Najib: Urgent need to reinvigorate science education

KUALA LUMPUR - There is an urgent need to promote Science in the Malaysian education system and public engagement to increase the ratio of science human capital to arts, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He noted that the current ratio of science human capital compared to those in the arts was 30:70, a far cry from the Government's aim of a 60:40 ratio.

"We need to re-invigorate science so it is ready and able to generate big new ideas and game changing strategies that will transform the community and individuals into high income earners.

"Whatever is being proposed by the scientific community must eventually have a positive impact on the livelihoods of the rakyat," he said in his speech at the conferment of fellowships to scientists by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) here.

Najib conferred the recognition on two senior fellows and 19 new fellows of the academy, in honour of their contributions and leadership in their respective fields.

The senior fellows are Malaysian Palm Oil Board director-general Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron and theoretical physicist Dr Chia Swee Ping.

The new fellows include Universiti Malaya deputy vice-chancellor Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud, International Medical University School of Health Sciences dean Dr Khor Geok Lin, Asia Pacific Environmental Consultants director Dr Low Kwai Sim, and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia solar energy research institute director Datuk Dr Kamaruzzaman Sopian.

Najib also thanked the academy for its assistance two years ago in explaining to the public the scientific and technical merits of the Lynas rare earth plant in Gebeng, Pahang.

"Your initiative has surely reduced the political temperature of that issue and demonstrated how scientific knowledge can help counter the misperception that the public may hold on an issue," he said.