Merdeka Award 2017: A Night to Remember for Six Laureates

A Stellar Line-Up - Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah and Tuanku Zara Salim accompanied by the PETRONAS chairman, Tan Sri Sidek Hassan, members of the Merdeka Award Board of Trustees and the 2017 Merdeka Award recipients pose for a momentous picture.

11 September 2017 -  The 2017 Merdeka Award Announcement and Presentation Ceremony took place at Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS to give recognition and reward to outstanding individuals and organisations whose works and achievements contribute to the nation’s growth and create significant impact for the people of Malaysia.

Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee, President of PETRONAS, representing the Merdeka Award Board of Trustees, said in his welcoming remarks, “In 2007, PETRONAS, ExxonMobil and Shell came together to initiate the Merdeka Award. The Merdeka Award was founded as a joint endeavour by the oil and gas industry to contribute to the development of the country and its people in an even more meaningful way. By recognising and awarding the contributions of those who can do what we are not able to, in fields of work and studies that we, as oil and gas companies, have no expertise in, but which are imperative to ensure the holistic growth of the country. ”

It is believed that with the establishment of Merdeka Award, it will encourage exceptional individuals to push boundaries in the pursuit of excellence so Malaysia will be the best version of herself at every stage of her history.

This year’s Merdeka Award was accorded to six remarkable individuals by Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, the Sultan of Perak and Royal Patron of the Merdeka Award Trust. Also present alongside Sultan Nazrin was the Raja Permaisuri of Perak, Tuanku Zara Salim and PETRONAS’ Board of Directors as well as the representatives from Shell and ExxonMobil.

Exquisite Meets Elegance - Merdeka Award Board of Trustees and Committee Members, recipients’ family members, academicians, corporate and NGO representatives as well as PETRONAS employees fill the hall.

Unwavering Passion - Datin Paduka Mother A Mangalam moves the crowd with her inspirational anecdotes.

The event was commenced by laureattes of Merdeka Award, ­­­­Datin Paduka Mother A Mangalam (2010) and Professor Dr Halimaton Hamdan (2009). Followed by the melodious live music played by the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO) and performance by the Malaysia’s favorite songstress, Dayang Nurfaizah.


Captivating Chords - Dayang Nurfaizah accompanied by MPYO’s soothing live music.

Uplifting Joy - Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, Tuanku Zara Salim and the audience applauding for the performance.


Men of the Hour - A moment of appreciation for the six laureates of Merdeka Award.

Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee then officiated and announced the names of Merdeka Award 2017 recipients according to the five respective categories.

The respected Datuk Dr Abdul Halim Ismail received an award under the category of Education & Community for his contribution in establishing the first Islamic banking, insurance and finance sectors in Malaysia and the region.

Whereas Datuk Seri Tengku Dr Zainal Adlin Tengku Mahamood who contributed substantially to Malaysia and the region’s wildlife and forest conservation was awarded under the category of Environment.

Discovering a new cause of human malaria, Plasmodium knowlesi has led Proffessor Dr Balbir Singh Mohan Singh and Dr Timothy William to jointly receive the Merdeka Award under the Health, Science and Technology category.

As for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement category, Professor Dr Masjuki Hasan was bestowed the Merdeka Award for his development of biofuel and other sources of efficient energy and automotive engines.

For the Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia category, Professor Dr Anthony Crothers Milner received the Merdeka Award for his outstanding role in the research and education on Malaysia history and in fostering international collaboration.

Royal Regards - Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah pays tribute to 2017’s Merdeka Award Recipients.

The Merdeka Award event hopes to promote thought leadership and innovation while inspiring people to keep striving for a better Malaysia in the future.  

For more information and for the latest updates on the Merdeka Award and its activities, log on to the following sites:

Instagram: merdekaaward



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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