Science, technology and innovation key to Sarawak’s development
By Jude Toyat
Sarawak needs the younger generation to be more competitive and innovative in developing the State, especially in the rural areas.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang said it included equipping them with the knowledge of science, technology and innovation as these are the keys to the development of the country and the state.
“In Sarawak, to achieve Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s vision of developing the rural areas, we need these groups of highly intelligent people to develop it together.
“However, the effective way to achieve this goal surely is through the mechanism and role of institutions in producing specialists including in chemistry, agricultural specialists, and biologists to Sarawak,” he said.
Jabu, who is also the Pro-Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) said this in his officiating speech at the Sarawak Zone Malaysia Chemistry Carnival 2015 (K2M) organised by Institut Kimia Malaysia (IKM) Sarawak and Padawan District Education Office at UNIMAS on September 30.
Jabu, who is also the Minister of Rural Development and Modernization of Agriculture said that there were many opportunities in these fields open to the younger generation but that it was up to them to grab it by taking specialized courses including science, chemistry and biology.
“We have Halal Hub that produce food based on biotechnology and that would require experts in the field,” he said.
He also posed a challenge to Unimas and related bodies to use their innovative skills and creativity that is there to compete on the world stage to ensure a good reputation of their graduates looking for opportunities in the job market in future.
“We are told of complaints and grievance of graduates from institutions that are still waiting for them to be employed.
“So, we hope that the Ministry of Education together with relevant agencies will regulate or assess the employability of our graduates from public university in Malaysia,” he said, adding that equipping them with various skills including English fluency and skills in science, technology, and mathematics would go a long way to achieving that.
Meanwhile, Unimas vice chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi in his speech said, the carnival is very important to raise the awareness among students in chemistry and foster their interest in the field.
“We must develop their knowledge and interest in chemistry from an early age.
“Therefore, with the involvement of the students in this carnival, it can help them to appreciate the wonders of science and continue to cultivate their interest and passion in chemistry,” he said.
The K2M is a national event that was launched in 2011 by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation in conjunction with the International Year of Chemistry celebration.
It is organised by IKM annually. This year, the Sarawak-zone carnival was organised in collaboration with Unimas and the state Education Department.
About 400 students and teachers attended the the K2M yesterday. Of these, about 250 were secondary school students from Padawan and Samarahan while some 120 participants were Unimas’ first-year students.
Apart from exhibition booths set up by professional bodies and institutions, a science project competition entitled `Renewable energy from biomass’ was also held.