant in Tokyo and Yatsugatake nature observation. Throughout the workshop, Ms. Masako Kishimoto (Executive director of Japan International Cooperation Center) was invited as a lecturer to conduct group discussions while learning “Project Cycle Management Method”. Students participated in long-time multinational members discussion through group work and made presentations on the final presentation session in Tokyo. Students had various cross-cultural experiences and valuable learning opportunities. On the final day, the President Dr. Chitoshi Miki presented the certificate of achievement and the best presenter’s team award. The Individual awards on Leadership, Team Building and Creativity also presented by Principal Lecturer. Many participants said that they really had learned a lot and want to take the next opportunity, and commented that this was the first time they experienced such discussions with multinationals and that this summer camp was valuable experiences.

Groups are separated into 3 groups from different countries.

The schedule for 3 days of field study.

Students during the field study.

Students workshop among each other.

Overview of the Aofuoa Summer Camp 2019.


Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) at UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur

Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) at UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is a standardized criterion-referenced test structured to evaluate and certify Japanese language proficiency for non-native speakers. The JLPT certificates have high credibility internationally, besides having many advantages ranging from recognition as academic credit and graduation certification at schools to preferential treatment at companies and acknowledgement of qualification in society. This test covers the elements such as the language knowledge, reading ability and listening ability. Outside Japan, the test may be held only in July or December in some cities. Therefore, this test is only held twice a year in Malaysia. The JLPT has 5 levels; N1 (most difficult), N2, N3, N4 and N5 (easiest).

For the latest July paper, a total of 36 Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) sat for the test. The candidates are of the 1st, 2nd, 4th year students and also post-graduate students. Each of these students took a different level of JLPT; N2 – 2 students, N3 – 6 students, N4 – 18, students and N5 – 10 students.
During the Career Fair Program, the Japanese companies claimed that the candidates with the JLPT certificates of N3 level and above would stand out compared to the other candidates in job-seeking at Japanese companies in Japan.

Here in Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology, we look at this as an opportunity to improve our graduate employability. Hence, this is one of the reasons MJIIT is promoting JLPT and is in the process of revising the current curriculum.

Sakura Science Plan to the University of Tsukuba

Sakura Science Plan to the University of Tsukuba

7 days in Japan with a group of MJIIT students!

A group of 10 MJIIT students from ChECA Ikohza were given a chance to travel to Japan in a program called Sakura Science Plan at the AP Dr. Kazuya Shimizu Molecular Laboratory, University of Tsukuba. They were appointed a task to conduct an experiment on the assessment of the impact of microbial community structural on biopolymer degradation. Not only that, in this Sakura Science Plan, the teaching of the theoretical part of the molecular of microbiology assessment was also incorporated.

Throughout the 7 days in Japan, the students have taken part in many eye-opening activities such as touring the campus, visiting Tokyo National Museum, lab activities such as bio-polymer degradation and analysis on microbial community change. Following the lab activities, the students then had to conduct a presentation and discussion regarding their experience in the research work and also those related to the Japanese culture. On the last day, before leaving for Kuala Lumpur, they had the opportunity to visit Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.

Day 1: Campus Tour

On the first day of the program, participants visited the Nobel Prize Gallery, Bio-Process Laboratory and Aquatic Eco-Engineering Laboratory. A lecture on molecular analysis on microbes was also delivered by Shimizu Sensei. Soil for the experiment on bio-polymer degradation was collected aroun the Laboratory for Environmental Disaster Building Prevention Research.   

Day 2: Tokyo Tour

On the second day, participants visited the Japanese oldest and largest art museum, Tokyo National Museum (TNM). This museum is located in Ueno Park in Taito, Tokyo. From the visit, participants learned about the ancient Japanese art and Asian art. After visiting the museum, participants were given an opportunity to try the traditional soba in Tokyo.

Day 3 to 5: Lab activities

Experiment on the bio-polymer degradation was carried for 10 samples. From the experiment, DNA was extracted and analysed by using Polymerase Chain Reaction and Agarose Gel Electrophoresis. The experiments were carried with the help of Shimizu Sensei’s postgraduate students. On the third day, a special dinner was held by the UT and JST staffs to celebrate the Sakura Science Plan participants. Various sushi was served and other Malaysian students at UT were also invited for the dinner.

Day 6: Presentation and Discussion Day

After completing the research activity, participants presented their experience in the research work and Japanese culture. Each participant receives insightful comments and questions from Shimizu Sensei regarding their research and Japan experience. A closing ceremony was held after the presentation. The certificate and Sakura Science badge were distributed by Shimizu Sensei to the participants.

Day 7: A Visit to Miraikan, Odaiba

Before departing to Kuala Lumpur, the participants visited Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. Participants were very excited to learn about Japanese innovation and technology.