KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — Malaysians need to strengthen the culture of science innovation to achieve the country's aspiration to become a developed nation by 2020.
Former International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said science innovation, particularly in economy, has to be viewed in the broader context.
"Science permeates through all levels of the economy and society including health, well-being, human resource, technology, manufacturing and civil service.
"Science in economy is very crucial for Malaysia as we are going to the third stage of development which is the innovation driven stage and it is essentially about science," she told Bernama on the sidelines of the "Science And The Economy:Changes For Malaysia" conference on Saturday.
Rafidah was a speaker at the one-day conference hosted by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia.
According to the Global Innovation Index (GII), Malaysia's ranking improved one slot to 32nd out of 141 countries in 2012.
Earlier, in her speech, Rafidah said scientific thinking was an important element that the workforce should adopt because science can add value to the economy as the workforce was the main driver for it.
"We must begin to nurture this (scientific thinking) as early as possible in the education system.
"And, certainly within the education-value-chain and training-value-chain, we must ensure all this are put in place so that no one pillar of our social economic system are weak or too weak to hold the burden of greater development or high levels of development.
She said the important pillars were education and training.
Rafidah added that other changes that Malaysians needed to do in driving the country to be a better nation was to focus on providing more space for innovation, create innovative bureaucracy, strong push in research and development and, improve innovative curiosity. (PNA/Bernama)