"The US$25 million (RM84.3 million) agreement for a Malaysian to fly to space was negotiated in 2003 with a US$900 million deal for Malaysia to buy 18 Russian fighter jets."
This is exactly how much we spend on Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor's trip to space. Other short term visitors paid the same amount to go space travel too. Back home, the Malaysian is hailed as the first Malaysian astronaut. I am sure many are amazed with the achievement of Dr Sheikh but many have criticised the money spent by the government (means our money lah!) on his trip.
A letter writer in Malaysiakini.com is furious, "We have spent an appalling US$925 million, or RM3.1 billion, to send one Malaysian for a 11-day return trip to space with a throw-in deal of 18 Russian fighter jets (Actual condition and value of the jets are unknown)."
After some days in the space station, we have not heard of him doing any important experiment yet. We would definitely want to know the progress of the tasks he was asked to do up there.
I hope UMNO can now do away with the race affirmative policy since the Malay community has chalked up a landmark progress which other communities in Malaysia can only dream to do. If not we will intrepret this entire Angkasawan's episode as a political sandiwara and a 'smoke screen' to blind our vision of our sand castle achievement.