Scientific Expert Panel To Be Set Up To Strengthen Disaster Management

Scientific Expert Panel To Be Set Up To Strengthen Disaster Management
PUTRAJAYA, Aug 4 (Bernama) — A Scientific Expert Panel (SEP) will be set up to advise and assist the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) to strengthen disaster management in Malaysia.

Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) in a statement issued in conjunction with the National Science Council (NSC) meeting here said the SEP’s scope was comprehensive to solve various types of disasters that often occurred or expected to hit Malaysia.

“SEP members who comprise experts in their respective fields, will provide advice and expertise, before, during and after a disaster,” the ministry said.

The NSC meeting, which is the highest governance committee of the country’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), was chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

MOSTI and the Science Advisor Office are the NSC’s joint secretariat.

MOSTI said the meeting had also agreed that the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) would undergo a transformation initiative to become an institute which was comparable with world-renowned institutes.

IMR was established as a Pathological Institute in 1900 to conduct research on various diseases.

The ministry said Najib had expressed hope to not only see the IMR restoring its glory days as an outstanding medical research institute in the tropical region, but also emerging as a leading medical institute in the world.

It said that Najib wanted the IMR to be on par with NIH – National Institute of Health (USA); MRC – Medical Research Council (United Kingdom); Pasteur Institute (France); FIOCRUZ – Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Brazil); QIMR – Queensland Institute of Medical Research (Australia) and Karolinska Institute (Sweden).

The meeting had also informed the status of the National Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Action Plan.

The NSC meeting on March had decided that MOSTI, Education Ministry and Higher Education Ministry draft STEM’s integrated action plan to ensure Malaysia, as a developed country by 2020, would have a sufficient supply of educated human capital to meet labour demands, as well as creating a STEM literate society.

The ministry said, the three ministries had been holding dialogues with stakeholders to get early feedback.

It said the programmes and activities under the plan would be detailed based on eight main areas of focus.

It involves policy standardisation; teachers and lecturers capacity building; upgrading of facilities; career opportunities for STEM graduates; research, development, commercialisation and innovation enculturation activities; developing STEM single database; improving STEM awareness programme and strategic cooperation at the global level.

MOSTI said the initial draft was expected to be completed by Jan 2017.