Abdullah praises Cuba for its resilience


HAVANA: The Cuba experience is proof that the lack of facilities does not hinder the advancement of science and technology, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“What I have seen here shows that the progress comes from the desire to learn by students and the desire to teach by the teachers,” said Abdullah at the end of his visit here.

He leaves for home today and will go to Vientiane next for the Asean summit.

“I have always said that if you plant padi, you will get padi and not lallang. But what is needed is to give it the right amount of water, fertiliser and pesticide.

“The process of planting with just good seeds is not enough,” Abdullah said in an analogy of how the younger generation should be nurtured.

He said Cuba's future was bright as it was nurturing future generations of scientists and knowledge workers.

The socialist Caribbean island nation has been under US sanctions for over 40 decades and is unable to import most goods.

During his visit to the University of Information Technology Sciences, the students surprised Abdullah with a “Happy Birthday” song in Spanish. The Prime Minister turns 65 today.

On co-operation between Cuba and Malaysia, Abdullah said both countries had agreed that biotechnology and agriculture were areas they could work on together.

“I am especially impressed with the advancement Cubans have achieved in bio-medicine.

“Three agreements on bio-technology have been signed between the private sectors of the two countries. The agreements are for anti-cancer vaccine, Hepatitis B vaccine and shrimp growth enhancement technology,” he said.

Abdullah said Cubans had proven that they were able to treat and cure plant diseases. He said Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia would soon start working with universities here on vaccine production.

Abdullah had visited a polyclinic here and noted that traditional medicine was used alongside western medicine.


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