For excellence and lasting contributions to the people of Malaysia
The Board of Trustees of the Merdeka Award on Wednesday announced that three eminent individuals have been accorded the 2012 Merdeka Award, for their outstanding and lasting contributions to the nation and the people of Malaysia in their respective fields.
The announcement was made by the Chairman of the Merdeka Award Board of Trustees His Royal Highness Raja Dr Nazrin Shah Ibni Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah, The Regent of Perak Darul Ridzuan, at an event held at the Malaysian Petroleum Club.
(His Royal Highness Raja Dr Nazrin Shah Ibni Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah, The Regent of Perak Darul Ridzuan and Chairman of the Merdeka Award Board of Trustees)
Present at the announcement was PETRONAS Chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, PETRONAS President and Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Dato’ Shamsul Azhar Abbas. PETRONAS is a Founding Member of the Merdeka Award together with ExxonMobil and Shell. Also in attendance were members of the Merdeka Award Board of Trustees, members of the Merdeka Award Selection Committee and Nomination Committees and members of the media.
(From left to right: Mr J Hunter Farris, Chairman of ExxonMobil Subsidiaries; His Royal Highness Raja Dr Nazrin Shah Ibni Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah, The Regent of Perak Darul Ridzuan and Chairman of the Merdeka Award Board of Trustees; PETRONAS Chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan and; PETRONAS President and Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Dato’ Shamsul Azhar Abbas)
The three 2012 Merdeka Award recipients are:
• YBhg Academician Tan Sri Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Augustine Ong Soon Hock
in the category of Health, Science and Technology
, who is recognised for his outstanding contribution to the research and development of the chemistry and technology of palm oil and for his significant role in advocating and promoting the Malaysian palm oil industry to the world;
• YBhg Tan Sri Professor Dr Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas
in the category of Outstanding Scholastic Achievement
, for his outstanding contribution to the scholarly research in the area of Islamisation of Contemporary Knowledge and of Muslim Education, and
• Professor Dr Engkik Soepadmo
in the category of Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia,
for his outstanding contribution to the research and conservation of Malaysia’s forest plant diversity.
For 2012, there were no award recipients in the categories of Education & Community, and Environment.
Speaking at the event, His Royal Highness Raja Nazrin said: “Above and beyond the recognition and the considerable money that comes with it, it is our hope that the Merdeka Award will earn its recipients a place in history as individuals and organisations that have truly gone beyond the call of duty. And in the course of their work, have demonstrated the true Spirit of Merdeka, that of the liberation of the mind and spirit, and the pursuit of excellence.”
Tan Sri Ong is a scientist, innovator, inventor and a pioneer in fundamental palm oil research, and has paved the way for younger scientists to support the industry through research and development of the palm oil industry. Today, he continues to advocate and promote Malaysian palm oil.
Tan Sri Syed Naquib is a contemporary Islamic scholar and thinker, and is recognised as among the most influential scholars in the world. He has made a significant contribution to the history of the modern Malay language, and to the scholarly research in the area of Islamisation of contemporary knowledge and Muslim education, authoring four international books, 26 national books and 30 articles in various publications.
He is also responsible for the establishment of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (ISTAC) and continues to contribute in enhancing Islamic scholarship and understanding.
Dr Soepadmo is a scientist and ecologist from Indonesia, whose main research activity focuses on species diversity and the complex structure and ecological functioning of tropical rainforests in Asia, especially in Malaysia.
He first came to Malaysia in 1968, and went on to become Professor of Ecology at University of Malaya. He has described 56 new species of tropical plants and trees, and six species are named after him. Through advocacy, collaboration and scientific research and publications, he has helped contribute towards the establishment of protected forest areas in Malaysia. Dr Soepadmo has also done pioneering work on the reproductive biology and population dynamics of selected groups of economically important tree species.
This announcement is the culmination of an extensive search by members of the Nomination and Selection Committees, both within Malaysia and internationally; a search for excellence the Merdeka Award hopes will inspire and help Malaysians to compete in the ever-changing and challenging world.
The 2012 Merdeka Award recipients will receive their awards from the Patron of the Merdeka Award, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, at the 2012 Merdeka Award Presentation Ceremony to be held at a later date.
(From left to right: YBhg Academician Tan Sri Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Augustine Ong Soon Hock; YBhg Tan Sri Professor Dr Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas and; Professor Dr Engkik Soepadmo)