Malaysian Antarctic expedition gets send-off

SEPANG: It has become increasingly important for Malaysia's economy to be driven by science and technology, said Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) Minister Datuk Seri Madius Tangau said.

He said although the science and technology development is in the right track, it is becoming more important considering the global economic landscape of late.

"Looking at our economic development today, if the country continues to rely on commodities, we will be affected by the burglaries of the market. Thus, the economy needs to be driven by science and technology," he said after the send-off ceremony of the Malaysian Antarctic Scientific Expedition participants at Sama-Sama Hotel today.

Madius also attributed the decline in oil prices to the finding of a new technology in oil production.

"There are lot of challenges. The stakeholders, the government, and the industry must look at science and technology as something very critical and important," he added.

Earlier at the ceremony, a team of eight Malaysian researchers from six local universities will go on a 22-day Antarctic expedition starting Jan 18, to study, among other things, the relationship between Antarctic and climate change, and the pressure on the ozone layer and greenhouse gases.

The members of the expedition, which is coordinated by the Sultan Mizan Antarctic Research Foundation (YPASM), are:
- Dr Mohamad Huzaimy Jusoh (Universiti Teknologi Mara),
- Dr Mohd Shahrul Mohd Nazir and Dr Goh Thian Lai (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia),
- Dr Emienour Muzalina Mustafa (Universiti Malaya),
- Dr Foong Swee Yeok and Muhammad Hilal Mohd Zainudin (Universiti Sains Malaysia),
- Dr Wan Mohd Rauhan Wan Hussin (Universiti Malaysia Terengganu), and
- Aniqah Zulfa Abdul Latif (International Medical University).

Malaysia has been an active member for researches in the Antarctic, and it's participation in the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) on Oct 31, 2011 is a vital step to encourage Malaysians in science development of the poles.

YPASM founding member Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor said the Antarctic expedition will increase the country's knowledge on science and is important to encourage more children to enter the field of science.