Need for boost in biotechnology


  • Letters Premium
  • Friday, 15 Sep 2017

An inconspicuous feature of the Malaysian landscape, chances are you’ve either walked, driven past a Petai belalang tree.Known by its scientific name, Leucaena leucocephala, some feel this roadside shrub holds great promise in the future production of biofuels on an industrial scale.

IT was only in April 2005 that Malaysia declared her intention to become a serious player in biotechnology with the launch of the National Biotechnology Policy (NBP). Based on a census conducted that year, the Malaysian Government chose agro-biotechnology as the major thrust in the repertoire of Malaysian biotech-nology industry and research.

However, Malaysian biotechnology after 12 years is, in my opinion, predominantly engaged in relatively moderate sectors and is still not making enough impact on the industry as a whole. Also, I must say, the fulcrum of biotechnology in Malaysia is still largely dependent on foreign investments and expertise.

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