Kuala Lumpur, Dec 18- Malaysia needs to reinvigorate science so that it will be ready and able to generate big new ideas and game changing strategies that will create wealth and jobs for the people, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said that the government was aware that it cannot provide for the welfare of Malaysians, unless the country can develop and sustain a strong technological and scientific base.
“Malaysia has a strong commitment to the development of science and technology,” he said at the 2013 Conferment of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) and the announcement of the 2013 Top Research Scientist Malaysia (TRSM) here Tuesday night.
Najib said science and technology was a powerful instrument of social change which effects on modernisation, and not just merely through improved technology but also through changing the lives of individuals and of societies and nations.
He said the concern was that whatever was being proposed by the scientific community it must eventually have a positive impact on the livelihood of the rakyat.
“I realise that this is not going to happen overnight. But comprehensive plan, which addresses the needs of the immediate, combined with the imperatives of the future, must be hatched to position science as key engine of our national economic prosperity,” said Najib.
He also recognised the important role of an organisation like ASM to generate ideas for the government to pursue its agenda of building a resilient and prosperous nation, and a developed nation by year 2020.
Najib also hoped that through an improved science governance system, there would be more focus and co-ordination in doing research and development among various ministries and government agencies, as well as, private sectors.
“I welcome constructive input from all of you as we strive towards attaining our national aspiration, and to that end I look forward to continuous engagement with the scientific community,” he added.
Najib also handed the conferment of Fellowship of the ASM to two Senior Fellows of the academy, namely Director-General of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron and a theoretical physicist, Dr Cheah Swee Ping, and 19 new Fellows of ASM, their fellowship conferment.