Toktar Aubakirov: I hope my grandson will follow my steps

Date: 16:15, 18-12-2015.

Astana.  December 18. KazTAG - Oksana Skiban. Toktar Aubakirov, hero of the Soviet Union, holder of Khalyk Kakharmany award, distinguished test pilot of the USSR, told KazTAG about the work of the Kazakh Cabinet in the crisis time, system problems, incorrect interpretation of patriotism and why children stopped dreaming about space exploration.

- Toktar Ongarbayevich, what are you doing these days, why do you avoid talking about the national space program?

- I'm not going to speak on this matter any further. Now I do normal job and I like it. It's a very good team, the team, despite the fact that there are many people in this company.

- Don't you want to go back into politics? Smart, sane people are needed there.

- Thank you for considering me like that.

- In fact! It is obvious today that the political class is too narrow and has no outstanding personalities.

- I want to tell you that there are such people there, just  these people can not reveal themselves. I know that among the current deputies (in the Parliament - KazTAG) there are gifted people. In scientific terms, there are very smart people.

- But what about you?

- I've been there. Many times. I was a deputy three times. Three times I was unlucky. All those three time the Parliament was dissolved. Why should I interfere? If I ever go again, they will dissolve the Parliament again. Therefore, let them work. Many people come there, you know, to a warm place. No one drives anyone and anywhere, no one forces you to speak, you only need to click "yes", especially when it comes fr om the top, then just  - "Hi, we understand." Without all sorts of different amendments. I do not want to be among the many, so to speak, a black sheep.

- Just your figure stood out  those days in the opposition ranks .

- What is the opposition? Now the opposition is perceived in Kazakhstan as a kind of tool that will create enmity between the people and the government.  In my understanding, on the contrary, these people create a precedent so that the current government did not sleep.
You see, if we do not push the government to action, the government may decide that no one asks, no one needs to be thinking, let's postpone for tomorrow, the day after tomorrow . Always we pulled time and then, when we have enough, it turns out, the engine is coming already in full swing and we must somehow drop into it. The world is not standing still. The world is moving.
I'm not saying that the government has untalented people. There are talented people, there are those who solve the problems. It must be all the time that someone stood behind him. One that would push you and get to this place. That is what the opposition is! We need those who will say that's wrong doing, we are ready to replace our vision on the issue, here is something more advanced. And that opposition which is just, sorry, even worse than the  current government - is not the opposition.

- It turns out that we do not have the opposition in Kazakhstan, because there is nobody to awake the Government?

- Have you heard any oppositional voice anywhere lately?

- Besides the "Nur Otan" there are factions like "Ak Zhol", communists. Azat Peruashev , Aikyn Konurov ...

- Peruashev? Has he brought anything new or extraordinary in contrast to what was offered before? No. He simply said that "yes, there is, but it should have to be done  so." As a man, we say, fr om the business, he knows where there is something he can benefit fr om. It's pretty cool, but it is not called a party, not an opposition, but it's called lobbying.

- And how do you feel about the proposal of Majilisman Konurov who offers to set the price of bread to 300 tenge per a loaf?

- And most importantly, he describes in details how it can be done! But no one pays attention to the fact that in his last speech before the release of tenge to the free float, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev said that the bread price will not be changed. There won't be change in price for social services.
Within a month, all of these words have gone somewhere with the wind. Why is that? Why is the government, members of the Cabinet, are acting contrary to the instructions of the President, I do not understand. And why are they still taking their posts?! I think if the locomotive derailed, you have to clean away!

- Do you think that it's time for the Cabinet to step down?

- I can not say that the entire Cabinet, but some of the guys who are sitting there. They could easily go into free- float and no one would suffer from it.

- Is there a replacement?

- There is. A replacement was found for Kelimbetov (ex-chairman of the National Bank - KazTAG). By the way, I'm sorry that Kairat Kelimbetov, wherever he came, he always failed. Why no one saw it before? Why was he recommended to such a responsible post? The Government recommended him to the President! And I think, in general, it turned out that people just took place: and when he was in the Government, and when he headed "Samruk-Kazyna".

- You've been invited to Russia many times, why didn't you go?

- Not many times.  President Putin invited me to be his advisor on military and space affairs. But you cannot serve one tsar and worship to another one at the same time. Hence, it was necessary to stop the service. I told him that I’ m serving my country, my people, and therefore I can not go anywhere.

- That's because you are a patriot. By the way, in your opinion, how is patriotism perceived today and what does it mean personally for you?

-  Unfortunately we do not have enough patriotism. First, let it be a word, and then have it turned into consciousness. We should talk more about patriotism. To give more examples. We only praise the dead. Nobody praises the living examples but it's wrong. If there is an example, why not to follow it?  Why don't we organize some schools of patriotism, patriotic study? I think it would be pretty good.
Anyone sitting at the sewing machine or standing at the machine, would think: "I am doing it for my people, on behalf of his people." That's how it should be, not as it is now, I do it for myself, to earn money. That's the point, you know? And this attitude is everywhere. The motto is: earn everywhere wh ere you can.

- In your opinion, what can you forecast for the future looking at the socio-economic situation in the country?

- It is a big question. In fact, we want to keep pace with the world, but it is impossible. To go along with the world, we need a wide step, and we have short legs now. Our economy is based on the resource base. The President always says that we should move away from the raw material orientation, we must create the industry in the state.
What do we have in reality? Yeah, cheers, we started assembling cars. They came separately, wheels, we put them and shout: "Hurrah! We are making the cars. " But excuse me, guys, this is not it. We make it  when we have adjusted production when we make the details of the car ...

- What prevents us? There is potential, human resources, there are many of the unemployed in the labor market.

- Unfortunately, you're wrong. We have the raw materials, but there is no labor potentials. Kazakhstan prepared the specialists when we were part of the USSR, it was then when we  last time trained personnel: mechanics, welders, combiners, and many other relevant specialties. Today, even the sewers are not ready!
There is no technical basis to prepare specialists. The state would have to worry about it, take care of, but alas! It comes down to what they say, we will bring experts from abroad. Kazakhstan has turned into Kuwait, and people have a personal account from sales of oil and we are like Kuwaitis, can not work, so, we can not prepare specialists?
Farms, collective farms have been shut down in the country, but wh ere are these people who lived there? In Astana and Almaty trading on the markets! They are in the big cities. All the regional centers have acquired people. There used to be 100-200 thousand urban residents, now there are 500 thousand and more.
This is because milk processing enterprises closed down, oil mills, small farms shut down.  Now we bring cheese from northern Kazakhstan somewhere to  Zhezkazgan. This not normal. It should be in each region. At the same time, the cost of goods would be much lower due to lack of transportation costs.
Wh ere is the manpower? Take, for example, the national carrier - pilots are Turkish, Englishman, no Kazakhs.

- The hot question is: who is to blame ...

- Blame the system. The system, namely, the moment when we say whether the government is thinking about the future. There's your answer!

- … and what can be done with this?

- There is a direction - it is training abroad of the professionals who are demanded for the state account . It is an excellent idea. Gradually, the whole process of education and the use of such professionals is changing in a more proper way. Because we have already understood that they get education and stay there, get a job.
Few people go in order to stay there for a while. Those who come back and take high posts are often small potatoes.  Talented guys stay there. It must be stopped. However, in Kazakhstan there is no work for them - that's the point. They come here, they are offered the positions of managers.

- Last question, even though we had agreed not to touch the topics of space, but still. Why do children no longer dream of becoming an astronaut? Remember, 20 years ago a lot of guys in the school essay on "What I want to become" wrote: "astronauts".

- Life has changed. When everyone sees a person who  lives lavishly , others want the same. Because this one used to be an ordinary man, worked somewhere, and then he became rich, while the other can not climb out of poverty. What kind of patriotism, what kind of person would think of space exploration?
Of course, first of all, children of the poor tend to aspire to get out of poverty, and children of rich people think that they should not lose their wealth. What will astronautics bring? They meet, scream hip-hip-hurrah, and then that's all, goodbye. But noone thinks that it is progress, science, and this needs to be done for the future of humanity and not just of the country. Many people think let others do it, not me.
Now people have become pragmatic, it dominates in the families. At school the situation is the same. Teachers always race for the plans or for the program.   When most people have such big, hard concerns, the education of a child , they have no time to think of such lofty matters.

- So, the country won't have astronauts soon.

- There will be. Anyway among the minority of the boys and girls who think of it, there will be those, who will go in this field. Nobody pulled by hand. I never dreamed about anything else, but flying.

- Why don't your children tread in your steps?

- Today's children choose their path. I think may be someone would go, but my wife once said that one pilot is enough for our family. I hope that my grandson will repeat me!

- Thank you for the interview!

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