Merdeka Award

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The Merdeka Award was founded on July 27, 2007, in conjunction with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the independence of Malaysia. Launched by PETRONAS, ExxonMobil and Shell, the Merdeka Award is an enduring contribution to the people of Malaysia, demonstrating and renewing the commitment of the oil and gas industry to the growth and development of the country. The patron of the Merdeka Award is the Prime Minister of the country, befitting the award’s stature as the Malaysia’s premier award of excellence.

The philosophy behind the Merdeka Award[edit]

The Merdeka Award aims to promote thought leadership and innovation, foster a culture of excellence, encourage a world-view, thereby enhancing Malaysia’s standing as a dynamic, competitive 21st century global player in all key sectors from science and technology to the arts. The Merdeka Award is so named to capture and commemorate the spirit of “Merdeka” as demonstrated by the nation’s forefathers, which is about foresight, discipline, perseverance and self-sacrifice. It is where the true meaning of independence lies in the liberation of the mind and spirit – factors which foster the realisation of human potential and the pursuit of excellence. The founding members also hope that in commemorating this pioneering spirit, the Award will help strengthen the intellectual foundation and elements of civil society that will drive a nation’s economic and social progress. The Merdeka Award draws from the best practices of the Nobel institutions and is benchmarked against the Nobel Prize to ensure an award that is credible, fair and transparent.

About the Merdeka Award Recipients

The Merdeka Award is conferred on individuals and/or organisations – Malaysians as well as non-Malaysians - whose excellent work have made outstanding and lasting contributions to the nation and the people of Malaysia, in their respective fields. There are five award categories: Education & Community; Environment; Health, Science & Technology; Outstanding Scholastic Achievement; Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia (open only to Non-Malaysians).

The focus is on achievements and not personalities, based on original, significant and sustained contribution to the country. Each award category carries a cash prize of RM500,000 and comes with a trophy, a work of art and an inscribed certificate. Recipients will be selected from a list of nominees on an annual basis. Since it was established in 2007, 11 individuals and 2 organisations have received the Merdeka Award.

Eligibility for the Award

The Award is open to all living Malaysian citizens – individuals or organisations Non-citizens are eligible for the Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia category Outstanding Scholastic Achievement category is only for individuals

The Nomination and Selection Process

The Merdeka Award nomination and selection process is independent, objective, fair and transparent and administered by a Board of Trustees, Selection Committee and Nomination committees. The tenure for members of the Selection and Nomination committees is three (3) years.

The Nomination Committee: The role is to identify, deliberate, shortlist and recommend candidates to the Selection Committee There are five (5) committees, one for each category There are three (3) members in each of the committees except for Education & Community which has five (5) members.

The Selection Committee: The role of the five (5)-member Selection Committee is to deliberate the merits of the candidates put forward by the Nomination Committees and recommend the short-list to the Board.

The Board of Trustees of the Merdeka Award: The Board, comprising representatives of the Founding Members as well as two (2) Independent Members, will decide on the final selection of the recipients. There may not be winners in every category each year. The decision must be unanimous and there is one (1) award for each category. The Award can be shared by as many as two (2) recipients.

The Merdeka Award Announcement and Award Ceremony

The winners are announced each year in the month of August, in conjunction with Hari Merdeka, with the presentation taking place at the Merdeka Award Ceremony in October. The award presentations are made by the Patron of the Merdeka Award, the Prime Minister of Malaysia. In 2011, award recipients will be announced on August 22, 2011, and the Merdeka Award Ceremony, with Prime Minister YAB Dato” Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, will be held on October 10, 2011.

Merdeka Award Logo, Trophy and Work of Art

The Merdeka Award Logo and Trophy was designed by Dato’ Johan Ariff, the Creative Director of Johan Design Associates, who also designed the PETRONAS logo in 1974. It expresses convergence and ascension, which signify the winning qualities of Merdeka Award recipients. The logo also represents environmental concerns in the form of the Rebung plant shoot, transparency, ethics and the glorious five (5) decades of Malaysia's independence. The Trophy, a three-dimensional version of the logo was specially designed using Lapis Lazuli gemstone serves as its base, combined with several other elements of gold, silver, Malaysian Pewter and Malaysian hardwood, Chengal.

Alongside the Trophy, the recipient also receives a Work of Art which was designed by renowned Malaysian artist, Latiff Mohidin. The rotating ball symbolises freedom. The sculpture rests on a granite base, which denotes strength and fortitude. The piece also incorporates the traditional elements of Sulur Bayur, underscoring heritage and Pucuk Rebung, signifying excellence.


The 2013 Merdeka Award recipients are

Education & Community

Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Utama Arshad Ayub

For his outstanding contribution in shaping Malaysia’s education landscape through the development of professional education and education reforms and innovation that have resulted in education becoming more accessible to Malaysians.

&

Raja Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Utama Muhammad Alias

For his outstanding contribution to rural development and rural reform through organising successful land settlement projects (FELDA) for the many landless, rural population in Malaysia.

Environment Category

Dr Lim Boo Liat

For his outstanding contribution to the conservation of Malaysia’s biological diversity through the study, understanding and control of vector-borne diseases and the relationship between diseases and the environment; and for advocating the protection of our natural heritage.

Health, Science & Technology

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Yahya Awang

For his outstanding contribution to pioneering the development of clinical research and cardiac surgery in Malaysia and for his instrumental role in the establishment of the National Heart Institute (IJN).

Outstanding Scholastic Achievement

Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr Lam Sai Kit

For his outstanding contribution to scholarly research and development in medical virology and emerging infectious diseases including dengue.


There was no award in 2013 in the category of Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia.


Past Merdeka Award recipients


The three Merdeka Award recipients in 2012 are

Health, Science & Technology

Academician Tan Sri Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Augustine Ong Soon Hock

For outstanding contribution to the research & development of the chemistry & technology of palm oil & for his significant role in advocating & promoting the Malaysian palm oil industry to the world.

Outstanding Scholastic Achievement

Tan Sri Professor Dr Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas

For outstanding contribution to the scholarly research in the area of Islamisation of contemporary knowledge & of Muslim education.

Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia

Dr Engkik Soepadmo

For outstanding contribution to the research & conservation of Malaysia's forest plant diversity.


2011[1]

Environment Category,

Dato’ Dr Kenneth Yeang

For outstanding contribution to the development of design methods for the ecological design and planning of the built environment

Outstanding Scholastic Achievement--

Professor Dato’ Dr Goh Khean Lee

For outstanding contribution in elevating the study and practice of gastroenterology and hepatology in Malaysia to global standards

&

Professor Dr Mak Joon Wah

For outstanding fundamental and applied research in parasitology and parasitic diseases, public health and pathology.


2010[2]

Education and Community

Datin Paduka Mother A Mangalam A/P S Iyaswamy Iyer

For outstanding contribution in promoting the welfare of the underprivileged and for fostering national unity

Environment

No winner

Health, Science and Technology

No recipient

Outstanding Scholastic Achievement

Professor Emeritus Dr Yong Hoi Sen

For outstanding contribution to the development of basic and applied knowledge of Genetics, Molecular Biology, Biological Systematics, Evolutionary Biology and Biological Diversity of Malaysia flora and fauna

&

Professor Dr Harith Ahmad

For outstanding contribution in research and promoting the development of photonics in Malaysia

Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia

Tan Sri Just Faaland

For outstanding contribution to the advocacy of equitable growth through eradication of poverty and reduction of socio-economic polarisation

2009[3]

Education and Community

Tun Fatimah Hashim

For outstanding contribution to the empowerment of women in Malaysia and for protecting and securing rights and economic opportunities for women through advocacy

&

Dato’ Lim Phaik Gan

For outstanding contribution to the empowerment of women in Malaysia and for protecting and securing rights and economic opportunities for women through advocacy

Environment

No winner

Health, Science and Technology

Professor Dr Halimaton Hamdan

For outstanding contribution in the development and application of Maerogel as a commercially viable multi-purpose material

Outstanding Scholastic Achievement

Professor Dato’ Ir Dr Zaini Ujang

For outstanding study and scholarly contributions in the various environmental initiatives concerning water supply, sewage, river rehabilitation and industrial ecology

Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia

No winner

2008[4]

Education and Community

Royal Professor Ungku Abdul Aziz bin Ungku Abdul Hamid

For outstanding contribution to the eradication of poverty, rural economics and the development of Tabung Haji and in the field of Education

Environment

Malaysian Nature Society

For outstanding contribution to the Belum-Temenggor Forest Complex Conservation Initiative

Health, Science and Technology

Nipah Virus Encephalitis Investigation Team from The Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya

For outstanding contribution to the discovery and understanding of the causes, effects and control of the Nipah Encephalitis viral infection

&

Professor Dato' Dr Khalid Kadir

For outstanding contribution to the study and understanding of diabetes and the relationship between hormones and stresses in various tissues

Outstanding Scholastic Achievement

No winner

Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia

Datuk Leslie Davidson

For outstanding contribution in the introduction of the pollinating insects Elaedobius kamerunicus from Africa to the oil palm and plantations in Malaysia, leading to the rapid development of the palm oil industry

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Three outstanding Malaysians named 2011 Merdeka Award recipients". The Malay Mail. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Mother Mangalam named Merdeka award winner". New Straits Times. 5 August 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Fatimah Hashim among recipients of Merdeka Award". Sin Chew Jit Poh. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Ungku Aziz to be accorded inaugural Merdeka Award". The Star (Malaysia). 21 August 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2011.