“Fair Measure”: SIRIMLink Issue #3, 2010
Those who grew up in the 1960s would be no stranger to the older units of measurement used back then: pounds and yards, gantang and ela. Then in 1975, Malaysia implemented the International System of Units (SI) as the country’s official metrological system. For at least ten years afterward, both the older and newer systems coexisted in a state of uncomfortable transition, and then slowly, the older system faded away all together.
I personally have no idea what a gantang or ela looks like. Sadly, my Dad’s memory of those units of measurement is growing hazy, too. But, like many other countries, Malaysia’s rapid advancement into the industrial economy would not have been possible without metrology.
Adopting the SI system allowed Malaysia to leapfrog many competing countries and to position itself as a leading developing economy. The national measurement system was also strengthened by the National Measurement System Act 2007 and the revised Weights and Measures Act 1972.
In this issue of SIRIMLink, we revisit the principles, frameworks and ideas that the science of measurement is based on. We spoke to metrologists at the NML to better understand their role in industry, society and research, and see how metrology intends to cope with the challenges of the future. The contents include:
- Money from Trade: How the science of measurement enables the global economy.
- Perfect Measure: Why we all have a metrologist to thank for our jobs, economies and modern inventions.
- Laws of Measure: The understated and under-appreciated function of metrology in law and order.
- Apples and Oranges: The National Metrology Lab’s foray into Certified Reference Materials begins to bear fruit.
- Golden Times: Why even the most accurate and precise clocks in the world will not prevent tardiness.
- The Mystery of Gravity: The NML’s three gravity spots have been measured to eight decimal points.
- Piston Perfect: An NML researcher will soon be making pressure balances to rival the best products in the world.
About Marcus Gomez
Marcus Gomez & Partners provides world-class technical and business copywriting solutions to help global SMBs and multinationals enhance their sales, market share and corporate visibility in the international marketplace. Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the boutique communications agency counts some of the biggest brands in the world as its customers, including Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Cisco Systems and TÜV SÜD. It also serves major government agencies such as the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), SIRIM Berhad, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), InvestPerak and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.