Malaysians and Modern Biotechnology: Factors Influencing its Encouragement

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Modern biotechnology is a complex emerging issue that exhibits high salience combined with limited knowledge on part of the public. It has been suggested by social scientists that any complex object may be located in a variety of general classes where its evaluation may be strongly affected by extraneous concerns. The purpose of this paper is to identify relevant factors that influence the encouragement of genetically modified (GM) insulin as an example of modern biotechnology product available in Malaysia. A survey was carried out on 1017 respondents from various stakeholders’ groups in the Klang Valley region. Results of the survey have confirmed that attitude towards complex issues such as biotechnology should be seen as a multi-faceted/multidimensional process. The most important factors predicting encouragement of GM insulin are the specific application-linked perceptions about the benefits, acceptance of risk and moral concern while risk and familiarity are significant predictors of benefit and risk acceptance. Attitude towards GM soybean is also predicted by several general classes of attitude.

Keywords: Public Attitude, Modern Biotechnology, Perceived Benefit, Perceived Risk, Moral Concerns, Structural Equation Modelling
Stream: Social Sustainability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Malaysians and Modern Biotechnology

Associate Prof. Dr. Latifah Amin

Senior Lecturer, Centre for General Studies, National University of Malaysia
Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Dr. Latifah Amin is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for General Studies, National University of Malaysia. She holds a M.Sc in Molecular Genetics and PhD in Biotechnology and Society. She is a distinguish researcher in the area of public attitude/perception, risk perception and ethical aspects of modern biotechnology.

Prof. Jamaluddin Md. Jahi

Professor, Institute of the Malay World and Civilization, National University of Malaysia
Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Prof. Abd Rahim Md. Nor

Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences & Humanities, National University of Malaysia
Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Assoc. Prof. Mohamad Osman

Assoc Prof, Faculty of Science and Technology, National University of Malaysia
Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Prof. Nor Muhammad Mahadi

Director, Malaysia Genome Institute, Tecnology and Innovation
Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Ref: S08P0209