It has been sixty years since we gain our independence from the British in 1957. Looking at some of the old photos taken from that era, Malaysia has progressed rapidly since then. Towns have turned to cities, cars and buses are moving side-by-side with the mass rapid transits (MRTs) and light rapid transits (LRTs), there is hardly payphones anymore because everyone is carrying their own mobile phones, and so on. Malaysia has indeed came a long way.
MIGHT too will reach a significant milestone next year. On 22nd February 2018, we will celebrate our silver jubilee marking 25 years of our existence. Since its inception in 1993, MIGHT has contributed and seen many high technology sectors nurtured and boosted including aerospace, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, nanotechnology and solar industry. Today, MIGHT is the referral center for futures thinking and foresight, blockchain technology, smart communities, to name a few.
Malaysia and MIGHT have still a long way to go. The way forward will be both challenging and exciting. There will be other countries and institutions that are as hungry as we were when we started. Just look at our neighbouring ASEAN countries like Vietnam and Cambodia. We need to re-strategise but we also need to embrace our well tested approach of inter-racial harmony and public-private partnership. Time and time again we have shown that ‘Together, we make it happen’.
What a successful SEA Games 2017 for Malaysia, and Malaysians. It is a huge achievement to become overall champions. When we got our act together, we produce champions. This same spirit must be transfered to how we approach education and science & technology. In education, Finland has shown that with less homework assignment, children learn better and have more time for recreational activities. Clearly this will allow the likes of Yusoff, Cheng and Raju (both were my primary school friends) to interact socially or ‘bonding’ and with more time to play, produce the next Mokhtar Dahari, Poon Fook Loke or Punch Gunalan, and emulating the exploits of Nicol David, Chong Wei and Jun Hoong, to name a few.
S&T is key in providing us with new ways of doing things in sports, business, politics and others. However, S&T should not be shouldered solely by the Government, but the private sector too should contribute because producing skilled human beings and commercialisable innovation will determine our future prosperity, mutually. Malaysia stands at the 10th spot for countries with the highest high technology exports in the world in 2015. Which means we are already good, but we can be better. And we want to be better.
I hope and pray this year’s Merdeka theme “Negaraku Sehati Sejiwa” or ‘My Country, One Heart, One Soul’ will bring all of us closer together in the way we live, work and play. After all, we are proud to be Malaysians, and Malaysia is a place where we make good things happen.
And to all Muslims, Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha from all of us at MIGHT and our subsidiaries.