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There. Someone has spoken up in support of our space program [See here]. A quick glance at today's edition of The Star newspaper will show you that a certain Umapagan Ampikaipakan has spoken up in defence of our national space program. After reading his article, I'm inclined to agree with what he's put forth because it actually makes perfect sense.

While it cannot be denied that many out there think it's a complete waste of money, I actually think it's a good idea that our government is actually spending money on science for once. Personally, I'd rather see money going towards the progression of science, rather than more 'eye'-candy like the Eye of Malaysia (pun intended). And if what economists are saying about our economy is true, then we might as well grab this opportunity to put surplus money to good use anyways.

There's been a lot of ridicule about us having to "piggy-back" on a Russian spacecraft to get to space. Well, as it is a universal truth that the Russians are more technologically advanced than us, I think it's not that big a deal. Our space program is only just taking shape and we should take all the help we can get. Besides, with all the fuss being kicked up over the amount we're spending to "piggy-back", can you actually foresee our government pouring billions of money into the development of dozens of prototype space shuttles?

In the long run, this space program should prove very useful to us. As I've said before, sending an astronaut to space might be the spark our space industry needs.

Malaysia, located near the Equator, is an ideal location for a launchpad. We currently spend millions blasting off our satellites from places like Kazakhstan and French Guyana. If our space program turns out alright, then we wouldn't have to do that anymore, and we also stand to gain the opportunity of making a few bucks by helping others send their satellites into space.

I believe the pros outweigh the cons. The furore that arises these days is, as Mr. Ampikaipakan puts it, a result of poor PR play by our national space agency. Making teh tarik in space probably isn't the main objective of sending our astronaut up there. I think it was a stupid publicity stunt more than anything. We Malaysians can't resist doing silly things no one has ever thought about (like making teh tarik in space), but really, one should look beyond the tea...

Looking at the list of countries who have space agendas, one can find nations like Singapore, Bangladesh, Peru, UAE and Indonesia. What, indeed, should we wait for?

2 mad rant(s):

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  1. Comrade Cripple said...

    Malaysia should spend money stamping out corruption, tackling crime, improving infrastructure & sacking officials suffering from "foot in mouth disease" than blowing money on sending people to space. I don't think technical know how really brought Russia forward (Russia is run like the mafia now.). Besides we should just achieve economic power before spending on space exploration. Leave space exploration to the rich, powerful or stupid(?).  

  2. Fusion16 said...

    I don't think we're blowing money, for ONE reason, and that is:
    1) We spent RM14.4 billion on infrastructure, agriculture and industry sector in 2006. That's on top of RM4.3 billion used for general maintenance plus ANOTHER RM1 billion for the maintenance of public facilities.
    We're also spending a whopping RM29 billion on education. Per student, we're actually spending more less the same as bigger countries such as the United States.
    If there's a problem, then the problem lies with the people who are responsible of utilizing that money.
    It's not that we don't have enough money, but it's what we do with that money that's killing us.

    I've also stated that I believe our space program has the potential to generate income (or at least reduce expenditures) for us in the future. To expect something for nothing would be far-fetched, to say the least.

    I didn't say technical know how brought Russia forward either. But it's no use denying that they ARE more technologically advanced than we are. =)

    But hey, at the end of the day, I suppose everyone has his or her own opinions...  


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