CYBERJAYA, Aug 25 — Malaysian youths should be at the forefront of technological development so the country is not left behind, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said that aside from learning from other countries, Malaysians who are keen on technology should also innovate and adapt discoveries with local knowledge.
“Doing so will enable Malaysian tech companies and startups to resolve local problems and needs,” Saifuddin said after attending the Oryctes high precision agriculture spraying drone launch and live demonstration at Futurise.
The minister said the spot precision drone, primarily used to spray pesticide in palm oil plantations, was a good example of technology being used for local purposes.
“We want Malaysians to be active in technology development. If for whatever reason we do not create, we should at least be able to adopt.
“We should not limit ourselves to only being the spectators of others who come up with technological developments, or even mere imitators,” he said.
Saifuddin added that the ministry also sought to prevent the repeat of previous incidents when innovative Malaysians who approached the government for aid were turned down, as the ecosystem to assist them was lacking at the time.
“Technological development is fast, we must also be equally fast in that respect. I am confident that now the ecosystem is far better than it was before.
“Nonetheless, we do not know what will happen in the coming future, such as the next five years. So we must always be at the ready to maintain the upper hand in tech and development,” he said.
Oryctes was developed by local startup Poladrone, and was named after the Rhinoceros Beetle, one of the most damaging pests to the palm oil sector.
The drone has been successfully engineered to potentially eradicate this long-present agricultural pest known to inflict extensive damage on young oil palm trees by spraying pesticidal fluids directly onto the vulnerable spot of the tree using precision spot application technology.