WORLD

UTM ASC PROF KUMARAGURU AWARDED 'THE ORDER OF THE RISING SUN' DECORATION

13/06/2024 04:01 PM

By Noor Bakhtiar Ahmad

KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 (Bernama) -- Associate Professor Kumaraguru Ramayah of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has been awarded The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.

The Order of the Rising Sun, established in 1875, is Japan's oldest award system.

The various classes of decoration within The Order of the Rising Sun are awarded to individuals, both Japanese and non-Japanese nationals, in recognition of their distinguished accomplishments.

The award was presented by the Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Takahashi Katsuhiko during a ceremony at his official residence here on Thursday.

Kumaraguru, an Associate Professor at the Language Academy, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities UTM, was honoured for his significant contributions.

In his speech, Takahashi highlighted Kumaraguru sensei's role in promoting Japanese language education in Malaysia and fostering mutual understanding between the two countries.

The term "Sensei" in Japanese is used as a title of honour for specialists in their respective fields.

“Kumaraguru sensei became one of the most prominent Japanese language instructors here in Malaysia.

“Kumaraguru sensei has engaged in various activities to promote Japanese language education in Malaysia and mutual understanding between our two countries,” he said.

Takahashi also noted Kumaraguru's pivotal role in establishing Japanese language courses at UTM, transforming it into a hub for Japanese language education in southern Malaysia.

“Although the majors of UTM students were mainly engineering-related, he successfully introduced Japanese language as a free elective subject by developing his own syllabus and teaching method,” Takahashi said.

Expressing his gratitude during an interview with Bernama, Kumaraguru described the honour as a profound recognition of his dedication and passion for promoting Japanese language education.

“It's a great, greatest honour. I feel on top of the world.

“Receiving this honour from the Emperor of Japan is the highest recognition. It's not just for me; it's for my institution, UTM, and also for my country, Malaysia. I believe it is a significant acknowledgment of Japanese language education in Malaysia as a whole,” he said.

Kumaraguru initially worked as an English teacher at a primary school in Malaysia before making significant contributions to promoting Japanese language education and fostering mutual understanding between Malaysia and Japan.

The catalyst for Kumaraguru's career path as a Japanese language teacher was his selection for a Public Service Department (JPA) scholarship under Malaysia's Look East Policy (LEP). He became the first Malaysian Indian to receive this scholarship for the Japanese language teacher programme.

After completing his studies at the University of Tsukuba as an LEP scholar, Kumaraguru returned to Japan and earned a master’s degree in Comparative Linguistics under a Japanese Government scholarship.

-- BERNAMA


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