Peter Tan Objects To Sending The 2nd Malaysian Astronaut Into Space

As a citizen of Malaysia, I hereby object to the suggestion to send the second astronaut into space at the cost of US$30mil (RM102mil) as reported by The Star (Normal to pick space crew at the last minute, says JJ – Tuesday September 25, 2007).

“If Malaysians want him to be sent to space too, I will raise the matter up with the Cabinet. He is after all, ready and able.

He added that the cost of sending the second Malaysian astronaut was estimated to be US$30mil (RM102mil).

This amount can be better used to improve the lives of thousands, if not millions, of our fellow Malaysians. I speak from the viewpoint of a disabled person. This money can be utilised to make the environment and public transport accessible, and support people with severe disabilities who are practicing independent living. These include providing funds for personal assistants and other support services. RM102mil is a lot of money and it should be used judiciously to benefit the most number of people.

For starters, the people at RapidKL kept saying that they do not have the money to make the public transport system under their management accessible. This RM102mil can go a log way towards achieving that. I have spoken to the State Assemblyman for Teratai YB Yap Soo Sun who said that Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya does not have the funds to upgrade the walkways in Pandan Perdana into accessible ones because of the shortage of funds. RM102mil can do wonders to make all the walkways accessible. These are two examples how the RM102mil can be better spent. Why look so far away into outer space when things that are right before our eyes still need a lot of money and work? Lets get the priorities right here.

Related entry:
Malaysian Going To Outer Space, Disabled Persons Still Stuck At Home

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

16 thoughts on “Peter Tan Objects To Sending The 2nd Malaysian Astronaut Into Space”

  1. I totally agree with you 100%. The couple of hundred million Ringgit spend on space tourism is uncalled for. There are the displaced people in Sabah, the unfortunate people around the country, improvement of public amenities and the list goes on could use a dime or two from the money going into space travel.

    What sort of recognition would the nation gain if we send people into space?

    I totally agree with you. That money could be used for better purposes.

  2. Astronaut? What astronaut??
    The first fella going to space is just a mere Spaceflight Participant only!!
    Check this out from Nasa.

    Spending so much to be just a spaceflight participant?
    It’s really laughable.

    It is not a laughable matter actually. RM102mil is a lot of money.

  3. I agree with what you said Peter. In a rush to be at par with developed nations, we need to invest in what matters most. It is more reasonable to spend the money on creating a better standard of living for Malaysian citizens rather than just show that “Orang Malaysia Boleh Jadi Astronaut”. Where are our priorities? Where are the results based on the promises made earlier?

    Promises are made to be broken. We were naive to trust politicians.

  4. Frankly, sending someone up into space is completely worthless as both Americans and Russians are too careful with their information to allow much of a “technology transfer”.

    We won’t gain any legitimate experience. And if we live in denial, we could probably convince ourselves that we’re ready for space.

    But really, it is an exercise in futility. And no, there is no envy involved.

    You said it so well!

  5. spaceflight participants only. i thought dr sheikh will do some research out there.gosh.if that happen, we can say malaysian has totally wasting money.

    I would like to know what groundbreaking research our Angkasawan will be conducting that will be beneficial to Malaysians in general.

  6. The space programme by Malaysia is a need for continuous development for our nation in technological approach. The government is having the allocation for the disabled person, and also allocate for the space programme.
    If you keep thinking like this, we are unable to go further
    in developing our country. The question is, is the allocation for disable plenty enough? or by means how much we went unfare to them?


    I was giving an example from the viewpoint of a disabled person. If that amount of money can be used for other better purposes, why not? Give me a good example what we as Malaysians can benefit from this “space programme”? Do we even have a “space programme” to begin with? So you think enough has been allocated for disabled persons? Look at public transport. Look at the built environment. What percentage of these facilities are accessible to disabled persons?

  7. Are Malaysian ready for this trip?…Are malaysian country need this….. EXP att this comming 10 year…i dont thing so…. i belive…our ..pour…citizen ..all around malaysian country more need the money to make malaysin citizen more comfortebel life…ratther the GOV used the 103 mill for free test att the space that they (GOV) know that at this momment GOV and the citizen not need that kind of Advantur.. Speend Our money for Right Purppose.

    We want to look far when we have not even solved the issues that are close to us.

  8. Same as when the government want to build 1st national car, or putrajaya, or KLIA, or Sepang F1… most malaysian still thinking backward/negative when it refers to ‘the next big thing’ to be taken by our government. But one thing I would agree with u, they should’nt announce to send another Malaysian into space, must first do check and balance on this 1st attempt… only then to decide.

    20 years on, we still cannot build decent cars. Enough said.

  9. Huh? I think you have to ‘pick your fight carefully again Peter’…after yesterday’s blast-off, you can how proud Malaysians were in contrast to maybe them viewing the ‘ramp at DBKL’?…I know, I know…it’s really is not fair…but we gotta pick a more ‘winnable’ fight…

    This is not a fight. I was stating the obvious and the misplaced priorities of the government. Lets not lose focus here.

  10. I disagree with USMlecturer:
    What is there to be proud off? How will this benefits the man in the streets? When will our goverment learn that seeking vain glory did nothing for our nations self image. I will be proud as a Malaysian if I see justice and fairness in our systems.

    When the Iranian Lady paid for her trip to space, every one knows that she is a “space tourist,” and it was acknowledge as such. No big deal about that.

    PM Badawi say it all, When ask when will we be sending the next “astronaut” to space, which cost USD30 millions. He said, “When we buy next sets of Jet planes,” (although in jest, its rings true, All factor in lah!!!) see The STAR 11 October 2007.

    Nothing is Free My friends. Bloody waste of public funds, which can be used else where.

    The other question is why should we arm ourselves so heavily? Do we have quarrelsome and warmongering neighbours? Would we have saved money from the jet planes deal had we not opted for sending one of our own into space?

  11. How will we benefit technologically by been a space participant?
    During the race to space between Russia and USA, which Russian beating America to send the first man (Yuri Gaggarin) into space, but sudsequentky losse out in landing man (Neil Armstrong) in the moon with Apolo 11 did. Costing billions and billions of dollars.

    Tell me how has it benefited mankind after so mamny years, what breakthrough does these space conquest brough to humankind? Isnt it for vain glory? How does it improve our life on earth?

    But at least now they are smart enough to make an industry out of space tourism by charging those super rich who want experiences blasting into space and and bodoh country who wants to pay for this trip. A case of misplace priority.

    No so proud Malaysian.

    Misplaced priority indeed!

  12. what is going on in malaysia? what is in their mind? i believed the whole wolrd is wondering what is “Malaysian Boleh” !!!!!

  13. This whole astronaut thing is making me sooooo mad!!!!
    Why are we sending a guy into space and wasted that much money, when there is so much need to be done right here on earth, on our own homeland…..
    I’d rather see that money spent on cleaning up all the polution, buy more garbage trucks, clean up our rivers, improve public transport, give to Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat, better healthcare, etc. etc. etc….
    And to think that he went up there to squirt strawberry juice, see how a gasing spin, played a yo-yo, all in the name of science???? Grrrrr…….

    You are so right. There are so many things that needs to be done in Malaysia but the government chose to look the other way.

  14. While we basked at sending a fellow citizen to space, we still have lots of poor people, crime probably at its highest, children still missing, unsolved murder case like Nurin Jazlin, and a whole bunch of normal people here on our Malaysian earth losing respect for the very system that supposedly to protect us. No need to be so high tech or canggih,go inner or outer space when it doesnt benefit the normal rakyat like us. The millions spent can improve lives of many, improve schools’ conditions, feed so many poor people, provide basic utilities to many deprived, built or upgrade hospitals, improve public transportation etc.etc., think of all the goodness the community can have with theses millions. Whilst we are proud of the achievement as a Malaysian, but realistically – cannot use this “pride” untuk makan nasi.

    Very well said.

  15. Maybe it is too quick if we want to send another person to space but for the angkasawan thing, i dont think it was a waste of money. We all know that space technology is very important..thats why countries like America and Russia spend a lot of money for it..therefore why bother to spend money and make the first step to get the technology as well? this case similar to the satellite technology, where we spend million ringgit in developing it. Today we can see that we are not simply throw million ringgit for nothing..internet, telephone, television all improve so well. So for the angkasawan thing, have a little faith in our government and support our own government. It is not the responsibility of the government to support its citizens.It is the responsibility of the citizens to support their own government.

    Whatever happened to the “government of the people, by the people, for the people”?

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