Malaysia still has a ways to go before it becomes a high-tech nation by 2030 due to a shortage of funding and investors in the R&D sector.
This, according to Malaysia’s Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Chang Lih Kang (pic), is because R&D spending in Malaysia is still only one percent of the country’s GDP, while it is four percent in South Korea.
He therefore hoped that the Budget 2024, which will be unveiled tomorrow by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, will increase funding for the Science, Technology, and Innovation Ministry by at least 10 percent.
“This is because RnD takes a long time for results and achievements to be seen. If our investments in RnD are not large enough like other countries that reach three to four percent of the GDP, we will be left behind.”
At a press conference held at the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) following the state-level National Science Week Carnival (MSN) 2023 and Malaysia Techlympics 2023 South Zone Level, he made this statement.
Chang claimed that while funding for vaccine research and space exploration is now inadequate, a rise in budget will also create more opportunities for R&D in both areas.
He said that more funding would also make it possible to host a number of programmes, particularly those aimed at inspiring young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).