View Full Version : Biotechnology Conference - Letter to Minister of Sc. & T
27-05-2004, 06:14 AM
Jiin Joo has mentioned that he will be meeting Datuk Jamaluddin Jarjis, Minister of Science and Technology and Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, Chief Minister of Penang State who are going to Stanford area for a Biotechnology Conference on 7th of July.
With a number of ReCom members who are doing Biotechnology, or related courses, I think it will be great if we can carve up a letter, with some suggestions on how Malaysia should capitalize on Biotechnology to gain sustainable competitive advantage. Any other suggestions?
These suggestions will be beneficial to ReComers, especially those who are going into the field. So, lets brainstorm!
27-05-2004, 06:25 AM
Currently there are general discussion on Biotech at :-
However, it is more about the job prospect etc. Perhaps we could work together to find out more about it and together lets help our country generate ideas in this area!
27-05-2004, 09:14 PM
To encourage more students to take up Biotech, I think that our Form 6's Biology syllabus should be restructured. I think the current syllabus encompasses mostly on ecology. Very few about Biotechnology and its application. Perhaps it's due to the lack of resources(teachers) and lab equipments. Even for our Biology course in INTEC, initially there was no Biotechnology/Application in our course studies. Instead, we have Taxanomy (a little redundant to Biochem and Biotech students). After a loud protest from us only they changed the syllabus. However, the teacher doesn't really teach well. Lack of experience, i think.
28-05-2004, 10:57 AM
I would suggest the following, perhaps we can further discuss about it. I am not a student in biotechnology or related field, so what I know is pretty minimal.
a) Intellectual Property Patent. This is what I heard from CEO of Angel Medicine, who holds about 70 patents and he is filing about 1 patent per week right now. He has formed a few start up in medical field and I think this is pretty related to biotechnology field.
b) Venture Capitalist. Currently, Mavcap has invested about RM100 million as venture funds for biotechnology related investment. I think this figure should be increased to enhance the entrepreneurship level of our research in biotechnology.
c) Awareness in biotechnology. We need to generate an awareness among fellow Malaysiasns on this field.
d) Partnerships to reduce our learning curves. This is one of the initiative that Malaysia has taken, which involves cooperation with MIT. http://bioweb.mit.edu/malaysia/
30-05-2004, 06:21 AM
I think the main problem is money. And I think the way to solve it is to make things cheaper, and that means making it ourselves. Like lab equipment and chemicals, should be manufactured by the people who have been trained to do so, Malaysians.
We need a little beaureucracy as possible in getting things done. Max transparency.
We need more work and less talk. Do it and get it done and not plaster it over TV and papers.
We need less filters for money from above. Less ppl pocketing stuff along the way.
Need to do something at the grassroot levels, school. Simple cheap stuff.
And, im being really general here, but I think suggestions on how to get it done would be key to coming up with a working model of what to do.
And, I think we just gotta start with going back home to work after graduation and forget about a USD60000 starting job.
06-06-2004, 11:46 PM
Looks like we don't have much opinion from ReComers and we may not be able to get this press release out. Hopefully you can share your thoughts on providing feedback about biotech development.
Jiin Joo will be meeting Datuk Jamaluddin Jarjis, Minister of Science and Technology tomorrow.
Plus, an added boost to everyone, Datuk Seri Abdullah is flying to attend that conference too.
08-06-2004, 02:59 PM
Thanks for all the well wishes - I didn't have time to do any preparation anyway. Here's a press statement made by the minister:
Unfortunately, JJ was caught in another meeting when the reception was held. Hope that's a good sign that they are getting somewhere. Penang Minister Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon hosted the event instead. Together with him is a delegate of maybe 20 strong, with people all over, like the MDC boss, IBM M'sia ceo, MIDA reps especially those in the life sciences division, science park reps, UPM UKM lecturers and Dr. Koh's nephew who's is a post doc in berkeley. The function was well attended by the usual suspects - lots of MPBA people, some students, some working professionals, some foreigners who marry our Malaysian ladies, etc.
Conclusion of the day - we're open to do anything but we don't have a plan. It is so apparent that it is appalling. There are concrete infrastructures being built, but the conversation keeps coming back to: it depends on the company, what they want to do, and what their policy is. So from a country's standpoint, there's just hope and show face events to attend to. It's apparently so hard to get involved in the process of making these "biotech companies" be great.
We also pursued a few people about trying to allow students in the states to get internships back in M'sia over summer. Very negative remarks we got. In no way discouraging anyone from trying (in fact they're saying that you SHOULD try to contact them for jobs, and many are doing it), the fact remains that they are more interested in 6 month long relationship with a student who has GRADUATED. Similar remarks came from IBM, MDC, and Dr. Koh himself.
Also didn't get much feedback on what kind of incentive they are giving to people to attract professionals overseas back home to work. It seems like they are, as usual, "hopes". But the reasoning is that people have different priorities, and if they want to work elsewhere just go ahead. No specific incentives are mentioned besides the fact that there's an incresing chance that if you go back to M'sia now, you'll definitely find a job...
Can't write more, need to sleep + prepare for exams. But again, I thank everyone who have tried to put some thoughts into this. Perhaps some day, we can have some firm stand of what we want to do, what's the plan of attack, instead of just saying that, oh, company A wants to do this mah let them do it lor... Zi Shen can tell you guys more maybe?
Going to have nightmares tonight. Let's see, someone from the delegate strangling me and shouting, "Help Me Figure Out A Plan!!"...
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