The “angkasawan” Malaysian Astronaut Program. Is It a Waste of Taxpayers Money?

NO, it is not a waste of money.

The “angkasawan Program” was mooted as part of the offset programs of the SU30 procurement. The other major offset is the technology transfer for the development of the fast jet i.e SU 30 full mission simulator. The beneficiary for the latter is Hitech Padu. Although politicians like to fool us that offsets are free, the fact is they are not. You have to pay for TECHNOLOGY. It cost the taxpayers USD 45 mil for the angkasawan and about the same for the SIMULATOR.

OFFSET clause has been inserted in contracts with the objective of speeding up TOT (leapfrogging). The Ministry of Defence has been the most succesful implementor of the OFFSET policy.,  There are more  failures, then successes, for lack of vision, control and enforcement  but there are quite a few notable successes. AIROD, CTRM, ATSC, SME, the many simulator companies are some of the succes stories.

If you compare the amount to that “earned” by the ex-chief minister of Malacca for the SU 30 sale commission, USD 45mill is small. If you compare to the cost of  AKADEMI FANTASIA, this is small.

Who benefits from the Angkasawan Program?

>The Politicians. They have a job to do i.e to rule and to govern. One of the laws of POWER is to create spectacularity. Fireworks are effective but ankgasawan is more spectacular.

> Those who want to learn and discover. “The more we learn about the UNIVERSE the more we learn about ourselves. Every NASA mission embodies the spirit of DISCOVERY”- NASA.

> The MASTIKA and the UTUSAN tahyul  reading public will have something useful to read and talk about. For once they will say This is science not  AJAIB.

> The impressionable kids in school particularly those in the kampongsto be instilled the  love and importance of science

> Those who went through the selection process. I am sure they learn something.

> the angkasawan. It is better then sending a monkey. He has the potential to be more popular then MAWI.

> some Ulama who hopefully will realise it is possible to determine accurately the beginning of Ramadan and Syawal. 

If you sum up the total number of beneficiaries, say 3 million people benefitted, the costper person is only USD 15 or RM 50. The cost benefit analysis is therefore positive.

The bottom line is, if the program becomes the impetus for the love of science and the spirit of discovery  to the kids in school then it is beneficial. I , the kampong boy,  personally benefitted from the first landing on the MOON.


2 Responses to The “angkasawan” Malaysian Astronaut Program. Is It a Waste of Taxpayers Money?

  1. […] terbaca satu artikel yang menarik dan agak kritikal tentang program angkasawan negara. Nak tahu lebih lanjut. Klik sini […]

  2. pezze says:

    From my perspective, ringgit and sen wise, maybe it’s small. The small ringgit and sen however, could be better use for other programs that could be more beneficial. USD45m is huge money by any standard.

    The “angkasawan” is visibily no more than a space tourist. Why was there a need to run a special selection program? A mere PR exercise? Visibly so as the obviously most good looking candidates had been chosen as the final two and the handsomest one as the “angkasawan” to finally be posted over newspapers and advertisements.

    A nagging question is why isn’t the “angkasawan” chosen from the ranks of military personnel e.g. pilots? These pilots most certainly would fit the physical fitness requirements as well as being intelligent and capable to operate space crafts. After all, they regularly operate multi-million dollars worth of precision machine. The selection process is already a waste of money.

    At the end of the day, what did it really achieve? The space dream and “angkasawan” could be dreamed with a very good intention but the implementation or rather the realisation of the dream leaves many questions unanswered.

    But, with the trend of the Malaysian government wasting taxpayers money year after year and budget after budget, this is hardly a surprise. What’s the intention? National pride? An Iranian businesswoman, Anousheh Ansari went to space by paying USD12m.

    The USD45m set for offset/techology transfer program could definitely be used more more “real” benefits i.e. real technology transfer, rather than merely having a PR exercise and saying, “look, we send a man to space”.

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