Request

To my cover-exchanging friends, please try as much as possible to
(1) WRITE THE ADDRESSES USING YOUR OWN HANDWRITING
as these give a more personal touch to the cover
(2) PLEASE DO NOT USE TAPE OR STICKERS ON THE REVERSE;
the Philippine postal service damages the cover with scribbling that highly devalues the aesthetic value of the cover, which is what I am after
(3) PLEASE TRY TO USE COMPLETE SETS
or at least same themes when sending covers, but it is okay if this is not possible or if this would be expensive, and
(4) PLEASE USE SMALL ENVELOPES,
not too small, but maybe around 4"x6" or something like that; big envelopes are not very attractive unless they have many stamps.
Thank you!

21.3.09

Malaysians in Space



Here is one of my favorite FDCs. It commemorates the launch of the National Angkasawa program of Malaysia.

The Angkasawan program was an initiative by the Malaysian government to send a Malaysian to the International Space Station on board Soyuz TMA-11. The program was named after the Malay word for astronaut, Angkasawan. It resulted in Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor becoming the first Malaysian in space on October 10, 2007.

The evidence suggest that the main objectives of the program are to uplift the national image and to instill in the younger generation greater interest in Maths and Science. At the launch, the Malaysian Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis said: "It is not merely a project to send a Malaysian into space. After 50 years of independence, we need a new shift and a new advantage to be more successful as a nation. "We want to awe and inspire, and spur Malaysians to attain greater success by embracing science and technology.

The program sought to elicit interest from the Malaysian youth by setting up experiments in space, some of which were spinning a top in zero gravity and tossing the Batu Seremban (a Malaysian traditional five-stone game). It also included a live Physics lecture to be made by the Malaysian astronaut to show Malaysians the effect of zero gravity.

The cost of sending Sheikh Muszaphar into space has been estimated at RM 105 million (approximately USD 26 million). The Malaysian space program has been criticized as a waste of money for a developing nation that could ill afford such indulgences. Officials defended the funding of the program as part of a US$900 million defense deal struck with Moscow in 2003 to buy 18 Sukhoi Su-30 MKM fighter jets.

I personally also think that it was a waste of money, considering that the country could use some development in its rural areas, which I must say from first-hand observations are quite underdeveloped. However, considering that Malaysia seems to be a progressive country - undeniably more progressive than the Philippines at the moment - perhaps the government has something up its sleeve.

I also consider this one of my favorites because, although it may seem a waste of money, it is still nonetheless a symbol of national pride, development, and achievement for a Southeast Asian country!

The first Filipino to reach the peak of Everest made it in 2006, but I highly doubt that the next Filipino (representing the Philippine and no other foreign state) will make it to space any time soon. I mean, the Philippines doesn't even have adequate infrastructure, what more this "luxury"?

1 comment:

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