Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mugilan : Malaysia's Future Astronaut???

I still remember how my teachers in primary school inspired us to be a teacher, doctor and other famous profession when we grown up. Even today if we ask our kids they will say “I want to be doctor, lawyer, CSI or Astronaut”. But the thing is, in reality how many of us (Indians) are really given chance to pursue those professions when they have whatever required for that particular field?

When Mugilan proved that he is capable of achieving his dreams with his excellent academic performance, why there is no aid given to him? A scholarship was denied for Sufiah Yusof the math genius because she is not a Malaysian but Murali is Malaysian isn’t he?

When an achiever like Mugilan not appreciated and not given a proper scholarship grant, loan or whatever, then what are we going to tell our current youngsters? “Study hard, get good result so that he or she can obtain a scholarship for further studies” ??? When in reality the performers are denied any financial aid or sometimes even a place in university.

Don’t kill their dreams and talent. If we can come out with millions of ringgit for not sooo important projects, surely we can come out with some money to sponsor this brainy guy who willing to comeback and serve his beloved motherland. Inilah dikatakan “Pembagunan Modal Insan”. Think about it “Malaysia” .


Mugilan: I'll be exploring space by 2018
S Pathmawathy | Jun 7, 08 3:11pm

Mugilan Re Ko is geared to set himself apart from the common by pursuing his childhood fantasy: to look down at planet Earth from outer space.

The 20 year-old aeronautical student is confident that nothing can hamper his dreams of becoming an astronaut by 2018.

“This has been my dream since I was five and I know I wouldn’t be happy unless I pursue my dream,” he said in an interview with Malaysiakini.

Amazed and captivated by a picture book on space travel given to him during his toddler days, Mugilan explained his only aspiration ever since was to be involved in exploring the universe.

The beginning

“My dad taught me to think big and to aim big. Nothing’s impossible when one’s heart is in the right place,” he asserted.

Mugilan said with the support of his parents and sibling, he was always encouraged to only work towards the best in pursuit of his dreams.

Educated in a SJK(T) Serdang, a Tamil medium school in Selangor, Mugilan is not what one would call a typical young Malaysian who is generally thought of being incapable of having such dreams.

After completing Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations in which he scored 11 As, Mugilan pursued his studies in a local private institution to complete the American Degree Transfer Programme (ADP).

Mugilan then enrolled into the top rated institute for aeronautical engineering in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the United States using just his academic merits in pursuit of his ambition.

Scholarships and educational grants

However, despite his excellent academic qualification, no scholarship grant or financial aid was given to Mugilan by the Malaysian government despite submitting numerous appeals.

“After finishing ADP in 2006, I appealed to the prime minister, the Education Ministry, the Malaysian National Space Agency and even private companies requesting for a scholarship or at least a loan which would have lessened my financial burden,” he said.

Although he was frustrated and dejected by the treatment he received, Mugilan said it never crossed his mind to give up and strengthened his resolve to discover other alternatives instead.

“I was able to secure a loan from Maju Institute of Education Development (MIED), some private funding and my father financed the rest,” he said.

Mugilan, who has another year to complete his aerospace engineering degree said he is actively pushing his studies towards achieving his dream.

“I’ll push my career towards my goal. If situations do not permit, I’ll pursue my dreams in another way. If one path fails, I’ll use another,” he added.

Although the Malaysian government has failed to assist this ambitious student, Mugilan said his loyalty to the country remains firm and he is not hesitant to contribute his talents in building the nation’s aerospace industry.

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