Four Outstanding Individuals Receive Prestigious 2016 Merdeka Award & Two Young Malaysians receive the 2016 Merdeka Award Grant

23 September 2016 – His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, the Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan and Royal Patron of the Merdeka Award Trust today announced the names of four distinguished individuals selected to receive the prestigious 2016 Merdeka Award. The accolade is in recognition of the recipients’ significant achievements and contributions in their respective fields. 

Established in 2007 by founders PETRONAS, ExxonMobil and Shell, the Merdeka Award is conferred annually to outstanding individuals and organisations and is an enduring contribution to the people of Malaysia, demonstrating and renewing the commitment of the oil and gas industry to the growth and development of the country.

Today's announcement followed the Award's stringent nomination and selection process, where these four eminent individuals were recognised for their achievements and contributions which have become a source of inspiration to Malaysians in driving progress and the pursuit of excellence in the country.

The 2016 Merdeka Award recipients by categories 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.
The accolade will see all four individuals receiving an inscribed certificate, a trophy, a Work of Art and a cash reward of RM500,000, as well as the honour of being noted in the nation's history alongside 34 individuals and two organisations who were conferred the Merdeka Award previously.

This year’s Merdeka Award recipients will receive their awards at the 2016 Merdeka Award Ceremony, which will be held in December 2016.

In conjunction with the Announcement of the 2016 Merdeka Award recipients, two young Malaysians were awarded the 2016 Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment (2016 Merdeka Award Grant). A signature programme, the 2016 Merdeka Award Grant is open to qualified Malaysians between the ages of 22 and 35, with the aim of helping recipients build on their expertise and widen their world-view through collaborative projects and programmes at selected internationally-recognised host institutions abroad. 

Dr Khamarrul Azahari Razak, 35, and Ms Koh Lily, 24, will both have the opportunity to undergo an attachment of up to three months abroad, where they will enhance their research work, establish a wider network of contacts, and share their new-found knowledge and experience with other Malaysian researchers in their field when they return. So far, eight young Malaysians have received the Merdeka Award Grant, including this year’s recipients. 

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.
Malaysians keen to learn more about the Merdeka Award's signature initiative as well as share in the Grant recipients’ progress in their attachments may visit the Merdeka Award website ( and the Merdeka Award Facebook page.

For more information on the Merdeka Award 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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