Ambassador Joseph Yun and his wife Dr. Billings-Yun visited Perak March 2-3. From the ancient world of the Perak Man to schools and universities that are educating Perak’s future leaders, they saw all that the state has to offer.
Ambassador Travels Back in Time
Ambassador Yun and his wife Dr. Billings-Yun toured the historic archaeological site at Lenggong Valley. Accompanied by Prof Datuk Dr Zuraina Majid, the archaeologist who excavated the site, they discovered the wealth of human history in the heart of Malaysia. The site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, contains Perak Man, the skeletal remains of a man who lived in the area more than 10,000 years ago. According to Prof Datuk Dr. Zuraina Majid, this provides evidence that the ancestors of modern day humans migrated from Africa through Malaysia. Ambassador Yun and Dr. Billings-Yun also touched a meteorite that scientific analysis shows hit the earth approximately 1.8 million years ago!
His Royal Highness Raja Dr Nazrin Shah Regent of Perak meets Ambassador Yun and Dr. Billings-Yun
His Royal Highness Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah, Regent of Perak, hosted the Ambassador for a discussion over tea. They talked about the rich history in Perak, as well state initiatives in fields such as education and business.
Ambassador has Coffee with Living Legend Dato Lat
Over a piping hot cup of sweet Ipoh white coffee, Dato’ Lat shared with Ambassador Yun his fifty years of experience as a cartoonist in Malaysia. Dato’ Lat stressed the importance of celebrating the multi-racial diversity in Malaysia, explaining that his cartoons emphasized the importance of community. He regaled the Ambassador with his experiences traveling to the United States to work with and learn from U.S. cartoonists and artists.
Ambassador Yun visits Kampung Orang Asli Sungai Bil in Slim River
Ambassador Yun travelled to Kampung Orang Asli Sungai Bil in Slim River to meet with the developers, teachers and students in the Empowered to Teach! project. This project aims to increase the education standards among Malaysian indigenous communities by teaching young people within the indigenous communities how to provide pre-school and after school education within their own village. This project is run by an IVLP alumnus through a grant from the Department’s Alumni Engagement and Innovation Fund (AEIF). The Ambassador underscored that the program is funded as a part of a larger effort that promotes innovative solutions to global challenges. Two Fulbright English Teaching Assistants located in Slim River also attended this event.
During a visit to the Sultan Idris Education University (UPSI), both Ambassador Yun and Vice Chancellor Prof. Dato’ Dr. Zakaria Kasa agreed that educational exchange is fundamental to enhancing bilateral relations and understanding between the people of the United States and Malaysia. Dato’ Zakaria, who is an American graduate was enthusiastic about U.S. educational programs and expressed interest in establishing a Center of American Studies at UPSI as well as collaborating with the U.S. Embassy and the Malaysian-American Commission of Educational Exchange (MACEE) on related programs. Currently, UPSI is hosting a Benjamin A. Gilman International Program scholar and nine International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) U.S. students. UPSI is the only Malaysian university participating in the ISEP program, which facilitates one-semester reciprocal exchanges between universities from various countries. Other than the Vice Chancellor, Ambassador Yun also held brief discussions with other faculty members and several American exchange students at UPSI.