Yayasan Penyelidikan Antartika Sultan Mizan
The establishment of Sultan Mizan Antarctic Research Foundation or the Yayasan Penyelidikan Antartika Sultan Mizan (YPASM) was approved by the Cabinet on 6 June, 2012. Subsequently, on 18 July, 2012, YPASM was registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee and not having share capital, under the Companies Act, 1965. The establishment of YPASM as an agency under the purview of Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) was launched by Ke Bawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah, Sultan of Terengganu on 19 July, 2012 in Kuala Terengganu. His Majesty, in his royal address, graciously accepted the role of Patron of the foundation. The foundation aimed to get more Malaysian scientists involved in Antarctic research and to sustain Malaysia’s presence in Antarctica.
Since its establishment, YPASM has provided 24 polar research grants, 12 fellowships and 10 Antarctic berth supports to research station in Antarctica worth RM5.239 million mainly to Malaysian young scientists. Most of the research projects funded by the foundation are targeted at contributing to our understanding of how the planet works and in predicting how it will change.
Recognising the need to sustain Malaysia’s involvement in polar research, YPASM introduced the YPASM Smart Partnership Initiative in collaboration with eight local universities – International Medical University, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Malaya, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu.
The foundation also organises education and outreach programmes such as polar science camps, sharing sessions, contests and exhibitions for students and the public. Apart from providing exposure to youths on Malaysia’s involvement in Polar regions (Antarctic and Arctic), these programmes are targeted at inculcating interest in science education and the global climate change as well as explore solutions on the issue. Through hands-on learning, youths can better understand and respect the history, culture and ecological diversity of the Polar regions.