Recognising Excellence at 2015 Merdeka Award Presentation Ceremony

14 DECEMBER 2015
Six Outstanding Individuals Receive Prestigious Award

10th December 2015 – Six distinguished individuals took center stage at the Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS, Kuala Lumpur, on 10th December, 2015, when they received the 2015 Merdeka Award from the Royal Patron of the Merdeka Award Trust, His Royal Highness the Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah. 

The presentation of the 2015 Merdeka Award marks the Award's eighth year of recognising outstanding individuals and organisations that have made significant achievements and sustainable contributions to Malaysia and her people in their respective fields.

The recipients of the 2015 Merdeka Award are:
  • Education and Community category: TAN SRI DR JEMILAH MAHMOOD
    For outstanding contribution to the development of humanitarian and international emergency relief.
  • Environment category: EMERITUS PROFESSOR DATO’ DR ABDUL LATIFF MOHAMAD (Joint Recipient)
    For outstanding contribution to the research and understanding of plant taxonomy and conservation biology in Malaysia.
  • Environment category: PROFESSOR EMERITUS TAN SRI DR ZAKRI ABDUL HAMID (Joint Recipient)
    For outstanding contribution to the observation, analysis and assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services, fostering the remediation and protection of the natural environment and promoting environmental sustainability in Malaysia and globally.
  • Health, Science and Technology category: PROFESSOR DATIN PADUKA DR KHATIJAH MOHAMAD YUSOFF
    For outstanding contribution in the field of microbiology and virology through a better understanding and diagnosis of contagious and fatal viruses in poultry and the study of the potential of the virus in combating cancer cells.
  • Outstanding Scholastic Achievement category: PROFESSOR DR IR MOHD ALI HASHIM
    For outstanding scholastic contribution in the research of separation processes and water and wastewater treatment and for his instrumental role in the setting-up of the Centre for Ionic Liquids.
  • Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia category: DR ELIZABETH LESLEY BENNETT
    For outstanding contribution to the conservation and management of wetland habitats and that of endangered wildlife in Malaysia through research, advocacy and policies.

The Founding Members of the Merdeka Award were represented by Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, President and Group CEO, PETRONAS; Mr See Kok Yew, Chairman of the ExxonMobil Subsidiaries in Malaysia and Datuk Iain Lo, Chairman, Shell Malaysia.

The Presentation ceremony included acceptance speeches by each of the recipients and performances by the 88-members of the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO), under the leadership of Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra Mustafa Fuzer Nawi. The MPYO was accompanied by Malaysian vocalists Dato’ Sheila Majid and Asmidar. 

Eminent Malaysians from the corporate, academic, industry, government and non-governmental sectors attended the ceremony. 

The Presentation marks the completion of the rigorous annual Merdeka Award nomination and selection process both in Malaysia and internationally, of outstanding Malaysians and non-Malaysians who have contributed to the nation, in each of the categories. 

The search for nominees, which begins in January each year focuses on achievements and not personalities. In evaluating the achievements, members of the Nomination and Selection committees looked for original, significant and sustained achievements for their contribution to Malaysia. 

Since its establishment in 2007, and including the 2015 recipients, 34 individuals and two organisations have received the Merdeka Award. Each award category comes with the Merdeka Award Trophy, the Merdeka Award Work of Art, a Certificate of Recognition and a cash award of RM500,000. Joint recipients equally share the cash award.
For more information and for the latest updates on the Merdeka Award and its activities, 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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