Exploit UMS research findings: Dr M
Daily Express
31 March 2005

Kota Kinabalu: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Sabah should produce fish feed domestically to reduce import cost and make aquaculture projects more competitive.

He noted that most of the fish feed in the State were imported and hence, the high cost of maintaining the fish-rearing industry.

"Cost is very important (in fish-rearing business). (Therefore) if we can cut down cost by producing our own fish feed, we will be more competitive," he said after visiting University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Marin Borneo Research Institute's fish hatchery, here, Wednesday.

At the same time, Dr Mahathir, who was accompanied by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah, said publicity on fish feed is essential so as to attract entrepreneurs to produce the commodity.

Further on the fishery sector, he said the Government does extend its assistance to the people, particularly the fishing community in Sabah.

However, he pointed out that the people should make full use of the findings of research conducted by the State's premier higher institute of learning.

"The research findings should be utilised by the people in Sabah but we find that although the research were fruitful, not many people are interested to know about the outcome of such research," he said.

In this respect, he said the media plays an important role towards disseminating research findings to the public.

Close collaborating with research institutes in the UMS with the media ought to be forged so as to benefit all the parties concerned, including the public, that would ultimately and inevitably benefit the State's economy.

On UMS, he said the university has notched progress, particularly in aquaculture, which it has gained international recognition.

"(Hence) we hope the university will focus on this sector because fish is one of the (abundant) resources in Sabah," he said.

The university came about as a result of Dr Mahathir's promise he made on Jan 31 1994, in Beaufort, during a leader-with-people session when he was still the Prime Minister.

The same year, in November, Malaysia's ninth university UMS was formed and has since grown by leaps and bounds.

It won 10 medals in the 32nd International Invention Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland in April 2004 while two of its young scientists were invited to join a scientific expedition to Antarctica.

Also present were Vice-Chancellor Datuk Dr Mohd Noh Dalimin and former Vice-Chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dr Abu Hassan Othman.