A Shared Foresight for ASEAN

“Comrades.”

This is how I would describe my fellow ASEAN Minister counterparts at the 17th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology, which took place in the capital city of Myanmar, Nay Pyi Taw, during the season of Deepavali.

 

There has been incremental progress by the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology (ASEAN COST), which is headed by MOSTI on behalf of Malaysia, since my first participation as a Minister in 2015. We adopted the ASEAN Plan of Action on STI 2016 – 2025, the same year the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was established.

 

Then last year, a follow up Implementation Plan was adopted at the 9th Informal ASEAN Meeting on S&T in Cambodia. Some immediate plans are to increase collaboration in research, create an ASEAN talent mobility platform, establish smart partnerships among science, technology and innovation (STI) enterprises and promote STI enculturation in ASEAN.

 

A fortnight ago in the latest meeting, Malaysia was the third member state after Thailand and the Philippines to accede to the ASEAN STI Partnership Contributions. One million USD (RM 4.24 million) would be available for international collaboration in five research priority areas, namely:

  1. Medical and Health Sciences,
  2. Engineering and Technology,
  3. ICT,
  4. Biotechnology and,
  5. Agriculture and Forestry.

 

The boost in international research funding for ASEAN comes at the same time where local Public Higher Learning Institutions are allocated RM 400 million in Budget 2018, up from RM 235 million the previous year.

 

We also revealed our decision to endorse the ASEAN Declaration on Innovation, which would be adopted by ASEAN Leaders during the 31st ASEAN Summit that would be held in about a week’s time. This is more than a reaffirmation of the cooperation of Member States in STI. I see this as recognition that “innovation” is no longer only affiliated with science and technology, but as a mean to drive regional growth and competitiveness.

 

This applies to providing holistic policies that foster entrepreneurship, realising opportunities arising from disruptive technologies and to achieve United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in solving societal problems together.

 

Despite keeping a good momentum in our STI agenda, like comrades, fellow Ministers  spoke truthfully, most of the time off the cuff, at the official meeting about the challenges we face in our respective countries in advancing in science and technology.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, as advocated by the World Economic Forum since early 2016, has been deliberated with much fanfare in international forums across the globe, including in Malaysia. Is ASEAN as an entity, ready to address the impact of an unstoppable technological revolution on our economy?

 

According to the World Bank in 2016, the combined economies of ASEAN is worth USD$ 2.56 trillion in nominal GDP, making us one of the largest economic powers in the world.  While most of us are aware of these developments, what concerns us is that most of the Member States are said to still be rooted in the Second Industrial Revolution where economies depend on mass production, or in the early stage of the Third.

With my counterparts who are Ministers in-charge of science, technology and innovation in their respective countries at the 17th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology. Photo credit: asean.org

 

The lesser-developed Member States are reliant on mass production of textiles and clothing, while others are manufacturers of electrical and electric products, and automotive parts. The majority of ASEAN is still dependent on the West, though now increasingly on China, for foreign direct investment and technology imports for our economic progress.

 

Critics have said that our overreliance on foreign contributions have caused us to neglect our own development in science, technology and innovation. We would be caught in the middle-income trap due to our lack of investment in STI, with the exception of Singapore that spends over two per cent of its GPD on research and development.

 

There are many aspects of ASEAN to be addressed for us to remain relevant and be competitive on the global stage, but as a MOSTI Minister I would like to broadly share two concerns that might impede ASEAN from fully reaping the benefits of the new economy.

 

Firstly, we should not underestimate the impact of automation on jobs. According to the International Labour Organisation, 56 per cent of the workers in five ASEAN countries, namely Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia and Indonesia (or equivalent to 137 million workers), especially in textile, restaurants, retail and manufacturing, are at risk of losing their jobs to automation an robotics. Job losses in the automotive and auto parts industry are as high as 60 to 70 per cent.

 

Secondly, while existing ASEAN institutional frameworks are promoting trade in the form of goods, moving forward, we need to look into liberating trade in the digital economy such as services and e-commerce.

 

Malaysia has demonstrated leadership in this area by realising the world’s first Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) this year, together with Alibaba Group. On Friday our Prime Minister and Founder/ Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma flagged off almost 2,000 export-ready small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that would join the DFTZ.

 

With this, Malaysia is expected to become the regional hub for e-commerce and a major trans-shipment hub. The Prime Minister has urged SMEs to not just sell to their villages alone, but make the world their market by becoming part of the DFTZ.

 

MOSTI has been part of the effort in setting up the ASEAN Talent Mobility Platform since 2015 that facilitate the mobility of scientists in ASEAN and with partner countries. But in the face of automation we need to substantially level-up our respective scientific and technological capabilities in strategic focus areas of the suggested Fourth Industrial Revolution and promote labour mobility as a whole.

 

In view of the increasing popularity of digital labour for jobs that require little social interactions, ASEAN Member States would need to look into labour laws and regulations when digital cross border transactions occur.

 

With the many uncertainties ASEAN faces in the new economy, during the ASEAN 2050 Forum organised by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia last week, Malaysia has proposed to lead an ASEAN Foresight Alliance, where a single vision would be shared by 10 countries, or the current population of over 630 million, toward 2050.

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At the ASEAN 2050 Forum at Marriott Hotel, Putrajaya, on 2/11/2017. Photo credit: Mustafa

While I stand that ASEAN holds a bright future for all of us, to lead a regional foresight movement, Malaysia needs to first be prepared in terms of STI governance, businesses’ innovation capabilities and the competencies of our research institutes.

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Speaking at the forum. Photo credit: Mustafa

We have already initiated our own national level foresight plan, called the National Transformation 2050. I am convinced that a regional vision would better prepare us for the unprecedented challenges ahead. One day, perhaps beyond my lifetime, I dream that our TN50 generation would be discussing about having a global vision, that is, one foresight plan for the whole world! That is when we have achieved the ultimate goal – world peace.

 

After all, as the President of Academy of Sciences Malaysia Prof Datuk Dr Asma Ismail correctly said at the forum,

 

“Diversity is our greatest strength.”

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Prof Datuk Dr Asma Ismail, President of Academy of Sciences Malaysia. Photo credit: Mustafa
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Video: Science With(out) Borders

Official trip at 11th Annual Meeting of the New Champions, Dalian, China, 27th – 30th June 2017.

Participated in a public forum, “Science With(out) Borders”, on how the global community can come together to collaborate better in advancing knowledge in science.

Watch the video here: https://www.weforum.org/events/annual-meeting-of-the-new-champions-2017/sessions/science-with-out-borders

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From left:

Moderator Nick Campbell, Executive Editor and Executive Vice-President, Global Institutional Partnerships Nature, UK,

me,

Andrei Fursenko, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation, Office of the President of the Russian Federation, 

Tammy Ma, Lead, Inertial Confinement Fusion, X-Ray Analysis Group, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and

Hongbo Chen, Vice-Dean, Tuspark Research Institute for Innovation, Tsinghua University, Jean-Pierre Bourguigno, President, European Research Council.

 

 

Prosper thy neighbours (Part 1) / Makmurkan Jiran Anda (Bahagian I)

According to Dr Mark Zachary Taylor, an associate professor at Georgia Institute of Technology who specialises in international relations and science and technology policy, “good” or “bad” national innovation systems are not determined entirely by domestic factors.

He pointed out that the institutional keys to a country’s success in science, technology and innovation (STI) do not lie in a particular type of government or economic system.

Rather, he said, governments do not only have to solve market failures in achieving national STI success; they have to solve network failures too. Countries that enjoy advanced innovation rates were typified by strong international networks.

For example, Israel networked with financiers in New York and San Francisco to establish linkages in finance, marketing and technology transfer.

As a result of this and other policies, Israel is now globally competitive in computer software, defence technologies, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications. Foreign companies now invest $ 4 to 5 billion annually in Israel’s R&D, an amount that equates 40 to 50 per cent of what Israelis themselves put in.

Taiwan has also reaped similar benefits from their extensive international STI network. During the 1970s, Taiwan started to reach out to American technology experts and executives at top U.S. high-firms who were often of Chinese descendants. They formed an alliance in the U.S. to regularly advise the Taiwanese government and STEM experts in strategic STI investments.

Meanwhile South Korea’s “chaebol”, a term for a large, usually family-owned business conglomerate, are converging points of domestic and international networks. They brought together STEM talents and capital from the state and local businessmen. STEM employees were sent to advanced STI countries for training.

In Malaysia’s STI sector, we are most committed to the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology (ASEAN COST) through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) since 1978. In 2014 our region was known as the seventh-largest economy in the world, projected to rank as the fourth by 2050.

Realising this potential, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was established in late 2015 to promote a competitive single market, allowing the free flow of goods, services, talents and capital among member states.

One vision of the AEC is to develop “a competitive, innovative and dynamic ASEAN”.

Therefore it was most timely that ASEAN reaffirmed her commitments in STI advancement, beginning with the ASEAN Plan of Action on STI 2016 – 2025, adopted at the 16th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on S&T in Lao, 2015.

Last year we adopted the Implementation Plan at the 9th Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on S&T in Cambodia, both of which I attended.

In the short term, we could see an increase in collaboration in research, talent mobility, smart partnerships among STI enterprises and STI enculturation among ASEAN member states. In the longer term, as I have proposed in the meeting in Cambodia, Malaysia aims to champion a foresight initiative for ASEAN.

ASEAN needs to take guided and strategic steps to respond to the technological revolution that would hit our shores very soon. It would certainly be wiser for us to face the technology behemoths in developed and emerging nations as “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.

Malaysia is an evident avid advocate of South-South cooperation. Besides our commitment with ASEAN in STI, we have our very own Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which since 1980 has organised more than 100 short, specialised trainings to more than 25 000 participants from 140 countries.

MOSTI through its agencies are very supportive of these technical workshops, this year for example, we look forward to conduct programmes on geopark management, radiographic testing and developing halal standards.

Most recently, as part of my official visit with the Prime Minister and Malaysian delegation to India, I visited the Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-aligned and other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre) that is based in New Delhi.

Malaysia 17.04.02 Hon. Datuk Seri Panglima WM Tangau, Minister MOSTI in DG Office
From left: My wife Jaina, Dato Lee (Hon Chairman of ISTIC), me, Prof Arun (DG of the Centre).
Malaysia 17.04.02 Hon. Datuk Seri Panglima WM Tangau, Minister MOSTI with DG NAM Centre
Wtih Prof Arun P. Kulshreshtha, Director-General of NAM S&T Centre in New Delhi.

The Non-Aligned Movement was initiated in 1961 based on the principle that developing countries should not align with the Western or Eastern blocs in the Cold War. Later on the NAM S&T Centre was set up in 1989 as an inter-governmental organization to follow through the decisions made by government leaders at various Summits and to promote South-South cooperation in S&T.

Forty-eight developing countries have so far joined the Centre as its member.

Malaysia through MOSTI joined NAM S&T Centre in 1993. Most of the joint collaborations have been in knowledge transfer through international workshops, research fellowship programs and publications.

In 2016, an MoU was signed between the Centre and Malaysia’s International Science, Technology and Innovation Centre (ISTIC) in August 2016 to implement joint programmes relating to South-South cooperation in STI.

My working visit to the Centre was especially meaningful as Malaysia is expected to host the NAM S&T Centre Governing Council meeting this September. I look forward to welcoming these international visitors, as we are prepared to share with the council members our experiences in conducting capacity-building through South-South cooperation.

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With some of the Centre staff.

In the spirit of “prosper thy neighbours”, Malaysia would continue to devote to strengthening bilateral and multilateral relations with our neighbours in the region, and other developing countries through science diplomacy.

Such as for ASEAN, where we celebrate our 50th founding anniversary and the purposeful establishment of NAM, these relations serve as the fulcrum of peace, prosperity and stability among developing countries.

This article was published in Daily Express, also available here: http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/read.cfm?NewsID=2511


Makmurkan Jiran Anda (Bahagian I)

Menurut Dr. Mark Zachary Taylor, profesor madya di Georgia Institute of Technology yang mengkhusus dalam bidang perhubungan antarabangsa serta dasar sains dan teknologi, sistem inovasi negara yang “baik” atau “buruk” bukan ditentukan sepenuhnya oleh faktor domestik.

Beliau menjelaskan, kunci institusi untuk kejayaan sesebuah negara dalam sains, teknologi dan inovasi (STI) tidak terletak pada jenis kerajaan atau sistem ekonomi yang tertentu.

Sebaliknya kata beliau, kerajaan bukan sahaja perlu menyelesaikan kegagalan pasaran dalam mencapai kejayaan STI negara, tetapi mereka perlu juga menyelesaikan kegagalan rangkaian. Negara yang mencapai kadar inovasi yang tinggi lazimnya mempunyai rangkaian antarabangsa yang luas.

Sebagai contoh, Israel menjalinkan rangkaian dengan pembiaya di New York dan San Francisco untuk mewujudkan pertalian dalam kewangan, pemasaran dan pemindahan teknologi.

Hasil dasar ini dan lainnya, Israel kini kompetitif pada peringkat global dalam bidang perisian komputer, teknologi pertahanan, peralatan perubatan, farmaseutikal dan telekomunikasi. Syarikat asing kini melaburkan US$4 hingga US$5 bilion setahun dalam R&D Israel, jumlah yang menyamai 40 hingga 50 peratus daripada pelaburan warga Israel sendiri.

Taiwan juga meraih faedah serupa daripada rangkaian STI antarabangsa mereka yang luas. Pada tahun 1970-an, Taiwan mula berhubung dengan pakar teknologi dan eksekutif Amerika di firma teknologi tinggi A.S. yang terkemuka. Mereka yang kebanyakannya berketurunan Cina itu membentuk perikatan di A.S. untuk menasihatkan kerajaan dan pakar STEM Taiwan dari semasa ke semasa tentang pelaburan STI yang strategik.

Dalam pada itu, konglomerat perniagaan Korea Selatan yang besar dan selalunya milik keluarga, dikenali sebagai “chaebol”, menjadi titik pertemuan bagi rangkaian domestik dan antarabangsa. Mereka menghimpunkan bakat dan modal STEM daripada kerajaan dan ahli perniagaan tempatan. Pekerja STEM dihantar ke negara STI maju untuk menjalani latihan.

Dalam sektor STI Malaysia, kita paling komited kepada Jawatankuasa ASEAN mengenai Sains dan Teknologi (ASEAN COST) menerusi MOSTI sejak 1978. Pada 2014, rantau kita dikenali sebagai ekonomi ketujuh terbesar di dunia, diunjurkan menduduki tangga keempat menjelang 2050.

Menyedari potensi ini, Komuniti Ekonomi ASEAN (AEC) ditubuhkan pada akhir 2015 untuk mengusahakan sebuah pasaran tunggal yang kompetitif, yang membolehkan barangan, perkhidmatan, bakat dan modal mengalir bebas antara negara anggota.

Antara visi AEC adalah untuk mewujudkan “sebuah ASEAN yang kompetitif, inovatif dan dinamik”.

Oleh sebab itu, memang tepat pada waktunya bahawa ASEAN mengesahkan semula komitmennya dalam memajukan STI, bermula dengan Pelan Tindakan ASEAN mengenai Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi 2016–2025 yang diluluskan pada Mesyuarat Menteri-Menteri ASEAN mengenai Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi di Laos pada 2015.

Tahun lepas kami meluluskan Pelan Pelaksanaan pada Mesyuarat Tidak Rasmi Menteri-Menteri ASEAN ke-9 mengenai Sains dan Teknologi di Kemboja. Saya menghadiri kedua-dua mesyuarat.

Dalam jangka pendek, kita dapat melihat peningkatan kerjasama dalam penyelidikan, mobiliti bakat dan perkongsian bijak antara perusahaan STI dan pembudayaan STI dalam kalangan negara anggota ASEAN. Dalam jangka panjang, seperti yang saya cadangkan dalam mesyuarat di Kemboja, Malaysia ingin memperjuangkan inisiatif berwawasan untuk ASEAN.

ASEAN perlu mengambil langkah teratur dan strategik sebagai respons terhadap revolusi teknologi yang akan melanda rantau kita tidak lama lagi. Tentulah lebih bijak sekiranya kita menghadapi gergasi teknologi di negara maju dan negara memuncul sebagai “Satu Visi, Satu Identiti, Satu Komuniti”.

Malaysia ternyata penyokong kuat kerjasama Selatan-Selatan. Selain komitmen kita dengan ASEAN dalam STI, kita sendiri mempunyai Program Kerjasama Teknikal Malaysia yang diurus oleh Kementerian Luar Negeri. Sejak 1980, program itu menganjurkan lebih daripada 100 latihan khusus dan singkat untuk lebih daripada 25,000 peserta dari 140 negara.

MOSTI menerusi agensinya menyokong penganjuran bengkel teknikal itu sepenuhnya. Contohnya pada tahun ini, kami bakal menjalankan program berkaitan pengurusan geotaman, pengujian radiografi dan pembangunan piawai halal.

Terbaru, dalam rangka lawatan rasmi saya bersama-sama Perdana Menteri dan delegasi Malaysia ke India, saya mengunjungi Pusat Sains dan Teknologi Negara-Negara Berkecuali dan Negara Membangun lain (NAM S&T Centre) yang beribu pejabat di New Delhi.

Pergerakan Negara-Negara Berkecuali (NAM) ditubuhkan pada 1961 berasaskan prinsip bahawa negara membangun tidak harus menyebelahi blok Barat atau blok Timur dalam Perang Dingin. Kemudian, NAM S&T Centre ditubuhkan pada 1989 sebagai sebuah organisasi antara kerajaan bagi mengambil tindakan susulan terhadap keputusan yang dibuat oleh para pemimpin kerajaan pada pelbagai Sidang Kemuncak dan untuk menggalakkan kerjasama Selatan-Selatan dalam S&T.

Sehingga kini sebanyak 48 negara membangun menyertai Pusat tersebut sebagai anggota.

Malaysia menerusi MOSTI menyertai NAM S&T Centre pada 1993. Kebanyakan kerjasama bersama melibatkan pemindahan pengetahuan melalui bengkel antarabangsa, program felo penyelidikan dan penerbitan.

Pada 2016, satu MoU ditandatangani antara Pusat itu dengan Pusat Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi Antarabangsa (ISTIC) di Malaysia pada Ogos 2016 untuk melaksanakan program bersama berkaitan dengan kerjasama Selatan-Selatan dalam STI.

Lawatan kerja saya ke Pusat itu amat bermakna kerana Malaysia dijadualkan menganjurkan mesyuarat Majlis Pentadbir NAM S&T Centre pada September ini. Saya mengalu-alukan kedatangan pelawat antarabangsa itu kerana kita bersiap sedia untuk berkongsi pengalaman kita dengan anggota Majlis dalam menjalankan program pembangunan keupayaan menerusi kerjasama Selatan-Selatan.

Dengan semangat “makmurkan jiran anda”, Malaysia akan terus menumpukan usaha untuk mengukuhkan hubungan bilateral dan multilateral dengan jiran-jiran kita di rantau ini di samping negara membangun lain menerusi diplomasi sains.

Begitu juga bagi ASEAN, di mana kita menyambut hari ulang tahun ke-50 penubuhan ASEAN di samping penubuhan NAM yang berwawasan, hubungan tersebut berperanan sebagai tunjang keamanan, kemakmuran dan kestabilan dalam kalangan negara membangun.

[Statement] IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security: Commitments and Actions

STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE MADIUS TANGAU

MINISTER OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION, MALAYSIA

HEAD OF THE MALAYSIAN DELEGATION TO THE IAEA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON NUCLEAR SECURITY: COMMITMENTS AND ACTIONS

5-6 DECEMBER 2016

VIENNA, AUSTRIA

 Mr. President,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In a rapidly increasing development of nuclear technology, the risk of nuclear security is more alarming and prevalent.The risk of nuclear security turning into transnational issue is imminent and real as we seek to prevent and protect unauthorized access and illegal transfer or other malicious acts involving nuclear material and other radioactive substances and their associated facilities.

  1. While the Agency‘s nuclear security programmes have been influenced by an assessment of reported intentions, motivations and capabilities of terrorists and criminals, Malaysia strongly believes that nuclear security should be addressed in a broader context of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, in accordance with the obligations contained in the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons). The adoption of the UN resolution on “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations” at the UN First Committee in October this year reaffirms the urgency of securing substantive progress in nuclear disarmament.

 

  1. Malaysia also believes that effective nuclear security measures should encompass comprehensive control of all nuclear materials and other radioactive sources of which include for military purposes. Failure to address this issue in its totality would render nuclear security measures incomplete.

 

  1. Malaysia is pleased with the convening of the 2016 International Conference on Nuclear Security. We are hopeful that the outcome of this Conference would provide future directions and priorities for nuclear security. This would serve as a useful guidance for developing its upcoming Nuclear Security Plan for 2018-2021.

 

  1. This Conference reaffirms that the responsibility for maintaining effective nuclear security rests entirely with the State, in accordance with their respective national and international obligations. Notwithstanding this, we fully recognise the central role of IAEA in leading and coordinating bilateral, regional and international cooperation on nuclear security. Malaysia, with support, cooperation and partnership with the IAEA had embarked on the following measures and activities towards strengthening nuclear security:

 

  • First, in our efforts to build national and regional capabilities on nuclear security, Malaysia increased joint table top and field exercises to enhance effectiveness (of what?) and to strengthen the network of control mechanism in nuclear security. Malaysia and Thailand, with the support of IAEA, implemented Cross Border Nuclear Security Exercise at the Joint Border of Malaysia and Thailand. We are privileged to be the first two countries in the world to test the draft Technical Guidance on “Preparation, Conduct, and Evaluation of Exercises for Detection of and Response to Acts involving Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material Out of Regulatory Control”. We believe that this exercise could strengthen the network among neighbouring countries to promote regional stability in nuclear security.

 

  • Secondly, Malaysia recognises the importance to institutionalise nuclear security into our national security agenda particularly through national capacity building. The Nuclear Security Support Centre (NSSC) in Malaysia continues to  share its experience  and enhance its capabilities on nuclear security. Through the support of the IAEA and funding support from the European Commission and Government of Canada, we are establishing a Nuclear Security Detection Equipment and Physical Protection Laboratory to strengthen and sustain nuclear security capabilities. We would like to express our appreciation to both donors. We also encourage more generous partners to continuously contribute to the Nuclear Security Fund (NSF).

 

  • Thirdly, Malaysia completed the International Physical Protection Advisory Service Expert Mission (IPPAS) in April 2016, with the involvement of national security key stakeholders. Therefore, this has raised the awareness and understanding of nuclear security practices and systems that would serve as a useful guide to enhance Malaysia’s nuclear security systems at its licensed facility. At the same time, we recognise the potential benefits, which could be realised from the recommendations of the Integrated Nuclear Security Advisory Services (INSServ) Mission in 2005. We view the benefits of INSServ as equally important as IPPAS and would like to encourage the Agency to focus its efforts on strengthening the INSServ Mission.

 

  1. Malaysia believes that nuclear security measures could only be implemented effectively through a fair and inclusive participation of developing countries in the development of IAEA Nuclear Security Series Guidance documents. We thus encourage more invitations to be extended to experts particularly from developing countries to participate in various IAEA’s missions. We firmly believe that developing countries’ practical experience and best practices in the field of nuclear security are essential and should be taken into account in providing a useful benchmark and guidance to countries that require similar nuclear security needs.

 

  1. Malaysia recognises the distinction between nuclear security and nuclear safety. We underscore the importance of promoting synergies between these two important fields so as to strengthen coordination of activities as well as in ensuring that resources are effectively utilised for the full benefits of all Member States.

 

  1. Malaysia welcomes the entry into force of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material in June 2016, as this signifies the collective commitments of Member States to strengthen nuclear security. At the national level, Malaysia is currently undertaking the necessary administrative measures and legislative process to accede to the said Convention and its Amendment.

 

  1. As a State Party to the NPT and a Member State of the IAEA, Malaysia is fully committed to supporting efforts to achieve global nuclear security. Although our focus here centres on nuclear security, there is a continued need to redouble efforts towards the ultimate goal of attaining general and complete disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, in particular, nuclear weapons.

 

  1. Let us recall the unanimous conclusion rendered by the International Court of Justice, two decades ago, in its Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons. I quote, “There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.”

 

Mr. President,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Overall, the contribution of nuclear security towards the broader goal of strengthening international peace and security remains paramount. In this regard, we would like to record our sincere appreciation to Ambassador Song of the Republic of Korea and Ambassador Ayoko of Nigeria for their tireless efforts in finalising the Ministerial Declaration.

 

  1. Lastly, we continue to pledge our full support and cooperation to work closely with the Agency in strengthening nuclear security worldwide. We are proud that a Malaysian, Dato’ Raja Adnan, has been appointed as the Director for the Division of Nuclear Security. We would like to thank DG Amano and Member States for their support as well as the trust and confidence placed in him to undertake this important task.

 

Thank you.

International Conference on Nuclear Security

The International Conference on Nuclear Security is held triennially. This year, the theme is “Commitments and Actions”, and I led a delegation of 10 to Vienna, Austria, where the secretariat International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is based.

IAEA was set up as the world’s “Atoms for Peace” organisation, comprising of  167 Member States including Malaysia as of December 2015. It promotes safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.

Among the Malaysian delegation were four from the Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the IAEA in Vienna, four from the Atomic Energy Licensing Board or Lembaga Lesen Tenaga Atom, one from Nuclear Malaysia and myself. The Atomic Energy Licensing Board and Nuclear Malaysia are agencies under the purview of MOSTI.

The conference was held from 5th to 9th December. However I had to leave on the 6th for the Malaysia Commercialisation Year Summit on the 8th.

 

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With the Malaysian Delegation.

Others were Malaysian officials who are selected and sponsored by IAEA to deliver technical papers in the Scientific and Technical Programme, after the Ministerial Session ended today. The officers are from Atomic Energy Licensing Board and Malaysian Nuclear Agency, Royal Malaysia Police, Royal Malaysian Customs Department, National Security Council, Ministry of Health, University Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Tenaga Nasional.

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Pre council with the Malaysian delegates.
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Had a sideline meeting with officers from Zimbabwe. They were Brigadier General Mupande, Mr Masunda from the Ministry of Defense and Mr Munaki of Intelligence.

 

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Delivering my statement during the Ministerial Session on December 5th, 2016.

 

We are concerned about threats to nuclear security and therefore have to take active steps to combat illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material.

In my statement I reiterated that Malaysia would join the collective commitment to strengthen nuclear security worldwide, as we are undertaking measures to acede to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

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I called on IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. We discussed collaborations between the IAEA and Malaysia.
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With the Minister of Science and Technology, Thailand, H.E. Pichet Durongkaveroj, on my left, and Malaysian and Thai officials. Pichet and I have met in a number of International meetings. Malaysia and Thailand, with IAEA’s support successfully implemented Cross Border Nuclear Security Exercise at Joint Border from 31 October – 4 November 2016 (Alor Setar, Kedah and Sadao, Thailand).
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We are proud that a fellow Malaysian, Dato’ Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan (right), has been appointed as the Director for the Division of Nuclear Security of the IAEA. On the left is Mr. Hamrah Mohd. Ali, Director General of Atomic Energy Licensing Board Malaysia.
For my statement please click here.

For news on this conference reported by the IAEA please click here.