Inaugural LEP Alumni Gathering Celebrates 40 Years of Strengthening South Korea-Malaysia Ties
By Nabilah Saleh
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 (Bernama) -- The inaugural Look East Policy (LEP) South Korea-Malaysia alumni gathering held here recently highlighted the substantial contributions of over 5,000 Malaysian civil servants, students, and industry professionals who have benefitted from education and industrial experience in the East Asian nation.
South Korean Ambassador to Malaysia, Yeo Seung Bae, in his keynote remarks during the South Korea-Malaysia 2023 LEP Alumni dinner, emphasised the crucial role these individuals have played over four decades in strengthening bilateral relations.
Yeo also expressed pride and gratitude for the alumni's dedicated role as 'a bridge' in fostering person-to-person exchange, economic collaboration, and cultural affinity between the two nations.
“I am proud of and grateful for your devoted role as ‘a bridge’ in every step of this development and look forward to your continued contributions. The South Korean government always stands by you -- the alumni. I hope that our two countries will move forward together also in the coming 40 years,” he said during the dinner event held here recently, which gathered all alumni, among others from EDP-COTI Malaysia (COTI), GKS Alumni Malaysia (MyGKS), and Alumni Graduan Institusi Korea Kebangsaan (AGIKO).
Hosted by the South Korean embassy here, about 400 members of the alumni groups including Dewan Rakyat Speaker, Tan Sri Johari Abdul and Sime Darby Berhad Chairman, Tan Sri Samsudin Osman attended the event besides South Korean corporations.
Initiated in 1983 with the training of Malaysian civil servants in South Korea, the LEP has evolved into a cornerstone of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and South Korea.
Beyond its initial purpose, the policy has become a catalyst for the exchange of knowledge, culture, and expertise, fostering a deepened mutual understanding and friendship.
Yeo noted that over 160,000 Malaysians visited South Korea this year, solidifying Malaysia as the 7th most popular destination for South Koreans.
High-level exchanges, including a landmark summit between President Yoon Suk Yeol and Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, underscore the growing diplomatic collaboration.
“Economic cooperation reached a record US$26.7 billion last year, spanning various sectors from defence and the halal food industry to cutting-edge technologies such as semiconductors, batteries, green hydrogen, and carbon capture storage (CCS),” said Yeo.