Wednesday, September 22, 2010

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on September 9, 2010 8:30 AM

1. The Government has been urging Malaysian institutions and individuals to be innovative, to do research and invent. For this the Government has allocated over a billion Ringgit to help those doing research and inventing things which can contribute towards greater efficiency in the production of goods and facilitating all kinds of work.

2. I will not talk about how difficult it is to gain access to Government funds. That is a major problem for researchers, especially indiiduals and institutions in the private sector. But when the results are achieved, no one wants to use or apply them.

3. Malaysian business and people generally do not believe Malaysian products are any good at all. Often they would reject outright, simply because they are Malaysian inventions. Since theinventors are not business people and finding money to do the research had already been very difficult, they are not in a position to invest in their products in order to produce the quantities and the standards acceptable to the market. Producing something in the laboratory is not the same as producing on a commercial scale.

4. Sometimes products are rejected by Malaysians even when they are acclaimed in foreign exhibitions and journals. In fact even when foreigners accept these products, the Malaysian inventors cannot penetrate the local market, including Government institutions.

5. We need to have a change in our attitude to Malaysian inventions and products. It should begin with Government institutions. Malaysian medical researchers have produced stainless steel plates for bones. They have not been accepted by Government hospitals probably because they already have long contracts with foreign suppliers. They do not wish to break their relations even for a minor part of the supply. There may be other reasons.

6. The private sector behaves in the same way. They reject almost all the research results of Government research institutions. Private sector research also meet with the same rejection.

7. Obviously if the Government wants Malaysians to innovate, to do research and development, Government institutions should be directed to try out products, schemes or systems developed by Government and private individuals which have a reasonable chance to work. Following that the private sector must do the same.

8. There should also be rewards by the Government when a Government body or private company is prepared to try out inventions and systems researched and developed by Malaysians. The reward should be substantial when the trials prove successful. Tax holidays should be given.

9. As a public service I would like to set up a register of Malaysian inventors which have not been given opportunities to prove their products either by the Government or the private sector. I will try to contact relevant agencies or companies which may be interested in the inventions or systems.

10. For those wishing to register, please give;

a) Name and Address

b) Product

c) Stage of development

d) Funding and help required.

Please email all these details to sufi71@rocketmail.com

11. I cannot promise the results but I think the Government would be interested to know how people have responded to Government's call to innovate, invent and use Malaysian products. Knowing this perhaps the Government would instruct relevant officers and departments to be more accomodating when asked for help and consideration.