BANGI – Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today invited academicians honoured as distinguished professors to contribute ideas relevant to their expertise to the government.
Muhyiddin, who is also the education minister, said these professors could attend government meetings relevant to their fields and serve as sources of reference.
“This will be a form of government recognition to academicians,” he said at an event to honour Photonics professor Dr Harith Ahmad of Universiti Malaya as a distinguished professor.
Harith is the fourth academician to have been honoured as a distinguished professor.
In 2010, three academicians were thus honoured, they being Tan Sri Prof Dr Muhammad Kamal Hassan of the International Islamic University (Islamic Studies); Datuk Prof Dr Looi Lai Meng of Universiti Malaya (Pathology) and Datuk Prof Dr Shamsul Amri Baharudin of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Social Science).
Muhyiddin said the honouring of academicians as distinguished professors was recognised as their elevation to a strategic arena in the formulation of policies that had an impact on society at the national and international levels.
He said distinguished professors could use the research grant of RM300,000 awarded to them to draw up a succession plan to polish young talents with potential, particularly in the field of physics.
Harith is a pioneer in Photonics research in Malaysia.
The science of Photonics includes the generation, emission, transmission, modulation, signal processing, switching, amplification, and detection/sensing of light.
It covers all technical applications of light over the whole spectrum from ultraviolet over the visible to the near-, mid- and far-infrared, and is important in fields such as telecommunications.
Muhyiddin said he hoped that Harith could be the ambassador to kindle the interest of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to seek a career in these fields.
The deputy prime minister also called on intellectuals in the country in various fields to help with national development.
“Research, discovery of new knowledge, transformation ideas and the appreciation of science and various knowledge processes and products are the basis for the country’s development and sustainability.
“I hope these efforts will be sustained to ensure that Malaysia becomes a reference for education in Asia and the world,” he said. – BERNAMA