PROF Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram has been awarded the prestigious “Tokoh Akademik Negara” award.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad presented the award to the prominent economist at the 12th National Academic Awards ceremony in Putrajaya last week.
Prof Jomo was recognised for his outstanding achievement in various fields, both in Malaysia and abroad.
The former economics professor recently entered the limelight when he was appointed as a member of the Council of Eminent Persons.
Among the list of Prof Jomo's stellar achievements included his appointment as Assistant Director-General and Coordinator for Economic and Social Development, in the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.
He currently holds the Tun Hussein Onn Chair in International Studies at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies.
Dr Mahathir also presented other awards to six other academicians.
Two Universiti Malaya lecturers, Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Roslan Mohd Nor and Assoc Prof Dr Juan Joon Ching received the Book Publication Award and the Promising Academician Award respectively.
Universiti Teknologi Mara's Mohd Faizul Noorizan received the Arts and Creativity Award (Craft) while Assoc Prof Dr Mawar Safri of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia was presented the Arts and Creativity Award (Creative Writing).
Universiti Putra Malaysia's Assoc Prof Dr Wan Zuhainis Saad received the Teaching Award (Pure Science) while Universiti Utara Malaysia's Assoc Prof Dr Fauziah Abdul Rahim received the Teaching Award (Applied Arts and Applied Social Science).
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir in his speech said academicians are an important group of people who will produce future-proof graduates that are not only knowledgeable, but also have the wisdom to deal with complex life situations.
Even though they are usually victims of criticism, the government remains proud of the achievements shown by our academicians and institutes of higher learning.
Their achievements will contribute to the strategy to bring the country's education to an international level, said Dr Mahathir.
Also present were Dr Mahathir's wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Ali and Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.
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