News: Commemorative Stamps and First Day Cover of the Malaysian Antarctic Research Programme

Commemorative Stamps and First Day Cover of the Malaysian Antarctic Research Programme (MARP) was launched by Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) at the National Science Centre, Bukit Kiara early March. In conjunction with Tahun Sains Gerakan Inovasi 2012 (Science Driven Innovation Year 2012), the philatelic launch recognizes Malaysia’s involvement in the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS).

Malaysia’s effort in preserving Antarctic was first voiced at the United Nations General Assembly in 1983. This effort was furthered by the formation of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia Task Force on Antarctic Research in 1997. Since 1999, 31 research projects, 46 expeditions and more than 100 Malaysian scientists collaborating with researchers from other parts of the world have been involved in this effort.

Other than being part of ATS, Malaysia is a member of Scientific Committee of Antarctic Research (SCAR), Asian Forum for Polar Sciences (AFOPS), Antarctica and the Global Climate System (AGCS), International Antarctic Institute (IAI), Modeling and Observational Studies of Antarctic Katabatics Action Group (MOSAK) as well as a member of Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management (SCADM).

Marking the continuous effort of Malaysia’s involvement in Antarctic, Malaysia scientists will soon be able to conduct research in Antarctic even without permits from international bodies upon approval by the Parliament. Ongkili said the Sultan Mizan Polar Research Fellowship Award, a proposed research fellowship focusing on climate issues, aspects of life sciences and energy will be brought forward for cabinet approval in the month of March.

This would be a great opportunity for Malaysian scientists to actively pursue their scientific researches in the Antarctic.

Sources:
MOSTI Press Release – Launching of Commemorative Stamp and First Day Cover (MARP)
Dr Max’s Blogsite – Commemorative Stamps and First Day Cover of the Malaysian Antarctic Research Programme Launched
AsiaOne News – Antarctica research deal allows Malaysian scientists to conduct research without international permit