Jan 27, 2010

Tun Mahathir : Research funds not disbursed due to old mindsets

SHAH ALAM: The Government has funds for research but these have not been distributed because of the “conventional mindsets” of those in charge of them.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the people in charge of these funds look at research as an investment and expect returns.

“Research is not about making profits. This kind of thinking is not up to date,” he told journalists and guests during a visit to I-City at Section 7 here Wednesday.

He said that government officers in charge of the funds think about making and getting profits only.

Dr Mahathir said given this mindset, people involved in research would find it difficult to obtain funds to carry out their work.

“You are going to have problems interacting with the Government; I am sorry,” he said.

He said the Government should have an open mind and offer support even if the officers in charge do not understand some of the things involved.

Dr Mahathir said research was all about acquiring information and making discoveries, adding that researchers might even make fantastic discoveries that they themselves may not know how to develop.

He also said one of the things Malaysia must learn to do is to set up incubators for young people with ideas.

He said this was important as the country had moved away from the labour-intensive industries of the past into “brain-intensive” industries.

“We need to train people for these brain-intensive industries,” he said.

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