Two lecturers from the University of Malaya’s Department of History will be involved in a tracking development project organised by the Royal Netherlands Institute of South East Asia and Caribbean Studies and the African Studies Centre.

UM Institute of Asia-Europe Deputy Director Dr Hamidin Abdul Hamid and Dr Joseph M. Fernando will be involved in research work to determine variations in the economic growth of the eight South-east Asian countries and Africa, which included Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Uganda.

Higher Education Ministry’s Secretary-General Datuk Dr Adham Baba said the project, which would take five years, involved financing of RM50 million by the Netherlands government.

“Dr Hamidin’s and Dr Fernando’s participation proves that universities in the country are capable of handling research of international standards,” he told Bernama after launching the research project, here Wednesday.

He said the participation of the two lecturers would promote Malaysia’s image internationally.

Adham believed that the research would provide the people with better insight on the direction of the country’s development, social and cultural policies as well as poverty in comparison with other countries.

He said the Higher Education Ministry also allocated RM67 million for research grants to 18 public institutions of higher learning in the country.

“We also get allocation from the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, as well as grants from private companies locally and abroad,” he added.