PUTRAJAYA, Feb 5 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the People’s Political Consultative Conference of China, witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement in relation to the development of the first overseas branch campus of top Chinese institution of higher learning, Xiamen University, at Sri Perdana, here tonight.
Upon arrival of the Chinese entourage at Sri Perdana around 8.25 pm, Jia Qingling had a brief meeting with Najib for some 40 minutes, before they witnessed the ceremony.
Xiamen University was represented by its president Zhu Chongshi while the Malaysian side by the Sunsuria Development Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Ter Leong Yap.
On Jan 21, Najib had announced that the government had approved in principle the setting up of Xiamen University’s first overseas campus on a 60.72-hectare site at Salak Tinggi, near here, expected to be operational in September 2015.
The development was historic as this is the first time that the Chinese government has allowed one of its universities to set up its campus abroad.
The cost of setting up the branch campus is estimated to be about RM600 million, of which RM400 million would be spent during the first stage of its establishment.
Also present at the ceremony were the Prime Minister’s Special envoy to China and Chairman of the Malaysia-China Business Council, Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, and Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
Najib and Jia Qinglin later were ushered to the dining hall where they were joined by the Prime Ministers’ wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
Jia, who arrived yesterday, is on a four-day visit to Malaysia, and earlier today, he and Najib had officiated the ground-breaking ceremony for the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP), in Gebeng, Kuantan, Pahang.