Don’t smoke, advises Dr Sheikh
26th March, 2009 TAWAU: Malaysia’s first astronaut Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor has advised youths, particularly students, not to pick up the smoking habit if they want to be successful individuals, especially in science and space science.
Sheikh Muszaphar, the first Malaysian to enter the International Space Station (ISS) on Oct 12, 2007, said “health is an important factor in life while smoking is bad for health”.
“To be a successful person, you need to be mentally and physically strong. That’s why I’m advising youths not to smoke as good health is one of the criteria to becoming an astronaut.
“I’m urging them (students) to do their best for themselves, not necessarily to become astronauts as the chances are slim but to become doctors, space science engineers and scientists,” he told reporters after giving a talk on his experience as an astronaut at a programme organised by the Mara Junior Science College (MRSM), here, yesterday.
He said one of the research works he did at the ISS was related to blood cancer and liver cancer cells.
Sheikh Muszaphar said he had so far delivered over 500 talks, including more than 10 overseas, which indicated a keen interest in science among Malaysians.
However, he was surprised to find that the MRSM students in Sabah and Sarawak were more daring and articulate in asking questions than those in the peninsula.
He was also impressed with their attitude because although they lacked some facilities, they could still perform well.
In connection with this, he urged Mara to give more emphasis on science to keep the momentum of interest in the field among students going.
On the two dreams he had while in space, Sheikh Muszaphar said these were still a personal secret.
“This is something which I do not want to share with others yet. God willing, I may one day reveal the dreams,” he said.
PUTRAJAYA: The Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry will not be taking any action against angkasawan Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha over allegations that he had pocketed RM1.2mil from a series of talks.
Its minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili investigations into the allegations had concluded that the angkasawan had contravened a few clauses in his contract with the ministry.
He said the ministry had sent a show-cause letter to Dr Sheikh Muszaphar and he had explained that he gave the talks after office hours or while overseas, so his work at the ministry was in no way affected.
“He (Dr Sheikh Muszaphar) has provided his explanation to the queries in the letter including why he charged for the talks and we feel that it is acceptable, so there is no reason to take the matter any further,” he told reporters after launching the ministry’s logo here on Monday.
He said the investigations also revealed that although Dr Sheikh Muszaphar was paid for the talks he gave locally and overseas, the amount he was paid in no way amounted to over a million ringgit.
Ongkili also explained that there were certain “grey areas” in Dr Sheikh Muszaphar’s existing contract with the ministry and this was part of the reason it could not take any action.
He said the ministry’s lawyers would start working on a new contract after the Chinese New Year holidays and were expected to have it ready next month.
“The new contract will look into the weaknesses in the existing contract and address them accordingly.
“Dr Sheikh Muszaphar has expressed his wish to continue working with the ministry and in the programme but it will be up to him to decide whether to accept the new terms,” he said.
Cosmonaut= Pelancong Angkasawan = not Astronaut = Peanuts