PETALING JAYA: The Star Golden Hearts Award (SGHA) 2019 is back for the fifth year running to honour unsung Malaysian heroes.
SGHA chief judge Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye hoped there will be more candidates this year who stand out from the "best of the best" in the country.
"This year, we will choose more Malaysians who are able to make a positive contribution to the nation – in particular, helping the poor and the underprivileged.
"What is also important is that the SGHA can help foster unity.
"We pick recipients irrespective of race and colour and bring them together," he said during the launch of the SGHA in Menara Star here on Monday (April 22).
In shortlisting applicants, Lee said he would look at the commitment of an individual or an organisation through the work they have done.
The Award was launched by the Star Media Group (SMG) in 2015 and aims to recognise Malaysians from all walks of life who are dedicated to help those in need.
The award is supported by Yayasan Gamuda, for the fourth year running.
SMG chief content officer Esther Ng said there are changes this year, starting from a change in its logo and also by featuring three new judges in the panel of judges.
"The logo is a combination of local elements woven into the shape of a heart. It is a new, fresh look on things and symbolises kindness and altruism by Malaysians for Malaysians – there is a very Malaysian feel to it," she said.
Ng said the three new judges – social activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi, Yayasan Kebajikan Negara chief executive officer Datin Paduka Che Asmah Ibrahim and Yayasan Gamuda head Ts. Sharifah Alauyah Wan Othman – would bring a new perspective when selecting award recipients.
Sharifah said their work with SMG was to support a common cause to elevate, enable and transform the lives of individuals and society.
"We would like to see a winner who can make an impact in transforming people's lives, to society in general or an individual. It is someone who can demonstrate altruistic, selfless, heroism across borders," she said.
Apart from Lee, Sharifah, Ng, Azmi and Che Asmah, other judges on the panel are Malaysian AIDS Foundation chairman Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman and former Social Welfare Department assistant director Vijayakumari Pillai.
The public can now nominate candidates for the award at bit.ly/SGHA2019 until July 15.
Nominations are open to Malaysian individuals or groups who carry out selfless acts or long-term initiatives to help others, irrespective of race, religion or background.