Thursday, January 27

Astronaut programme temporarily in the backburner — Fadillah

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KUCHING: Malaysia may see a second astronaut probably only in five or 10 years time.

SARAWAK GOT TALENT: Fadillah (centre) gives the thumb-up after flagging off the pre-event for Malaysia Innovative Carnival 2010 Sarawak Zone.

Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Fadillah Yusof said the government presently had no specific plan to groom another astronaut but the idea would be mooted under the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP).

“The focus for now is on the 12 National Key Result Areas (NKRAs) and one of them is to bridge the gap of development.

This would eventually enhance social harmony and lead to the attainment of a high-income economic status.

“We will look at the probability of a second astronaut only after the economy elevates.

When we have the fund, we can talk about the astronaut programme.

At the moment we will continue our research development programme,” he told the press after flagging off the pre-event for Malaysia Innovative Carnival 2010 Sarawak Zone at the Kuching Waterfront here yesterday.

A total of 20 boats, 20 taxis and 10 vans participated in the flag-off.

The carnival, scheduled for Oct 23 and 24, aims to attract some 20,000 participants, exhibitors, performers and visitors.

With an ultimate objective of promoting creativity in many aspects among the local communities, several activities have been lined up for the coming two-day event that will take place at Kuching Waterfront and Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK).

An activity, 1Malaysia Astronaut Challenge Programme, is fixed on Oct 24.

Fadillah, who is Petra Jaya MP, pointed out that the challenge programme involved a ‘tarian sihat rakyat’ (health dance) and a run.

“Five finalists of the run will take part in the national-level Malaysia Innovative Carnival 2010 to be held at Bukit Jalil. The winner of the national-level programme will be trained in Russia, the United States or Britain.

He said a ‘creative musical night’ would take place at BCCK where the Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin is scheduled to attend.

“This is a different contest as we encourage participants to stage performance relating to science, technology and innovation,” said Fadillah.

Prior to the Sarawak Zone, similar carnival has been organised in Northern Zone – Perlis, Sabah Zone – Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) in Kota Kinabalu and Southern Zone – Pantai Timur.

After this, the carnival will be brought to Melaka and the finale at Bukit Jalil.

During the national-level carnival at Bukit Jalil, Fadillah said all the best creative products and musical performers elected from the various zones would be highlighted.

“So far, those held in other zones have been very fascinating and we received innovative performances,” he said, adding that he expected the musical night at BCCK on Oct 23 to be something very different.

Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud is expected to officiate at the Malaysia Innovative Carnival 2010 Sarawak Zone at the Kuching Waterfront at 9am on Oct 23.

Among the activities to be held are ‘Sarawak Longest Layered Cake’, which is to be listed in the Malaysia Book of Records, ‘Innovative Fashion Queen’, ‘Sarawak Creative Talent’, exhibition, seminars and lucky draw.

For more information on the carnival, visit www.malaysiainovatif.gov.my.