KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) joint chairman Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid has made headlines after being named one of the 66 foundation fellows of the International Science Council (ISC).

In a statement, MIGHT said the announcement was made by ISC president Sir Peter Gluckman at the inaugural ceremony which was held in Paris, reported Bernama.

Zakri, who is also a senior fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM), is the sole founding fellow from Malaysia and Asean, the statement read.

Others in this coveted list include renowned American economist Jeffrey Sachs, president of the World Academy of Sciences Mohamed H. Hassan, Royal Scientific Society of Jordan president Princess Sumaya El Hassan, Nobel laureate from Taiwan Yuan T. Lee and Jane Lubchenco from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The fellowship shall be the highest honour awarded to individual scientists by the ISC, it read.

It recognises individuals who have an exceptional track record in more than one of the following domains: promoting science for the global good internationally; providing broad scientific leadership (in the international or regional arena); promoting the global voice for science; developing major scientific initiatives and structures, and scientific accomplishments.

The ISC is a non-governmental organisation with a unique global membership that brings together over 200 international scientific unions and associations as well as national and regional scientific organisations including academies and research councils.

Zakri expressed his appreciation to ISC for the recognition which he described as a great honour not only for him but also the country.

“To keep abreast of scientific and technological advances, one needs to keep company with the best. Furthermore, Malaysia must remain committed to international collaboration and be proactive in science diplomacy.”

Zakri, currently the fifth holder of the Tun Hussein Onn Chair in International Studies at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia, is a former science adviser to the Prime Minister and member of the Scientific Advisory Board to the-then United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.

In welcoming this latest accolade, MIGHT president and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman complimented Zakri’s lifelong dedication in promoting international scientific collaboration.

“Our readiness in assimilating scientific advances and high technology remains the cornerstone of our wellbeing as one of the top trading nations in the world. For that, we need science leaders to champion it.”