As a visiting scholar to STEPI, Dr. Mustafa Din Subari from UTM Perdana School of STI policy, Malaysia kindly agreed to an interview. Though his visit was short, he gave an insightful lecture on his expertise which is development of space sector. During his stay, he expressed wish on behalf of his institution to cooperate with STEPI in the near future.

Please tell us about your institution and your specialty.

Perdana School of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (UTM Perdana School) is a faculty in the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur. We are the only public research center in STI Policy study in Malaysia. Currently we are offering a Masters in STI Policy by taught course, and supervising about 60 post-graduate students, both in Masters and PhD program, in related STI-Policy areas. Our students are both from local and abroad. We have around 12 academicians in areas such as ICT, energy, green technology, space, oceanography, IP and laws, education and politics, and certainly STI policy. Apart from teaching, we are also involved in various research and consulting works in related areas. We also have strong working relations with various Ministries and several Malaysian public agencies such as EPU, MAMPU, INTAN, and JPA.
I myself was the Director General of the Malaysian Space Agency (ANGKASA) from 2008 to 2013, before joining UTM Perdana School this year; hence naturally my area of interest is in space sector which includes national space policy, space acts, and space industry. In specific, my current research is in capacity building framework in space sector.

What is the current status of Malaysian STI policy?

We had our first S&T Policy in 1969 – the National Policy on Science and Technology (NSTP1) that focuses on the use of science and technology in developing our natural resources, namely rubber, timber, tin and oil palm. Then the second S&T Policy in 1983, the NSTP2, focuses more on the industrialization push of the economy. We had recently launched our third S&T policy – the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (NSTIP) in 2013, which focuses on science and technology as the driver for innovations, in line with the current Innovation driven economy program adopted by the country.

What is it about STEPI that attracted you?

Korea has been a focus of study by various developing nations. Being in the space sector, I have also witnessed the quantum development of Korea’s space sector. All of these have to have its origin in the Korea’s policy of development, mainly the STI and related policies. STEPI, as the think-tank of Korea’s policy development agency would have played its strategic role effectively. For such reasons I decided to come over to STEPI and talk with you, to understand and hopefully to be able to work together in our future endeavor, mainly in researching and developing effective STI policies for our countries.

What do you hope to achieve during your stay at STEPI?

As I said earlier, I hope to get a better understanding on how STEPI has played its role in assisting the development of Korea, mainly in STI and related policy development. Colleagues at STEPI have warmly greeted me and I hope this can be a good start in having a strong working relationship in the future.