KUALA LUMPUR: For their contributions to the community, environment, health and scholarly research, four personalities were singled out at the Merdeka Awards dinner here.
The four were honoured for their achievements in their respective fields. Each year, the Merdeka Award is conferred to individuals or organisations in five categories.
This year’s 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 were presented by Perak state ruler Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah at Dewan Philharmonic Petronas last night.
Sultan Nazrin is the royal patron of the Merdeka Award Trust.
Krishnan, more famously known as L. Krishnan, 94, is a pioneer in the film industry and recognised for his instrumental role in developing acting talents such as the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee.
Dr Salleh was selected for his outstanding contribution to the conservation of natural environment and forestry through his leadership role at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia and the Malaysian Nature Society.
Dr Looi was honoured for her outstanding contribution in the field of pathology in Malaysia and the region while Dr Wan Ramli was singled out for his outstanding scholarly research and development in advancing the technology of fuel cells and hydrogen energy.
In his acceptance speech, Dr Salleh spoke about conversation, climate change and loss of biodiversity.
“Loss of biodiversity is akin to burning our library books before we’ve read them.
“We must get the younger generation more involved in conservation,” he said.
Krishnan shared his fond memories of the legendary actor, Dr Looi paid tribute to her colleagues and Universiti Malaya while Dr Wan Ramli said fuel cells and hydrogen energy could help reduce carbon emissions.
Each recipient received a trophy and cash award of RM500,000.
So far, 34 individuals and two organisations have received the award since it was introduced in 2007.