MALAYSIAN scientists over the age of 80 who are still contributing towards the advancement of science were honoured by the Malaysian Scientific Association (MSA) for their hard work and dedication.
Dr Loke Kwong Hung, Tan Sri Dr Augustine Ong, Dr Canagasaby Devendra and Datuk Dr C.P. Ramachandran received the Senior Member Certificate of Recognition during an Awards Nite 2017.
Academician Tan Sri Dr Omar Abdul Rahman was presented with the Tan Sri Law Hieng Ding Gold Award.
Event organising chairman Datuk Dr Mohinder Singh said it was the first time the association had recognised senior members of the field.
The association’s main objective, he said, was to promote the advancement of science and technology and it had always recognised young students.
“Our awards were always for SPM and STPM high achievers. This time, we decided to recognise people who are past 80. We feel their legacy must not be forgotten.
“Those awarded today are prominent members who have all reached the pinnacle of scientific success,
“We want to encourage younger and future scientists by recognising them,” added Dr Mohinder.
Dr Omar said he was surprised and honoured to receive an award named after a former minister who had served as adviser to then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed.
Although he officially retired in 2001, Dr Omar wanted to continue serving.
“I always tell my friends not to retire because it’s hazardous to our health but “re-tyre”. Give yourself a new set of tyres and keep working.
“I am still involved with the association and serve in two university councils,” said Dr Omar, who is also the founding father of the Malaysian Academy of Sciences.
Dr Canagasaby, who specialised in animal production systems and the environment, believes sharing knowledge is important.
“This belief has always kept me going and I have built a name for myself in the windows of opportunity that have come my way,” he added.
His main concern has been improving the nation’s ability to increase food production through the use of natural resources with community-based participation from farmers.
Dr Canagasaby, who has written 24 books and about 500 publications, said science must provide solutions to growing challenges and demands in an environment of reduced resources and diminishing funding.
Dr Ramachandran was awarded for his work in the elimination of tropical diseases of poverty plaguing millions.
“We have come a long way as the oldest scientific association in Malaysia.
“We are still looking for ways to make the association relevant especially among young scientists,” said Dr Ramachandran, who is MSA’s immediate past president and the United Nations Association of Malaysia (UNAM) vice-president.
Prior to the awards ceremony, the fourth Tan Sri Dr B.C. Shekar Memorial Public Lecture and Panel Discussion was held.
The MSA set up a foundation in memory of Dr Shekar after his death in 2006 with the aim of promoting the advancement of science and technology and to remember his great work in the plantation industry.
Six plantation experts took part in the discussion on changes affecting the industry.