PETALING JAYA: Three Malaysians have proven that the country can produce scientists capable of impressing the international scientific community.
At the Science and Technology Awards Ceremony held during the gala night of 17th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, last month, Malaysian Institute of Microelectronic Systems Dr Hafizal Mohamad, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College’s Dr Leong Wai Yie, and Nottingham University’s (Malaysia campus) Prof Chong Mei Fong proved that all is well with the Malaysian scientific community when they won prestigious awards.
Dr Hafizal was awarded the Asean Outstanding Scientist and Technologist Award, winning a trophy and prize money of US$10,000 (RM41,800), while Dr Leong was awarded the Asean Meritorious Service Award, which offered a similar prize value.
Dr Hafizal said that the local scientific community was growing fast, adding that the proof was seen through the recognition given to many Malaysian scientists by the international scientific community over the years.
“Having a background in both basic research and applied research, I am lucky to have experienced the differences and challenges in both fields.
“I am also lucky to be working among talented colleagues and collaborators who are always supportive of my efforts,” he said, adding that he was happy to receive the award, taking it as another recognition for Malaysian scientists.
Researcher Prof Chong, who was awarded the second prize for the Asean-US Prize For Women, took home an award money of US$5,000 (RM20,900).
She said she was grateful to the Government for supporting her research projects throughout the years with various grants, the first being a RM202,000 grant given by the Science, Technology, and Innovation Ministry under its Science Fund.
Saying that she was glad to be recognised, Prof Chong added that she wanted to be a role model for young women who want to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
The theme of the 2017 awards ceremony was the use of biotechnology, microelectronics and information technology, or material science and technology on issues such as rapid urbanisation with a focus on health such as disease spread and mutation, counterfeit medication or healthcare access and on improving transportation and infrastructure as well as workforce development and retention with focus on safety in the workplace.
In all, Malaysian scientists bagged awards for three of the four categories.