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Congrats to Sheikh Muszaphar as Malaysia’s first angkasawan
(Parliament, Thursday) : Congratulations to Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor as Malaysia’s first angkasawan, orbiting in space to the International Space station – 360 km above the earth.
It is a feat Malaysians can feel proud.
We must however ensure that Malaysia can follow up and take a quantum leap in advances in science and technology and not be like Saudi Arabia, which sent the first Muslim into space more than two decades ago in 1985 in the United States space shuttle Discovery but the desert state has little to show in terms of building a science and technology research and development sector beyond oil and petrochemicals.
The government must also learn from the mistakes of the programme to send the first Malaysian to space, as it had been mired in controversy at almost every stage, from its genesis, conception and selection as well as its transparency and accountability.
The lift-off programme last night would have been more fitting the nation’s 50th Merdeka anniversary if an inter-faith prayer session had been held to give blessings for a successful launch as Malaysia is sending a Malaysian who is a Muslim into space and not a Muslim who happen to be a Malaysian.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman