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Oleh/By		:	DATO' SERI DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD 
Tempat/Venue 	: 	UNIVERSITI PERTANIAN 
			MALAYSIA, (UPM) 
Tarikh/Date 	: 	10/05/83 
Tajuk/Title  	: 	KEY NOTE - ON SCIENCE AND NATIONAL 
			DEVELOPMENT AT THE OFFICIAL OPENING 
			OF FORUM SAINS KEBANGSAAN UNIVERSITI 




(Delivered by The Honourable Datuk Sulaiman Daud, Minister of
Education) Yang Mulia Pengerusi Majlis; Dif-Dif Kehormat; Tuan-tuan dan
Puan-puan yang dihormati sekelian.

Saya mengucapkan ribuan terima kasih kepada pihak penganjur di atas
penghormatan yang diberikan kepada saya untuk memberi ucapan dan juga
membuka Forum Sains Kebangsaan ini. Walau bagaimanapun, oleh sebab saya
terpaksa berlepas ke luar negeri pagi ini, saya meminta maaf kerana tidak
dapat hadir bersama di majlis ini. Saya mengucapkan terima kasih kepada
Yang Berhormat Datuk Dr. Sulaiman Daud, Menteri Pelajaran kerana sudi
menyampaikan ucapan ini bagi pihak diri saya.

Saya mengambil peluang ini mengucapkan setinggi-tinggi tahniah kepada
Universiti Pertanian Malaysia di atas usaha-usaha menganjurkan Forum ini,
dan saya berharap Forum ini akan berjaya melahirkan perakuan-perakuan yang
konkrit dan praktikal selaras dengan tema dan tujuannya.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

INTRODUCTION 

Man is God's special creation. While science may regard him as one of the
categories of animals, his ability to reason differentiates him from the
others. He has all the animal instincts, but he is more mobile and able to
control his environment and destiny.

ability to choose, between good and bad, to differentiate what is moral
and immoral. He has the choice of what he should be, and become.

3. From history we see this progress though it may not be linear. Today,
we are at another stage of progress. The achievements made within this
last few centuries has been unprecedented. Discoveries, inventions and
innovation in the fields of science of technology have changed almost
everything and we are on the threshold of an age of excellence.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

MAN, HUMANITY AND DEVELOPMENT

4. Given man's ability to make choices to serve his general good, the
question is whether he is fulfilling the future. It is for this that he is
gifted with the ability to reason, not just to seek knowledge and truth
but with the knowledge to be of service to humanity.

- materially and spiritually - a better quality of life and
living. Development is, therefore, an environment that enables individuals
to have a truly meaningful existence as human beings in the context of the
whole scheme of existence, and therefore, a process for achieving this
higher state of well-being. It is a totality and a balanced progress
within a normative framework, at the core of which is humanity.

6. National development is a major preoccupation of modern states. It is
an instinctive response to man's quest for better existence. National
development is the process of achieving a better state of well being given
a certain set of norms and values of what is good and desirable.

7. The concept of development and national development has gone through a
process of change and adaptation itself. While initially it's emphasis was
more on material economic progress, today, more and more it is seen as a
total upliftment and balanced progress. Today, development is no longer
accepted as a cultural-bound wastern-biased phenomenon, but as a contrived
phenomenon with importance placed to its particular context. Its material
and physical components are regarded only as a dimension and more as a
means for realising a greater, fuller and meaningful human existence
materially and spiritually. soft and hard sciences. Unfortunately modern
day branches of knowledge, developed more on less independently of each
other. The people of various disciplines, again as a modern day phenomenon
of knowledge explosion and obsessions with protecting the legitimacy and
mystique of one's field, do not necessarily share a common philosophy
about the place of science and development. It is indeed, infortunate,
that philosophy which has been the apex of, and an integrative point of
pre-modern knowledge is no longer performing that role.

9. Thus today many people are still arguing about exclusive good of
man; its abuse allows the evolution of a culture that is contrary to the
higher ideals and basic norms of humanity. Moral decadence, brutality and
social upheavals, militancy and oppression are menifestations of some
dysfunctional effects of science on modern day generation. Not that
science is bad, but some people who apply it lacks hummanity at heart. If
there is misuse or abuse, it is the society, and more specifically the
individuals in the society. We should not place the blame on science. The
pursuit of science must go on, and even at a greater pace but serious
considerations must be given to enable science to be utilized for the
greater good of men and humanity. It is an area within the realm of
conscience.

10. in our times, today. Yet, the paradox is that we also claim that we
have the potentials of producing enough food for the whole world
population, and to raise the standard of living of the whole human race to
a lavel unknown before.

11. Today, vast sums of funds are being used for military purposes and
human sufferings are made to support the war industry. And again vast sums
are spent to maintain international outfits whose preoccupation is empty
rehetorics. Big nations may be able to indulge in these luxury but not the
smaller nations. We are still far from meeting the challenge facing
humanity. To optimise the application of knowledge, science and technology
for the betterment of mankind, is a challenge facing us, the present
generation.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

SCIENCE AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: THE MALAYSIAN CASE 

12. Malaysia is most fortunate. Though events in our history have posed us
with many problems, we have the necessary ingredients to make Malaysia a
case of sucess in national development. Given abudant natural resources,
what we need now is a motivated and hard working society with high moral
values and discipline, and the proper application of science and
technology to serve our needs and aspirations for greater achievements.

13. In our case, science and technology, and indeed the whole spectrum of
knowledge must be developed and utilized as a tool for fulfilling our
aspirations towards peace, prosperty, unity and justice for all
Malaysians.

14. In its widest sense, science is the systematic method of describing
and controlling the material world and is based on the study of natural
laws of the Universe. The development of scientific laws, theories and
principles over the last 6,000 years are a result of man's enquiring mind
in his search for knowledge and truth. Science does not create but
discover what exists.

15. We in Malaysia, view knowledge and science as the pre requisite, of
all human endeavours. In accordance with the teaching of Islam we believe
that it is our duty to create and develop a conducive enviroument for the
promotion of knowledge and sciences which in essence are efforts in
confirming devine truth. Our Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said "The quest for
knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim".

16. Science does not just serve human curiosity but more importantly it is
to serve his needs. We cannot deny that the world is shaped by technology
and that the successful application of science have resulted in
technological breakthrough as well as in the production of trained and
competent manpower for national development. Science is "know-why" while
technology is "know-how". In other words, science produces knowledge while
technology helps in the prodution of wealth. Science without the by-play
of technology becomes sterile, and technology without science becomes
moribund.

17. Let us take a lesson from history. The golden age of Islamic
civilization was the period of high achievement in various sciences. This
has triggered the Renaissance in Europe and led the West on a new road to
scientific development and glory. Science in the Islamic world became
neglected and eventually led to the decline of the Islamic civilization as
a pacesetter in world affairs.

18. Today nations, including Malaysia, look forward to science and
technology for salvaging stagnant economies and in overcoming misery and
poverty. However, in order to ensure a healthy development there must be a
balance both in the development and application of hard and
softsciences. This is necessary if we are to ensure a balanced development
and reduce the unintended consequences and undesirable effects of
development.

19. Science and technology is a powerful instrument of social change; its
effects on modernization is not merely through improved technology but
also through changing the lives of individuals and of societies and
nations.

20. Some generalisations have been made on the reasons why developing
nations show little progress towards achieving greater
prosperity. Firstly, it is the lack of adequate resources especially
skilled manpower and advanced technical know-how. Secondly, the failure to
recognize the important given to arms build up than to scienctific and
sosial development, and fourthly, there is a lack of sincere co-operation
from advanced nations which are still holding fast to the theory of
scarcity and are reluctant to see the developing economies as equal
competitiors and partners in international affairs.

21. Such generalisations may not be wholly applicable to Malaysia, but
being a developing nation there are much to be done to take us through the
take-off stage.

22. On achieving indepence we embarked on programmes in nation building
and socio-economic development. "Rome was not built in a day," but we do
not have all the time in the world either. So we strive and made use of
the resources and capabilities that we had. Now, through this cumulative
process, we are on a stronger foundation for greater achievements.

23. Where, before, we had no university, we now have five universities and
numerous technical institutions. Education in the sciences has been
encouraged and given higher priority over the general education in the
arts. We established research institutions in agriculture, forestry,
medical sciences, industry and even on the application of nuclear
materials. A National Council for Scientific Research and Development, a
consultative body to advise the Government on scientific and technical
matters and to ensure that research activities are geared towards national
development needs and goals was established in 1975.

24. Education is important. Every year thousands graduated from
universities and colleges in our country as well as from colleges and
universities overseas, and many are being trained in science and
technological fields. We are aware that the development of our human
resources is equaly as important as the development of natural
resources. Without indigenous science and technology, the resources of a
nation cannot be fully exploited for our development.

25. With our efforts we have progressed in a number of fields. In terms of
research on the production of rubber from Havea plants we are ahead of
other nations; our work on tropical diseases are commendable, and our
approach to land settlement is an example for many developing
countries. We cannot be contented with our achievement but, on the other
hand, we have to address ourselves to the challenges ahead of us in
entering the new decade.

26. Whether there is any need for extensive education in science and
technology for Malaysia is no longer a question. The task before us is to
ensure that our educational development and our research are constantly
geared towards our specific cultural, socio-economic and political
milieu. Do science curricula in our schools and universities contain the
elements that are needed. What are the necessary adaptation to
required. These are basic questions which are pertinent to our aim in
fostering a dynamic scientific community.

27. The greatest challenge in science education is the process of
instilling the right attitudes to learning and conducting our
work. Attitude is a product of environment. The attitude towards work and
production of technological goods shown by the Japanese differ greatly
with that of the western nations such as Britain or the U.S.A. and this
factor explains partly for the advancement in high technology attained by
the former. On the other hand, the attitude towards enquiry and towards
seeking new knowledge, has put Britain and U.S.A. ahead of others in terms
of innovations and invention. Similarly, the Germans have excelled
themselves in chemistry because the Germans in general are thorough in
their analysis, classification and construction of systems. It is
therefore essential for us in Malaysia to develop and incorporate into our
culture the kind of attitudes that can make science and technology the
basis of our development.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

APPLICATION OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 

28. What we want in Malaysia, at this point in time, is a greater, more
aggressive, and appropriate utilisation and application of science and
technology for our development in the various fields. Our economic growth
requires the concurrent development of agriculture and industry whose
symbiotic relationship should be maximally nurtured and developed
together. Whereas agricultural technology must necessarily be adapted to
the specific environment or ecological circumstances and the local farming
system, industrial technology and techniques, if soneeded, can usually be
transplanted without major modifications. Nevertheless in both cases,
given the specific needs and the particularity of a given situation,
supporting institutions will be required to help select or generate the
most appropriate technology and to adapt it to suit the local needs and
conditions. Therefore, the improvement of indigenous technology and
adaptation of imported technology, deserve close attention. In this regard
we need a sensitive scientfic and research community.

29. In our effort to enhance improved technology, expenditure alone may
not serve our goals. There must, at the same time, be a right attitude to
see to a balanced development of a continuous innovation chain linking
scientific research, market research, development design, production, and
market acceptance. Experience elsewhere has indicated the need to keep
basic and applied research in proportion to development and design, and to
other scientific and technological activities. A proper and systematic
co-ordination of science, technology and production is a must. And since
linkages between government, production and research are important, and
that their effectiveness may be more decisive than the actual physical
form of the overall organisation, then a well formulated strategy and plan
with the necessary co-ordinative mechanism is a prerequisite and
necessities a centralised function, at the national level where decision
can be made in relation to national goals and priorities.

30. In the process of utilizing science and technology for development, we
must make the best use of our national scientific and technological
potential, in a two-way interaction with economic and social planning. We
need to strengthen the supporting service activities, and raising the
general level of productive competence. We need to make the best use of
imported technology while at the same time generate appropriate indigenous
ones. This requires attention both to the mechanism for the transfer of
technology, and to the propagating of our own scientific and technological
competence. In other words, we need a balanced distribution of scientific
and technological personnel besides an adequate supply of managerial and
enterpreneurial talents.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

EDUCATION 

31. Since the impact of industrialization through science and technology,
industrializing countries have been facing the problem of striking a
balance between adopting western technology and maintaining traditional
values. The adoption of new technology and along with it alien negative
norms is not what we want. There is this twin problem of preserving
positive traditional values on the one hand, and changing attitudes and
values to suit the demands of modern technology on the other. We must be
sensitive to this and our education, formal and informal, has an important
role to play to see to it that our people can sieve through what is
necessary and appropriate.

32. The teaching of science must take a new orientation. The overall
objective of the new approach in science teaching is to foster a living
science, as a dynamic force for societal improvement. Our efforts must be
geared towards the creation of a scientific mind. So far, science teaching
has remained in its traditional form where sciences are taught for science
sake, without showing much of its usefulness and practicality in everyday
life. In the classrooms, scientific laws are learnt, not
discovered; hypothesis are not tested but taught. Such a curriculum does
little to develop an attitude for a critical enquiry, adaptability and
objective understanding. Thus the ability to critically observe, analyse
and conclude on everyday phenomena has remained to be the exclusive realm
of scientists alone. The general public continues to be passive consumers
of scientific facts, discoveries and inventions. In fact, there is a
tendency for some people to look upon science as something mysterious and
complicated. As such scientific discoveries and inventions are not
analytically viewed as an ordinary achievements of mankind.

33. The make up of a scientific mind begins from young, and there must be
continuous follow through. Given the present situation the task again
falls on the scientific community to assist in making science education
more interesting and applicable to the daily lives of the different level
of our people. Science must be made to serve and not as a plaything of
exclusive few who are scientists. We must strive to see to the birth of
Malaysians who not only specialize in various fields but both having and
able to utilize the tools and instruments of science and the humanities as
a way of life.

34. The question of social-technical balance in development is an
important dimension. In striving for a balanced development of scientific
and humanistic knowledge there is a need to incorporate within the social
dimension moral and religious elements. As a matter of fact we have made a
good start in this respect through the restructuring of the primary school
syllabus where a more scientific and natural approach to the study of
nature and society is complemented by the inculcation of religious and
moral values. We will continue to strengthen this base at the secondary
and tertiary levels so that increased technical learning at these level
would not result in the production of scientists who are not
socio-culturally sensitive.

35 In working towards the above objectives, our scientists themselves have
a big role. They should organize themselves into some kind of a national
society which will serve as a forum for exchanging ideas on matters
relating to science and development. Many models are available but one
which suit our own need and special socio-political situation will need to
be evolved.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT 

36. I have been stressing the fact that advancement in science and
technology is important in national development. At the core of it is
research and development (R&D). This colitical of research and development
underscored by the quite well defined. However, in third world countries
this component has been lacking, be it in terms of funding, organization
or the establishment of priorities. For example, research expenditure for
most third world countries have been less than the UNESCO recommended
ratio of 1% of GNP. In the case of Malaysia, public expenditure on
research was only 0.63% for 1980 and 0.64% for 1981.

37. Among the logical reasons cited for inadequate research funding are
the huge capital outlay involved in R & D as well as the the long span of
time necessary before benefits can be reaped and this is especially so in
the case of basic research. Greater commitment will have to be given if we
are to see the support role of science and research come to reality. While
the public sector role is critical no less important is the share of the
private sector. No less also is the critical role of research entities to
organize institutions and research threats as a prove of their capability
and sense of commitment. We must now concentrate to set our priorities in
the light of our long term objectives. Basic and applied research are
complementary and mutually reinforcing. The product of basic research must
not be merely imported but instead basic research must be undertaken
locally for the upgrading and adaptation of information for advanced
applied research as well as the exploration of new frontiers. In the case
of Japan there is no denying that a great investment has been put into the
establishment of infrastructure for basic research as far back as
1930's. The present advanced stage of Japanese science and technology can
be attributed to this investment.

38. Presently Japan has one of the most elaborate mechanism for science
policy organisation in the public sector as well as the most comprehensive
network of basic and applied scientific research institutions in both the
public and 38. Research and development also require manpower planning and
development so as to ensure adequate supply of manpower necessary to carry
out research and utilize the benefits of research. Manpower policy must be
tailored to cater for the needed development. The task of performing
intensive formal as well as in-service training fuctions should be jointly
provided by the public and private sectors, and it is hoped that this can
be made possible in the future. In Japan, private corporations have
enormous training facilities including enrollment into company-owned
technical schools, colleges as well as two year training apprenticeship
for newly hired engineers. This is possible partly due to the life-time
employment system whereby investment on training of personnel is not
wasted due to high turnover of employees.

39. From the experiences of our six national plans we should be in a
better positions to devise a national manpower development plan that
incorporates not only the necessary training of manpower in critical areas
of science and technology, but also the contribution of the private sector
in the training as well as the forecasting of future manpower to meet
required target.

40. Co-operation between the private sector and the public sector is still
the essence. This no less fit our concept of Malaysia Incorporated. The
private sector will have to shoulder some of the responsibilities in R & D
as well as manpower planning and development. On the other hand, the
bureaucracy has to fully appreciate the nature of research and its
benefits to national advancement. It is in this light that leadership in
research organizations should be headed by competent managers who can
organize efficient research and appreciate the needs and aspirations of
scientists. At the same time, to ensure maximum productivity of research
sufficient motivation must be devised in terms of status, incentives and
rewards. Only then can support, funding and utilization of research be
given its proper place be it in terms of basic or applied research,
between agriculture and industry and even between foreign and local
expertise.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

CONCLUSION 

41. Through all these planned efforts we are hopeful the role and forces
of science in our national development.

42. With these words, I now have the pleasure of of declaring this Forum
officially opened.

Thank you.

 



 


 











 
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