KUALA LUMPUR: Recognising their work to foster a culture of excellence and deep commitment, six recipients, comprising both influential individuals and organisations, have been conferred with the prestigious Merdeka Award.
The winners for this year’s awards were Teach for Malaysia (Education and Community), Global Environment Centre (Environment), Datuk Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman (Health, Science and Technology), Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Siti Zuraina Abdul Majid (Outstanding Scholastic Achievement), and Datuk Dr Annabel Teh Gallop (outstanding contribution to the people of Malaysia).
This year, there is a new award called the Anugerah Harapan Merdeka. Its inaugural recipient, Samuel Isaiah, is the first person to receive it for his work and dedication to improving and raising the standard of education for Orang Asli children and coaching teachers to raise the standard of education for everyone.
Isaiah was among the 10 winners of the Star Golden Hearts Award in 2019.
The recipients were presented their awards by Perak Ruler Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, the royal patron and chairman of the Merdeka Award Trust (MAT), in a ceremony held at a hotel here yesterday.
In his keynote speech, Sultan Nazrin said that he was inspired by all of the award winners in the past and present who kept pushing the limits and worked to create 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 was pitted with trials.
“Yet, they retained their strong sense of mission while remaining 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 PETRONAS and Shell on Aug 27, 2007, to recognise and reward excellent individuals and organisations whose work and achievements have not only contributed to the nation’s growth but also inspired greatness in Malaysians.
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.
Since 2008, the Merdeka Award has been given to 63 people and six organisations.
Each Merdeka Award category recipient was conferred a trophy, a certificate, and a cash reward, while the Anugerah Harapan Merdeka recipient received a certificate and cash reward.