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Friday, October 19, 2007

Malaysia Space Program: How to make Malaysians feel good yet speak the truth

Retired NASA astronaut Robert "Hoot" Gibson, somehow was persuaded to come to Malaysia to share his experience and make statements about Malaysia Space Program.

In the Star, Nation, page 8, Thursday 18 October, 2007, he was reported as saying "Malaysia made a sound move in sending a man into space although millions of ringgit were spend on it". Makes Malaysians feel good about the program despite many negative comments and people poking fun of it, especially when the tasks for our spaceman should do are stuff like pulling teh tarik (boiling hot tea cooled by successive pouring the tea from a pot held high to another pot held lower), etc.

However, I used that example to explain to my son about reading between the lines, for further down the report, Gibson was reported as saying "Although there are smart ways to send people to space without spending RM100 million for each mission as there are partnership ways of doing it or one could just walk up to the Russians, offer to pay RM20 million for it, the space program should be continued" (rephrased to make the statements into one and shorter).

What does that say? Essentially, it says the Malaysian public have paid extra RM80 million for sending one Malaysian to space. Where did the extra RM80 went? Wish there are brave investigative journalist willing to follow the money trail.

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