More Science Students Needed to Achieve Developed Nation Status
By Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Pix Ikhwan Hashim
Kuala Lumpur, 24 April 2014 – At least 60% of all students have to take up science subjects and mathematics when pursuing higher education if Malaysia is to achieve developed nation status by the year 2020.
Director of the Institute of Medical Molecular Biology (UMBI) of The National Universiti of Malaysia (UKM) Professor Dato’ Abdul Rahman Jamal said the percentage of adolescents who enter the science stream now is only 30% which is not sufficient to achieve the vision.
In his opening remarks at the launch of UKM’s DNA Day 2014 here today, Prof Abdul Rahman said the country’s competitiveness depends on the ability of its young to master science and mathematics.
He called on form four students attending the event to cultivate interest in science because it can lead to a better life for them and raise the standard of living of Malaysia.
One hundred students from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor had the opportunity to take part in the celebrations which showcased exhibitions on DNA and hereditary diseases.
Prof Abdul Rahman said UKM is ready to assist students who are qualified and interested in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through appropriate courses or research at Higher Institutions Centre of Excellence such as UMBI and the Institute of Micro Engineering and Nanoelectronics (IMEN).
He said UMBI is among the best institutions in the country for research on Stem Cells the “master” of all body cells that form all other tissues, organs and systems in the body. For example, hematopoietic stem cells found in the blood are the building blocks of the blood and immune systems.
He said UMBI had for the past 10 years done a lot of medical research that contributed to the understanding of health and the spread of infectious diseases in the country.
He also advised students to adopt a healthy lifestyle and eat less sugar saying that a person needs only 20 grams of sugar per day which is equivalent to only one teaspoon.
Health issues are increasingly important because Malaysia is ranked 20th in the list of countries with people who have high blood pressure, accounting for 41% of the total population.
Also present at the opening were the Deputy Director General of the Department of Higher Education Datin Paduka Ir Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation Affairs) Prof Dato’ Dr Mazlin Mokhtar.