KUALA LUMPUR: In recognition of their work to foster a culture of excellence and contributions to Malaysia and its people, six recipients have been conferred the prestigious Merdeka Award.
Perak’s Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, who is the royal patron and chairman of the Merdeka Award Trust (MAT), presented the awards to the recipients from six different categories during a ceremony at a hotel here on Friday (Aug 19).
The categories are Education and Community; Environment; Health, Science and Technology; Outstanding Scholastic Achievement; Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia; and the Anugerah Harapan Merdeka award, which is a newly introduced category.
The winners for this year’s awards are Teach for Malaysia (Education and Community), Global Environment Centre (Environment), Datuk Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman (Health, Science and Technology), Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Siti Zuraina Abdul Majid (Outstanding Scholastic Achievement) and Datuk Dr Annabel Teh Gallop (Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia).
The inaugural recipient of the Anugerah Harapan Merdeka award was Samuel Isaiah for his contribution and commitment towards improving and uplifting the standard of education among Orang Asli children, alongside coaching teachers to elevate the overall quality of education for all.
In his keynote speech, Sultan Nazrin said he was inspired by all past and present recipients of the award who continued to push the envelope and make efforts to foster a culture of excellence.
“Such major achievements however generally do not come without some sacrifice and there have been times when our laureates have wavered especially if the path towards their goals were pitted with trials.
“Yet, they retain their strong sense of mission while retaining resolute, determined and driven,” he said.
The Perak Ruler added that the enduring ambition of the Merdeka Trust was to foster a culture of excellence and in doing so, promote thought leadership and innovation towards enhancing Malaysia’s standing as a dynamic and competitive 21st century global player across all key sectors.
“In promoting this, we are helping create a Malaysia that is stronger, more resilient and more united.
“I emphasise that these goals are not the responsibility of leaders, specific individuals or organisations alone.
“They will only be attained through the collective effort of us all, both in this room and beyond,” he said.
The MAT was established by Petroliam Nasional Bhd (PETRONAS) and Shell on Aug 27, 2007, to recognise and reward excellent individuals and organisations whose works and achievements have not only contributed to the nation’s growth but have also inspired greatness in the people of Malaysia.
PETRONAS president, group chief executive officer and MAT board member Datuk Tengku Muhammad Taufik said recipients of the award have inspired and continued to inspire those in their fields and across generations.
“These individuals and organisations embody the spirit of Merdeka which is the courage to envision for the country something that has never before existed while also resolving to make this a reality.
“Consistently, they rise to the challenge with a series of achievements fueled by a new mindset and a belief in breakthroughs,” he said during his speech.
Currently, a total of 63 individuals and six organisations have received the Merdeka Award since 2008.
Each Merdeka Award category recipient is conferred with a trophy, certificate and cash reward, while the Anugerah Harapan Merdeka recipient receives a certificate and cash reward.