About Us

About the Merdeka Award Trust


In efforts to encourage excellence, the Merdeka Award Trust was jointly established by PETRONAS, ExxonMobil and Shell on 27 August 2007. The prestigious award aims to recognise and reward exceptional citizens and organisations who have made outstanding contributions in their respective fields to the people of Malaysia.
The Merdeka Award is a homage to the strength of character and integrity that underpins meaningful achievements, the creativity and vision that enables greatness and the ideals of liberation that inspire remarkable new ideas.

Open to all living Malaysians, the Merdeka Award is benchmarked against international awards and has two signature programmes; namely the Merdeka Award and the Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment.

Since its inception, the award which firmly upholds credos of excellence and transparency has been presented in the areas of Education & Community; Environment; Health, Science and Technology; Outstanding Scholastic Achievement; Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia; and Anugerah Harapan Merdeka.

Introduced in 2012, the Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment is an initiative that nurtures the promising talents of Malaysians under the age of 35. This visionary program not only supports these individuals in their quest for excellence but also serves as a catalyst for innovation and a facilitator of international collaboration.
The overarching goal of the Merdeka Award Trust programs is to cultivate thought leadership, stimulate innovation, and foster a global perspective, thereby elevating Malaysia to a distinguished position as a dynamic and competitive force of the contemporary era across diverse sectors—from the realms of science and technology to the expanse of the arts.
As the custodians of this noble endeavor, PETRONAS and Shell, the two founding entities, continue to steadfastly support the Trust's noble cause following the departure of ExxonMobil in 2021.
Today, the Royal Patron and Chairman of the Award is His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, the Sultan of Perak Daruk Ridzuan.
Starting from 2019, the Merdeka Award will be organised biennially, alternating between the Merdeka Award and the Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment. This change aims to engage a broader spectrum of Malaysians, furthering our commitment to cultivating a culture of excellence and championing thought leadership and innovation across key sectors.

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