Four Outstanding Individuals Conferred Prestigious 2016 Merdeka Award

The Merdeka Award Trust, founded by PETRONAS, ExxonMobil and Shell, announced Friday that it has conferred four individuals the 2016 Merdeka Award, for their outstanding and lasting contributions in their respective fields to the nation. 

The announcement was made by His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, the Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan and Royal Patron of the Merdeka Award Trust, at an event held at the Malaysian Petroleum Club, KLCC. 

Present at the Announcement were YBhg Tan Sri Sidek Hassan, Chairman of PETRONAS, Founding Members of the Merdeka Award Trust YBhg Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, President & Group CEO of PETRONAS; Mr See Kok Yew, Chairman of the ExxonMobil Subsidiaries in Malaysia; and YBhg Datuk Iain Lo, Chairman of Shell Malaysia. The event was also attended by members of the Merdeka Award Selection Committee and Nomination Committees, senior management of PETRONAS, ExxonMobil and Shell, and members of the media.
Selected through an extensive and stringent process, these eminent individuals stood above the rest as the most worthy candidates who embody the Spirit of Merdeka and the pursuit of excellence. 

Pioneering of the local film industry, leading campaigns to conserve forests, working for stronger legislation to ensure the quality and accountability of the medical profession, and breaking new ground in efficient energy systems – these measures continue to inspire the pursuit of excellence and contribution to the nation in the areas of the arts, environment, health and energy.

The 2016 Merdeka Award recipients are:

  • Education and Community: TAN SRI LAKSHMANAN KRISHNAN
    For outstanding contribution to laying the foundation for the modern film industry in the country and for his instrumental role in developing early acting talents including Malaysian film icon, the late P. Ramlee.
    For outstanding contribution to the conservation of the natural environment and forestry in Malaysia through his leadership role at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) and the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS).
    For outstanding contribution in pioneering research in amyloidosis, renal pathology and cancer pathology and for her significant contributions and role in promoting the field of pathology in Malaysia and the region.
  • Outstanding Scholastic Achievement: PROFESSOR DATO’ IR DR WAN RAMLI WAN DAUD
    For outstanding scholarly research and development in advancing the technology of fuel cells and hydrogen energy in Malaysia and the region.
There is no recipient in the category of Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia for 2016. 

In addition to the honour and cash award that comes with the accolade, the 2016 Merdeka Award recipients join the list of 34 individuals and two organisations in being recognised as among Malaysia's most inspiring individuals and organisations which have made a lasting impact to the development of this nation.

The 2016 Merdeka Award recipients will receive their awards at an award ceremony that will be held before the end of the year. 

Alongside with the Merdeka Award, two young Malaysians, Dr Khamarrul Azahari Razak, 35, and Ms Koh Lily, 24, were awarded the 2016 Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment, which is a signature outreach programme by the Merdeka Award Trust. 

The two individuals will have the opportunity to undergo an attachment of up to three months at an internationally-recognised institution abroad. There, the Grant recipients will engage in collaborative projects or programmes that would enable them to establish contact and working relationships with other experts in their fields, share knowledge, and build on the body of work in their respective areas of research. 

Dr Khamarrul's research focuses on the various approaches of strengthening natural disaster research and promoting integrated university-government-industry partnership for managing and reducing disaster risks in changing environments. Ms Koh's study centres on developing expertise and academic exchanges on innovative SME business models in encouraging Malaysian SMEs to effectively place themselves in the value chain. This is in light of Industry 4.0, an EU Commission initiative under the Horizon 2020 plan, which is part of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. 

Dr Khamarrul and Ms Koh’s attachments will follow that of the 2015 Grant recipients Ms Chua Ling Ling and Dr Mohd Sukor Su’ait. Ms Chua is currently pursuing her attachment at the New York University Medical Center, while Dr Mohd Sukor will be leaving for his Attachment to the Ecolé Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, in early October. 

Malaysians will be able to learn more about this signature initiative and share in the progress of Ms Chua and Dr Sukor’s attachment via the Merdeka Award website ( and the Merdeka Award Facebook page. 

Dr Welyne Jeffrey Jehom from University of Malaya, the winner of the 2nd Merdeka Award Thumbs-Up Challenge, presented and curated a mini exhibition on ‘Pua Kumbu Narratives Conservation and Restoration.’ Dr Welyne brings together weavers from the various parts of Sarawak who weave the sacred ceremonial ritual textile woven by the women of the Iban community, using the wrap-ikat technique. 

The Merdeka Award Thumbs-Up Challenge is an ongoing Outreach Initiative by the Merdeka Award to crowd-source for ideas that work, among Malaysians from the online community.



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.
We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience and for analytical purposes. By continuing to browse, you are deemed to accept our use of cookies. Learn more about disabling cookies and our Privacy Statement here.