Malaysia wants to collaborate closely with India in the areas of biodiversity and education, Malaysia's Minister for Natural Resources and Environment G. Palanivel said here Wednesday. "As one of the 12 mega diverse countries in the world, Malaysia has in place many conservation programmes relating to biodiversity conservation - such as our extensive network of protected forest areas," Palanivel said in his address as the chief guest at the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the annual gathering of the people of Indian origin.
Palanivel is also the president of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), which is part of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition in the southeast Asian country. He said his country was revising its national policy on biodiversity to make it in line with the new global strategy. According to the minister, Malaysia has learnt from India's experiences on the implementation of the National Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
Palanivel said there was a lot of room for expansion in the field of education too as his country was aspiring to be a hub for education in the region. Stating that Malaysian students have been coming to India for a long time to pursue their studies in the fields of medicine, dentistry and engineering, he said Indian institutes have taken a step forward by setting up campuses in Malaysia.
"Among those who have initiated setting up campuses in the country are Manipal International University and Vinayaka Mission University," he said. He also invited the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to set up a campus in his country. Ethnic Indians comprise a little over seven percent of Malaysia's total population of nearly 30 million.