Exclusive report by Yasmin Ahmad Zukiman
BEIJING, Oct 16 -- The ASEAN-China Young Leaders Scholarship (ACYLS) programme is an initiative to deepen understanding and strengthening the relations through various aspects including culture and social outlook.
ASEAN deputy secretary-general for Socio-Cultural Community Kung Phoak said the ACYLS was timely and relevant as it would equip participants with knowledge, as well as tackling challenges arising from regional and global phenomena such as digital revolution.
In his remarks at the ACYLS 2019, Kung said the scholarship recipients must have the courage to explore, experiment and establish sustainable solutions for ASEAN countries, communities as well as for future generations.
“Undoubtedly, this programme will be able to strengthen people-to-people connectivity which is the utmost foundation for long standing partnership particularly in the areas pertaining to this scholarship programmes, education, international trade, international relations, logistics and engineering,” he said at the welcoming ceremony of the first batch of ACYLS at Peking University here on Tuesday (Oct 15).
ACYLS is an initiative in response to the call of the leaders of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and ASEAN Member States (AMS) to increase people-to-people exchanges, strengthen educational cooperation and promote academic exchanges and linkages between AMS and the PRC.
The programme is a move to foster a third pillar of socio-cultural and people-to-people exchanges within ASEAN-China relationship towards building a closer community of shared future.
“I hope that as you take in this invaluable experiences and inside of China, you will also serve as the ambassador to China by sharing what you’ve learned with your friends and family back home when you complete this programme,” Kung said, while expressing his appreciation to China for supporting the ACYLS efforts.
Malaysian ACYLS first batch recipient, Kathleen Kang, who will undergo a two-year Masters in Finance programme at the University of International Business and Economics here, hoped that she could contribute her experience, expertise and knowledge for Malaysia’s development.
“Through ACYLS, I hope I will be able to learn more in terms of culture, the way of life, education system, new knowledge, as well as strengthening the e-commerce and business,” she said when met by Bernama and RTM journalists who participated in a-week programme of the 2019 ASEAN Mainstream Media Delegation to China.
Meanwhile, education counsellor at the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing Abdul Aziz How Abdullah said four recipients from various backgrounds were selected to represent the country for the first batch of ACYLS 2019.
He said it was a great opportunity for Malaysia as this year also marked the 45th anniversary of China-Malaysia relations.
“ACYLS is a great effort for us to better understand and also use the opportunity to develop the country because as we know, in China, the technology and innovation are advanced.
"I hope we can take the opportunity to build a network of partnerships from the research aspect and adopt good practices that can be shared between the two countries," he said.