Wednesday, October 10, 2007
posted by PabloPabla at 12:22 pm

Dr. Who? Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, who will today at 9.22pm local Malaysian time, make history by being Malaysia's first astronaut (and some say cosmonaut whilst local people say Angkasawan). I know there are so many blog postings out there discussing the merits (er, not that many actually) and demerits (too many to read, in my humble opinion) of this project to send a Malaysian into space. I was quite appalled to read some of the postings which even give names like "sending monkeys into space" to play with "children's games" and the like. Makes me wonder who the real monkeys are and who is being childish by name calling.

This post will not attempt in any way to discuss whether the project to send a Malaysian into space is worth the money expended by the government. Even if we are to discuss it, it makes no difference because monies have been spent and barring any unforeseen circumstances, Dr. Sheikh (who is a really good looking guy, I must say - definitely looks far better than a monkey) will be shooting to space on board the Russian Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft.

Why does he deserve my congratulations? Well, for starters, he will be one of the select few men (and women), elite some say, to get a chance to experience travelling in a rocket and doing stuffs in space. Again, let's not debate about the childishness or unchildishness of the things he will be doing or whether the experiments he will be doing will make a difference to mankind or not. This post is not about that. Not only will he be travelling in that state of the art rocket, he will be travelling free. He is fortunate indeed. Space tourists have to pay a ridiculous amount just to get to fly (if they pass the compulsory physical, mental and other tests too).

He is afterall, the one who was finally selected after undergoing various tests and examinations ranging from physical to mental to skills (and others which I am probably unaware). Well, he's an orthopaedic surgeon and that is one skill I don't profess to have and I respect him for acquiring this skill in university and serving as medical doctor and teacher for that. He is the chosen one. Nevermind whether the debate about the transparency of the selection process. That's a different debate altogether. Just concentrate on his personal abilities. I believe he does have a great range of abilities which impressed his selectors. He ought to be respected and commended for his abilities.

He will go down in history as the first Malaysian to go to space. You can't take that away from him. This is the opportunity given to him and he is the chosen one. At least I get to witness this historic moment. I was not even born when the first man landed on moon. But at least I am present to witness this moment and be proud of Dr. Sheikh.

Why take the glory from him? Why ridicule him for being given the assignment to conduct certain tests? From the outset, you and I know that the chosen one will have to do certain things up there in space. He decided to give it a shot and applied for the selection process and he succeeded. He is merely doing what his obligations are. For all you know, the experiments which he will be conducting may very well benefit mankind. Do not condemn until the results are out. You might end up having your own foot in your own mouth later.

No, I do not wish to talk about the merits and demerits of sending him up there. I have made up my mind as far as election voting is concerned. For now, I just want to congratulate him for being the chosen one. It's not an opportunity for anyone. He's blessed indeed. Now, Dr. Sheikh, you go there and make us proud of you! It's your moment of glory!



At 2:41 pm, Blogger Helen

I know he's just a pawn...

WHen he's hitching a free ride, he'll definitely has to put up with some people's wrath. I know not his fault.....

When's the next GE? :-)


At 3:32 pm, Anonymous Giddy Tiger

You know Pablo, that is the first positively toned blog post I have read about this whole *rocket* extravaganza. And every word is so true.
You almost sound as "teruja" as the news commentator that night. *grins*