By INS Contributors

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Shortly after gaining independence in 1991, the Kazakhstan launched the Bolashaq scholarship program (means “future” in Kazakh language). The aim was to enhance the young nation’s human capital that increases over time by the quantity and quality of its educational investment, on-the-job training, geographic mobility, and emotional and physical well-being. This initiative marked a pivotal step in the country’s journey towards progress and democracy through educational reforms and the development of highly qualified professionals.

Initially, the Bolashaq program was launched to support students pursuing bachelor’s degrees. However, over the years, the program has expanded to include those pursuing their Master’s and PhD, as well as internship opportunities - reflecting Kazakhstan’s commitment to nurturing talent at all levels. This transition has been driven by the country’s shift towards a market economy, which demands a highly skilled workforce capable of meeting the needs of a rapidly evolving global marketplace.

The Bolashaq programme has achieved visible results since 1993 by giving opportunities to more than 12,500 citizens who graduated from 200 of the world’s leading universities; with a new mindset and visionary, they work towards the development of Kazakhstan, both within the country and the promotion of the country’s national interests in the world.

Building on the strength of more than 30 years of diplomatic relations, bilateral ties between Kazakhstan and Malaysia have been developing dynamically in various fields. Through a strategic alliance with Kuala Lumpur, the country has opened a gateway to the ASEAN market. Kazakhstan’s unique geographical position makes it extremely well placed strategically to be the bridge between East and West.

Two of the Bolashaq alumni are currently working at the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Malaysia. Aiman Turebekova, who now works as the Embassy’s Second Secretary and press-attaché, has been continuing her diplomatic career in Kuala Lumpur after graduating from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her completion of a Master’s degree in Public Policy has given added value in helping her work with quantitative and qualitative data in order to make deep analysis based on facts and figures. Additionally, her experience in working with global media outlets plays a critical role in engaging with Malaysia’s media. 

My focus is to raise people’s awareness on Kazakhstan’s rich history and culture, best tourism destinations and milestone events as a matter of interests of investors and guests

Quote by Aiman Turebekova, the Second Secretary and press-attaché
Aiman Turebekova

 “My focus is to raise people’s awareness on Kazakhstan’s rich history and culture, best tourism destinations and milestone events as a matter of interests of investors and guests. This June, Malaysia witnessed the unique voice of the Kazakh singer Dimash Kudaibergen that extends over six octaves. His followers from more than forty nations came to Kuala Lumpur to immerse themselves in his magical repertoire containing songs in thirteen languages. I am very proud that his talent has been recognized worldwide and conquered the hearts of Malaysians.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia organised an outstanding multi-cultural festival in October 2023 inviting the Kazakh folklore and ethnographic ensemble “Korkyt”, as a result the music of Kazakhstan’s vast steppe again spread in Malaysia. I am setting new projects and goals to enhance the popularity of the Kazakh culture - my incentive is to bring people closer to the rich heritage and history, which consequently flourish people-to-people ties,” the diplomat highlighted.

Meiirzhan Kukeyev, the Embassy’s Attaché, earned his Master’s degree in Management of Development Projects from the University of Manchester, and similarly has replenished Kazakhstan diplomats’ ranks as well. He has contributed to strengthening the relationship between Kazakhstan and Malaysia. His expertise in the project development, which involves organizing and planning all variables that go into a project, benefits the Embassy’s work to determine any projects’ outline.

Enhancing the bilateral relationship between Kazakhstan and Malaysia is my goal

Quote by Meiirzhan Kukeyev, the Embassy’s Attaché
Meiirzhan Kukeyev

“Enhancing the bilateral relationship between Kazakhstan and Malaysia is my goal. Cooperation between our two countries have been deepening at the various multilateral platforms as we share common values on the geopolitical stands. Interparliamentary relations have been developing together with other fields of interaction. Mutual understanding and friendship between Astana and Putrajaya make it comfortable and enjoyable to implement joint projects,” said Kukeyev.

Kazakhstan has been successfully developing its balanced foreign policy. As a country with a growing market, it has enormous prospects to become a transport and logistics hub in Central Asia. There are beautiful sceneries and adventures, which attract tourists from around the globe. Direct flights from Almaty to Kuala Lumpur, planned to be launched next year, are expected to the people, tourists and businesses of the two countries even closer.