UCSI launches Tan Sri Omar Abdul Rahman Centre for STI

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 – In a bid to strengthen the national agenda of science, technology, and social innovation towards a harmonious, prosperous and progressive as well as a sustainable Malaysia, UCSI University today launched the Tan Sri Omar Abdul Rahman Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy Studies.

Essentially, the formation of this centre is to serve as a champion in promoting the agendas related to STI; an advisor to provide sound advice or direction to various advisory committees or agencies related to drive the policies of STI; a populariser in bridging the gap between scientific community and the public on the roles of STI; a planner in planning STI policies, as well as to educate and implement these policies.

In his launching speech, Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Omar Abdul Rahman said the centre would also be tasked to advocate the establishment of a National STI Action Council.

The renowned academician and corporate figure, who is also a member of the UCSI University Council explained that the centre would strive to achieve these goals by raising awareness, facilitating comprehension, encouraging commitment, advocating appropriate action, and mandating evaluation.

“The big challenge is implementation. Translating intention into action and successful completion require an optimal capacity, involving a whole host of dedicated players and competent enablers,” he said.

“So, when UCSI University decided to establish a centre for STI policy studies, it was a wish come true for me. To have the centre named as it is, is a great honour and I thank the University most sincerely for its magnanimity,” Dr Omar said.

UCSI University Vice Chancellor and Founder Dato Peter Ng lauded the establishment of the centre, calling it timely and “much needed” especially during a time of such where the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted various parts of how mankind goes on with life.

“The past one-and-a-half years show that sound STI policies are sorely needed, not only in Malaysia, but around the world. The way Covid-19 was handled - or mishandled - says it all.

“The formation of the Centre will spur their efforts and connect them to their peers around the world. I would like to applaud the management of UCSI University for taking the initiative to establish a consortium on STI Policy Studies,” he said.

Ng added that the formation of the centre will be another invaluable launchpad for UCSI staff and students, especially to the University’s growing postgraduate cohort.

At the launch, several invited speakers were invited to speak on the topic of “Powering the Nation’s Agenda for a Harmonious, Prosperous, Progressive and Sustainable Malaysia – the Strategic Role of Science, Technology and Social Innovation”.

Panellists at the forum include Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre chairman Professor Dato Dr Abu Bakar Jaafar, The Petri Dish founding editor-in-chief Datin Dr Mahaletchumy Arjunan, 27 Advisory executive director Girish M Ramachandran, and Professor Dr Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi from the School of Architecture, UCSI University.

The forum was moderated by UCSI’s Environmental Management Professor Datuk Dr Ahmad Ibrahim.