Friday, September 28, 2007

Space: Too Small for Two Boleh-nauts


Man has fashioned nature to his own image, thus he walks under an artificial sky lit by the halon illumination in imitation of nature. Light decor column and lighted roof of the TTDI Plaza, Kuala Lumpur

Dreams are made by man and is capable of inspiring generations. When Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon and sent the picture of our blue earth back to million of earth bound people, mankind truly went one step closer to the heavens. It inspired us to dream of solar empires of one day discarding our shackles to this planet and truly see what we are destined for. When it was announced that the Government was sending an astronaut or "Boleh-can-or-not" Malaysian into space as part of a military deal for fighter jets, so many controversy arose that it seems it was a bad idea. Why? We have so much problems in our country that could well have used the money 'squandered' for such a venture (even as the ministry keeps on saying it was 'free' from the Russians) whereas there are so many other causes that could well do with the cash. Remember the past week when our disabled atheletes were left high and dry because the Government did not want to pay for their trip to the Special Olympics, that just broke my heart.

Yes we should be proud that our 'poster boy' would be the first Malaysians in space, well before him billionaires have already bought their ticket to visit the International Space Station. It should feel like a national achievement but to me it just doesn't. What galls me more than dr. sheikh muszaphar shukor being chosen was that they wanted to send the second 'tak-dapat-pergi-naut up to space. What would that achieve? Will that bring about some breakthrough science for our country? Would that help us move one step towards being a developed country? And it costs a whopping RM102 million just because trainee number two got beaten. It was a test to see who was deserving and Dr Shukor got the lead, congratulations to him as we are sure he must have gone through a strenuous path to get the honour and I'm sure that candidate no 2 was just as equally deserving but that's a competition and he should feel proud he made it to the final stretch. So lets just sit back and enjoy the liftoff but no more extra, once is an achievement a second trip seems redundant.

"If Malaysians want him to be sent to space too, I will raise the matter up with the Cabinet. He is after all, ready and able."

We'll I'm a Malaysian and I don't want another 'can-I-go-or-not' in space thank you.

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