MIRI: It is important that Sarawak has the knowledge and expertise pertaining to the study of astronomy.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said such expertise was in line with the digitalisation of the state’s economy besides helping to deal with climate change.
“Astronomy is important for us to understand how the world works. This was pioneered by a Persian astronomer Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi.
“Secondly, the intangibles – now we have space tourism which is the culmination of the research on space development.
“I see that this observatory will be a knowledge centre for us to do research on space,” he said when officiating at the launch of the observatory here on Friday (Sept 23).
Abang Johari said astronomy was linked to digital knowledge on how signals were sent to outer space which was also based on the fundamentals of algorithm.
“How signal travels is a branch in astronomy and against this background, we need to do our research despite how busy we are,” he said.
Similarly, the chief minister said climate change was linked to the study of astronomy as weather and tides could be predicted by mathematical models.
“The United Nations (UN) today is discussing climate change and about its catastrophic effects.
“We can foresee the flood if we calculate the rotation of moon and stars, that is why the Chinese (Lunar) calendar, is based on the movement of the moon.
“This observatory will be a centre for research which we must promote to our children, Muslims or non-Muslims as they can learn about the technology and space,” he said.
Abang Johari said back in the olden days, looking at the moon was very important to determine the start and end of the fasting month.
“In contrast, today, it is a field of science on the rotation of the sun, moon and stars- all of which is God’s creation which relates to the human life,” he said.