Five Deserving Malaysians Receive Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment

16 AUGUST 2019, BY Backstage

Kuala Lumpur, 16 August 2019 – The Merdeka Award Trust announced today that five exceptional young Malaysians will receive the prestigious Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment 2019.

The recipients are Dr Mohd Azri Ab Rani, 35,  Juliana Ooi Sue May, 34, Dr Yanny Marliana  Baba Ismail, 33, Feng Ying Xing, 29 and Chrishen R. Gomez, 25. 

Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan and Royal Patron of the Merdeka Award Trust, His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-Lah, presented the Grant certificates to the recipients at an announcement ceremony here today.

In his keynote address, Sultan Nazrin said: “One of the most rewarding aspects of presenting the grant each year is getting to be part of this next step in the journey of a young Malaysian, in pursuit of his or her aspirations. I am greatly heartened by their energy and by their determination to make a diference in the world.” 

In recognising the effort of the Founders of the Merdeka Award Trust, Sultan Nazrin said that the work of young researchers cannot be done in isolation, but requires the collective support from various organisations in the private and public sectors through funding and collaboration opportunities.

PETRONAS President and Group CEO, and Founding Member of the Merdeka Award Trust, Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin added that the pioneering spirit of Merdeka that drove the country’s growth should be encouraged among our young Malaysians as we move towards the future. 

“The Merdeka Award Grant aims to recognise and nurture promising young Malaysians to cultivate their potential to be thought leaders with the spirit for innovation and a culture of excellence, the Grant is today, a signature programme of the Merdeka Award Trust and will be awarded biennially and alternated with the Merdeka Award each year,” he said.

To date, a total of 14 young Malaysians have been selected for the Grant with 11 of them having completed their international attachments. Three recipients who received the Grant in 2018 will be pursuing their attachments later this year.

For more information on the Merdeka Award Trust and its activities, please log on to the following sites:







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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