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.