MetMalaysia among best in region, needs to diversify products, says DG on eve of retirement

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) is currently ranked among the best in South-East Asia and should explore opportunities to diversify its products by making more specific forecasts, says its director-general Jailan Simon (pic).

He said MetMalaysia also needed to ensure the quality of its services was on par with that of developed countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

"MetMalaysia’s involvement at the international stage needs to be increased to gain recognition globally,” he said when asked about his hopes for MetMalaysia in an online interview with Bernama on Wednesday (July 28) in conjunction with his retirement.

Jailan, who hails from Batu Pahat, Johor, and has a Masters of Science degree in soil and atmospheric science from the University of Columbia, Missouri in the United States, will retire on Aug 1 after serving 37 years in the department.

His retirement ceremony will be held on Thursday (July 29).

He joined MetMalaysia, which was previously known as the Malaysian Meteorological Service Department, on Feb 11, 1985 as a meteorologist and held several positions before being appointed as MetMalaysia director-general on May 4, 2019.

When asked to share his views on the meteorological field in Malaysia, Jailan said there has not been a local university till now that offers meteorological courses and it makes it hard for new and younger officers to gain knowledge within the country.

Therefore, MetMalaysia needs to send more staff to overseas learn and to increase the number of meteorological and climatology experts as there are not many experts even from the pool of MetMalaysia’s employees, he said.

He added that young meteorologists need to delve into and seek new knowledge to increase their skills.

When asked about the memorable moments during his tenure at the department, the father of three said that it was when he met his wife, Zaiton Mat Amin, who had served in the same department.

Commenting on his retirement plans, Jailan said he will spend time doing urban farming with his family. - Bernama

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