Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My Thoughts on our Angasawan Programme

Seems like our long awaited Angkasawan finally got sent into space today. The event has gotten quite a bit of media attention worldwide. TheStar has got a report on the whole launch and I expect that they will have a flurry of articles for the next 9 days. The Beebs highlights the fact that this is the first time that Ramadhan will be observed in space. France24 quotes our Angkasawan as saying that he has a responsibility towards all Muslims in this world. So, what do I think of the whole event?

Firstly, it is a waste of our tax dollars. As it is, we are already running low on cash and are having to increase our foreign debt in order to subsidise various public projects. So, I don't know how this pet project could be considered a priority. Spaces tourists routinely pay several million dollars to get themselves into space. The RM 100 million or so, could have been better spent on various public services projects such as improving our schools.

Secondly, it does not bring us any benefits. Taking a taxi ride into space, does not a space-faring nation make. If we wish to join the coveted space club, we should really work on developing our own domestic space programme. Considering that we're located on the equator, this works to our own advantage as it is cheaper and easier to launch from the equator. All efforts spent in developing space technology would also have it's spill-off effects onto other technology areas. All we have now, is a costly PR stunt, which will impress nobody.

So, I don't see what sort of benefits would the country get from this programme. Our Angkasawan would not be able to impart his training onto other people as we do not have our own space programme. So, all the training that he has gotten would be essentially wasted. Our country would not benefit through any scientific/technological way. Our people would cheer for a week, and forget about this PR campaign after that.

What a waste of RM 100 million.


Ying Khai said...

You should have seen the happy faces of the Kampung people shown on RTM. One notable comment from one of the interviewee:"Berasa bangga la, sebab kan kita negara Asia yang sedang membangun.Bukan senang nak naik angkasa". Besides observing the inferiorty and 3rd world mindset, then we realize after all it is a just political gimmick."Satu lagi projek Barisan Nasional".General Election is likely around the corner as PM has summoned a meeting for all BN MPs.

Shawn Tan said...

Yea.. sad but true.. Another BN project that is a waste of tax dollars.. If I was the reporter, I would ask the kampung folk, how they have benefited from this curious event.. Need to really force everyone to think a little bit more about how the tax dollars are spent..