Dr Maximus J. Ongkili, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister should just drop permanently the plan to send another angkasawan into space. He has revealed that the government has run out of budget and need to source for fund to send the second angkasawan into space. Why create a budget when he can just kill the program to save duit rakyat.
Why keep the space program when the cost will be more expensive and the funds could be use to improve the livelihood of the rakyat. Russia don't need our money.
In addition, the revival of Feri Malaysia was also going nowhere when Ongkili was the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department. He head the task force to revive Feri Malaysia service but apparently those parties involved decide to hold the plan due to rising cost. That is just a ferry service and you could probably imagine the cost to support the space mission program.
* Sending another space flight participant for vacation
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Source: thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/4/21/nation/20080421140120&sec=nation (Apr 21, 2008)
No more funds for space programme
By IZATUN SHARI
KUALA LUMPUR: The Government will have to look for money if it wants to proceed with the next phase of the space programme, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Maximus J. Ongkili.
He said in principle the Government wanted to pursue the next phase of the programme subject to funds available.
"Under the midterm review, I can say that there is zero money. If we want to proceed with the second phase we have to look for money," he told reporters Monday after the launch of the Creativity and Innovation Day 2008 celebrations at KL Tower here.
"So far, I am waiting for the results of an analysis report from the International Space Station on its costs and benefits before I go to my Cabinet colleagues for guidance and we can consider looking for money for the programme."
He reiterated that the space programme should not be viewed only in terms of sending angkasawan into space but also in terms of research undertaken involving other sciences besides astronomy.
He said the ministry would also have to consider other competing priorities particularly social development needs.
Asked when he expected to obtain the findings of the analysis report, Ongkili said: "I should be able to answer questions relating to the matter in Parliament by next week.
"We have to get fair views on the matter. I will use the opportunity to get views from MPs to see what they think of the programme," he added.
The first phase of the programme where angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Sheikh Shukor and two other astronauts blasted into space in a Russian Soyuz 11 rocket from Baikonour, Kazakhstan, on Oct 10 last year was partly funded by the offset purchase of Sukhoi SU30MKM fighter jets from the Russian Government.
Ongkili also said the National Science Centre would be corporatised before the end of the year to give the division autonomy to make its own decisions.
"Under the midterm review, we want to look at this. Within the next six months we should be ready with the blueprint."
Source: sibu.gov.my/?ruid=&wpid=22&sid=191 (Apr 20, 2007)
"Feri Malaysia" Revival Plan Not Shelved
SIBU, April 20 (Bernama) -- The government has not shelved plans to revive the "Feri Malaysia" service, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said.
He said that three groups from the private sector had initially come up with proposals to revive it.
"But with the increase in the price of steel and ships in the last two years, they have come back to us to say that they wish to put their proposals on hold for the time being," he told reporters here last night.
The ferry service between Port Klang and Sabah and Sarawak, aimed at promoting national integration, was launched in August 1986. But it was discontinued after a few years due to high operating costs.
Dr Ongkili said the cabinet wanted more options to be studied provided they were private sector-driven.
Interested parties could submit proposals to the government, he added.