Lecturer and varsity graduate bag Merdeka Award Grant

KUALA LUMPUR: A study on natural disaster risk reduction is the winning topic for the 2016 Merdeka Award Grant for Inter­national Attachment.

The research is aimed at helping communities become more resilient in dealing with natural disasters by looking into proactive measures instead of mitigation.

Grant recipient Dr Khamarrul Azahari Razak, 35, said Malaysia faced many disasters but there were not enough research findings implemented in policy frameworks.

The research output, he added, could also be used to predict future landslides or floods.

“By sharing the technical and scientific information, it would make them more prepared when dealing with natural disasters,” he told reporters after the announcement of the recipients for the Merdeka Award here yesterday.

The Universiti Teknologi Malaysia lecturer is one of two recipients for the grant announced by Perak Ruler Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, the royal patron of the Merdeka Award Trust.

The second recipient, Lily Koh, was chosen based on her topic, which focuses on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“My research is on how Malaysian SMEs can strategically position themselves in the value chain in the midst of Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution.

“I hope that my research will be able to answer that question,” said the 25-year-old University of Cambridge postgraduate.

Apart from the grant, the two recipients will have the opportunity to undergo an attachment of up to three months abroad.

At the event, Sultan Nazrin also announced the recipients for this year’s Merdeka Award.

The recipients are Tan Sri Lakshmanan Krishnan (Education and Community), Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor (Environment), Prof Datuk Dr Looi Lai Meng (Health, Science and Technology) and Prof Datuk Dr Wan Ramli Wan Daud (Oustanding Scholastic Achieve­ment).

There is no recipient for the Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia category.

The awards night is expected to be held in December.

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