KUCHING: Set your sights on becoming the first Sarawakian in various fields of expertise, advises Science Research and Biotechnology Assistant Minister Dr Annuar Rapa’ee.
He said such lofty ambitions should drive students towards achieving excellence and success in their chosen fields.
“Students should think to themselves, I’m going to be excellent and I want to be the first bumiputra neurosurgeon or cardiothoracic surgeon in Sarawak.
“For myself, my ambition was to be the first Malay cardiologist and I achieved it.
“Similar ambitions should motivate our students as there are many opportunities out there,” he said when closing the state-level Science and Mathematics Olympiad organised by Gagasan Pendidikan Melayu Malaysia Sarawak branch here on Tuesday.
Dr Annuar also said the nation needed more scientists and technocrats in the push towards becoming a developed and high-income nation.
Citing statistics from the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, he said there were currently 85,000 science and technology graduates in the nation compared to the target of 500,000 by 2020 to achieve developed nation status.
“There are only four years left for us to achieve this target. Although we may not make it, what is important is that we keep working towards reaching the target,” he said.
He also noted that only 13% of students in last year’s PT3 examination scored at least a C in Science and Mathematics.
“We need more students to do well in Science and Mathematics. Many bumiputra students are scared of these subjects but if they can overcome their anxiety, they can do well.
“These are subjects in which students can score full marks because they are based on logic and reasoning,” he said.
On the Olympiad, Dr Annuar said it aimed to identify the best students in Science and Mathematics and to inculcate healthy competition among them.
“A healthy competitive spirit will motivate students to do their best and succeed. Through the Olympiad, students will get to compete not only with their peers in Sarawak but throughout the nation,” he said.
He later presented prizes to gold, silver and bronze medal recipients of the Kuching zone competition as well as the top three winners at state level.
Muhd Haziq Hariz Abang Zamani of SMK St Joseph emerged overall champion in the Science category, followed by Nur Maisara Saidin of Kolej Datu Patinggi Abang Haji Abdillah and Mohd Safaraz Addi Shiful Rizal Voon of Kolej Tun Datu Tuanku Haji Bujang.
The Mathematics category was won by SMKA Tun Ahmad Zaidi’s Muhammad Hafizuddin Mahmood, with Mohd Fairuz Abdullah of Kolej Tun Datu Tuanku Haji Bujang and Muhd Amirul Fitri Supian of SMKA Sheikh Haji Othman Abdul Wahab in second and third places.
All six of them will represent Sarawak at the national-level Olympiad in Kuantan on Feb 23-24 next year.