PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia now has a National Space Policy to allow the country to look into developing technologies related to aerospace and turn it into a new economic contributor.
With the policy in place, authorities can plan to develop this sector systematically and ensure it is well managed so that the nation will benefit from it.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that fields related to space science, be it research or creating new technologies, have vast potential and he was confident that Malaysia could become a significant contributor to the world in these areas.
The Prime Minister said he was happy to read about the success story of astrophysics PhD student Nurul Adlyka Ainul Annuar, whose discovery in the field of astronomy made headlines around the world.
“I hope her success will encourage and inspire other young Malaysians to conduct research work and help develop astronomy and astrophysics so that we can be at par with developed countries,” he said when addressing the National Science Council (NSC) meeting here yesterday.
Nurul Adlyka gained international fame when she and a group of astronomers discovered the existence of a hidden supermassive black hole.
The 27-year-old, who is pursuing her doctorate at Durham University in Britain, made the discovery using United States’ space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administra-tion’s (Nasa) most recent X-ray telescope called Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR).
Najib also announced a code of ethics would be introduced to ensure research work carried out in the country was genuine, of high repute and reliable, adding that he wanted the code to be implemented to prevent suspicion being raised over work done by Malaysian researchers.
“There have been worrying reports of misconduct such as plagiarism and distortion of facts. This needs to stop if we want our work to be credible.
“That is why the Malaysian Code of Responsible Conduct in Research will be introduced to raise the compatibility and reliability not only of our research efforts but also our development and innovation initiatives,” he said.
The code will also spell out how those who breach ethics will be dealt with but details are not immediately available.
The Prime Minister said the council must look at how innovation and creativity could play an important role in the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) efforts, adding that the two elements were needed to create a nation that has “par excellence” mindset and attitude.
“It is clear that Malaysia’s development and progress in the future depends highly on our ability to master science and technology, and to prepare the future generation to adapt and be competitive in any situation.
“That is why the National Science Council is extremely important to ensure the science, technology and innovation sector would continue to grow and evolve, in line with progress made around the globe, so that we can be an equal among developed nations,” said Najib.