Malaysia needs up to 500,000 scientists and engineers by 2020, or seven times more than the current number (we have only 70,000 scientists and engineers now) to deal with the challenges of Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0), based on statistics from the National Council for Scientific and Research Development said Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh.
Can we achieve those numbers within 36 months? The answer is most likely yes if we really want to achieve those numbers.
Here we go again putting numbers over quality. How many of our scientists and engineers are world class, movers and shakers of their respective fields?
I will be the first to admit that in the field of rubber research and in a few other crops Malaysia does indeed have world class scientists but how about in the field of new technology and innovation?
We are far behind. Its time our schools tie up with tech giants such as IBM, Samsung, Apple to bring in real technology training and education into the classrooms.
Perhaps this way, wee won’t be able to churn out half a million geniuses in the field of science and technology in a period of 36 months. What we may be able to do is to have a group of science and engineering students who are future ready.