Malaysia has officially become a member of the Antarctic Treaty Pact. It is the first Asean country and the 49th nation to do so.
Malaysia’s accession to the treaty as a non-consultative party means that it can take part in the decision-making process at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) and conduct scientific expeditions to Antarctica and establish its own research base there.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement yesterday it was hoped this would enhance Malaysia’s scientific research efforts and allow findings made by Malaysian researchers in Antarctica to be patented.
Malaysia has since July 2008 been a member of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, a committee of the International Council of Science that is in charge of the initiation, promotion and co-ordination of scientific research in Antarctica.