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National Space Policy 2030 to drive Malaysia to development in space sector

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak chairing a meeting of the National Science Council (NSC) at Bangunan Perdana Putra in Putrajaya, February 7, 2017.

Malaysia: The National Science Council (NSC) has agreed to create the 2030 National Space Policy to drive development in the national space sector.

The policy aimed to ensure that benefits could be obtained from the space sector and contribute toward a new and strategic economic growth.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who chaired the first meeting of the NSC for this year, said the policy was in line the national objective of remaining to be excellent in the field of outer space science.

He said that the extraordinary success of Malaysia’s young scientists in the field of astrophysics scientific research that uncovered the existence of supermassive black holes should encourage and provide inspiration to the young generation.

“I hope that this success can become an incentive and inspiration to the young generation to venture into the fields of astronomy and astrophysics in Malaysia and inject motivation and spirit to local researchers in physics and astronomy,” he said in his opening speech at the NSC meeting, here today.

The NSC, which was set up last year, was based on the rationale that the Science, Technology and Innovations (STI) agenda could be monitored and coordinated under one council only to avoid duplication.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations (MOSTI), Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said the formulation of the National Space Policy enabled the planning and development of the national space sector to be implemented in a more proper manner for efficient management.

He said the policy formed the basis for the formulation of the Outer Space Act aimed at supervising activities and operations relating to the space sector such as the launching and operation of satellites, registration of objects launched into outer space, the operation of an Earth station and related activities.

“Malaysia also needs the act to enable the government to ratify several international outer space agreements that had been signed,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the NSC today agreed to adopt ‘The Malaysian Code of Responsible Conduct in Research’ (MCRCR) as a code of ethics and major source of reference for all types of researches in the country.

MCRCR is a code of ethics that covers all aspects of researches and principles as well as a responsible conduct of practice.

The implementation of the MCRCR will improve the national ecosystem on research management and subsequently improve the level of research integrity and public trust on the outcome of researches in Malaysia.

Najib said the MCRCR was formulated as a code of ethics to improve national competitiveness in research, development and innovations that would become a major reference and adopted by interested parties.

“The code of ethics in research is very important for researchers to defend the reputation of a particular research.

“Unfortunately, reports of malpractices by researchers such as plagiarism and manipulating facts in their research are also often heard. Such malpractices should be curbed,” he said.

Najib said the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) were also important to prepare career opportunities for the future and as a preparation for the country to face the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“According to the World Economic Forum, 65 per cent of the children entering primary school today are expected to work in new types of occupation which has yet to exist presently that is based on STEM,” he said.

At the meeting, the NSC agreed on the proposal to implement a collaborative network mechanism to create a new industry based on STI such as the Fintech 4.0 Industry in Islamic Finance, Cyber Health Delivery System and the Halal Industry Network.