17 Years of Excellence: Merdeka Award Trust celebrates Malaysia's greatest

04 JUNE 2024, BY The Borneo Post

KUALA LUMPUR: In 2007, PETRONAS and Shell came together to form the Merdeka Award Trust, with the aim of honoring and acknowledging exceptional individuals and organizations that promote a culture of excellence.  

The Merdeka Award strives to foster thought leadership and innovation, thus bolstering the nation’s position as a dynamic and competitive global participant. The event honors the achievements of individuals and organisations who have made lasting contributions to Malaysian history, while also motivating young people to contribute to the nation’s growth, development, and progress. 

“A culture of excellence, according to Kerina Fauzi, Secretary of the Merdeka Award Trust, is one that motivates society to make positive contributions,” she remarks. Achieving success is only truly meaningful when it ignites a sense of ambition and drive for even greater achievements in those around us.  

She stated, “Malaysia has been a shining example for the region and the world in various aspects, and we are committed to maintaining our high standards in all our endeavors.”  

Stringent Selection for Malaysia’s Best
The selection process for Merdeka Award laureates involves a thorough search both within Malaysia and internationally. Every cycle, over 300 individuals and organizations undergo a thorough evaluation to determine their level of excellence and long-lasting influence in various fi elds such as Education and Community, Environment, Health, Science and Technology, Outstanding Scholastic Achievement, Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia, and the recently introduced Anugerah Harapan Merdeka.  

Renowned laureates who have been recognized for their significant contributions include the beloved cartoonist and Royal Artist Datuk “Lat” Mohd Nor Khalid, the humanitarian Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, the esteemed medical physicist Professor Emeritus Dr. Ng Kwan Hoong, the distinguished archaeologist Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr. Siti Zuraina Binti Abdul Majid, the accomplished engineer and scientist Professor Datuk Ts. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, and numerous other exceptional individuals who have demonstrated remarkable bravery and unwavering determination to excel in their respective fields.  

The Nipah Virus team, Teach For Malaysia (TFM), the South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP), the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and Majlis Kanser Nasional (MAKNA) are also known for their unwavering commitment to making society better, supporting safety, and creating a healthier environment.  

The recipients are given a trophy, a certifi cate, and a cash reward for their hard work over the years. Earning praise from such a well-known group is really the best reward. Marking its 14th cycle this year, the Merdeka Award laureates 2024 will be announced this August.  

To find out more about the Merdeka Award, you can visit their website at 



Dr Edison Lee Tian Khoon
Dr Edison headed to Sweden’s Uppsala University, where he joined the Department of Chemistry, Ångström Laboratory, as part of his attachment stint. He is currently carrying out active research in polymer electrolyte and nanomaterials for Lithium-ion batteries. Read more about him here:
Innovating the Energy Ecosystem
Chrishen R. Gomez
Having attended the prestigious Ivy League Brown University as part of his attachment programme, 27-year-old Chrishen is now with the Wildlife Research and Conservation Unit at Oxford University. Chrishen is busy developing a genetic-based research project on the Sunda Clouded Leopard. Read more about him here: Conserving Our Forests & Future
Dr Zetty
Dr Zetty is currently working on anti-cancer compounds found in Malaysian seaweed and has continued to pursue her original project proposal of microalgae vaccine carriers for fish. A working solution has been patented by Dr Zetty and will be deployed within the coming year.
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