individuals and organisations were awarded with the Merdeka Award for their outstanding contributions to the development of the country.
Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, who presented the award to the winners, said these individuals and organisations have made an impact in their respective fields.
“Many of our recipients have gone on to enhance and expand their body of work, establishing themselves as subject-matter experts and thought-leaders in their respective disciplines, both here in Malaysia and globally. We are extremely proud of them all,” he said at the award ceremony yesterday.
He added that the award is a testament that Malaysians have always been willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to make the nation a better place.
“Our enduring ambition at the Merdeka Trust remains — to foster a culture of excellence, and in doing so, to promote thought leadership and innovation, and to enhance Malaysia’s standing as a dynamic and competitive 21st century global player, in all key sectors from science and technology to culture and the arts.
“In promoting this goal, we are helping to create a Malaysia that is stronger, more resilient and more united,” he said.
He urged Malaysians to continue striving for excellence in their chosen fields, to keep pushing the boundaries of their knowledge and to remain united in their commitment to building a better Malaysia for all.
The winners were chosen from a list of nominees by an independent group of judges made up of well-known people from academia, government and NGOs.
The awardees include Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Siti Zuraina Abdul Majid, who is recognised for her outstanding contribution as an archaeologist. Her work in identifying and excavating sites of historical importance has contributed significantly to the knowledge of the Malay Archipelago history and culture.
The next winner is Professor Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, whom Sultan Nazrin described as a driving force in mitigating the spread of infectious diseases. Her work on policies and responses to HIV/AIDS has helped stop new cases, treat them and get rid of old ones.
Datuk Dr Annabel Teh Gallop was the proud winner of the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement category. She has made outstanding contribution to scholarly research, curation, archiving and the preservation of ancient Malay letters, manuscripts and other documents, as well as Malay and Islamic seals.
Sultan Nazrin commended her work in promoting understanding of Malay as the language of trade and diplomacy throughout the Malay Archipelago.
Teach For Malaysia and Global Environment Centre were the respective winners for the Education and Community, and Environment category.
A new category for the Merdeka Award this year was the Anugerah Harapan Merdeka, for younger achievers aged below 40 years old. Samuel Isaiah was the proud recipient for this prestigious award for the work he did to improve the lives of the Orang Asli people.
Sultan Nazrin credits the achievements of the winners to the efforts of Malaysians everywhere. He said Malaysians can be proud of their accomplishments, regardless of whether they are in the public or private sector.