KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today underlined the importance of developing the country’s intellectual capital, saying that even if the country produces one or two geniuses, the impact to the nation would be tremendous.
Speaking when opening an exposition organised by Permata, Najib said intellectual prowess of individuals should be nurtured from the beginning, particularly when they were at the age of two to five.
The prime minister said the government allocated nearly 25 per cent in each budget to develop education and provide training in the effort to develop the country’s human and intellectual capital.
He acknowledged however that there was a gap in this effort, saying that those in the “top most of the intellectual pyramid” — namely those with genius tendencies averaging about one per cent or less — had not been given sufficient attention previously.
“We have ensured that those at the bottom and middle of the pyramid are given ample opportunities but those at the peak, children who have extraordinary IQ, have not been given any specific programme.
“If we don’t nurture this one per cent, then our society will stand to lose these great potentials. If we can produce just several geniuses, the impact to the country will be very big indeed,” he said.
Citing for instance iconic inventors like Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs, Najib said, these were rare individuals produced by mankind, but said that geniuses did not become great all by themselves.
He added that if these groups were left without being given any assistance, they might only be “one or two gems” emerging from them.
“However, if we have a holistic programme, such as the Permata programme, there may be hundreds if not thousands of these children will eventually emerge as gems,” he said.
Najib said: “We help those who are weak and those with disabilities; we also help those who are capable; let’s not forget to help those with extraordinary capabilities.”
Stressing a point, Najib who is Permata programme committee chairman, said there were countries with less resources like Japan and South Korea but emerged as major economic powerhouses because of their ability to develop their intellectual capital and high-performance work ethics.
“There are also countries with rich natural resources but becoming a fail state or remain backward because of their failure to develop their intellectual capital,” he said.
Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is patron of Permata, said the inaugural exposition would give opportunities to the public to see for themselves how the programme was implemented since its inception in 2006.
“This is the first time that the public will be able to see how Permata is implemented, its success story and the effectiveness of the programmes,” she said, adding that the event would also serve as a brainstorming platform to further strengthen Permata’s programmes.
Permata offers early education and childcare, particularly to children under four years old. There are currently 624 Permata centres nationwide.
The exposition at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre opens until Monday.
The programme includes International Children Arts Festival at Istana Budaya, which started yesterday until tomorrow and opens to the public.
Source : Bernama