Five to receive Merdeka Award Grant

20 AUGUST 2019, BY New Sarawak Tribune

KUALA LUMPUR:  The Merdeka Award Trust announced last Friday 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 and the royal patron of the Merdeka Award Trust, Sultan Nazrin Shah, presented the grant certificates to the recipients at an announcement ceremony last Friday.

Sultan Nazrin (fourth right) and founding members of the Merdeka Award Trust (from third left) Shell Malaysia finance director Hilmi Yusof, ExxonMobil Malaysia chairman and president Edward Graham, and Wan Zulkiflee with the Merdeka Award Trust recipients.

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 difference in the world.”

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

Petronas president and group chief executive officer, and founding member of the Merdeka Award Trust, Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin stated that the pioneering spirit of Merdeka that drove the country’s growth should be encouraged among young Malaysians.

“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.



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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