Press Releases

Press Releases


10 DECEMBER 2020
KUALA LUMPUR, 10 December 2020 – Four recipients will be conferred the prestigious Merdeka Award 2020 for their exceptional and sustainable contributions in their respective fields to Malaysia and its people.

The announcement comes following an extensive and exhaustive search within Malaysia and internationally, championing distinction and sustainability.  This award aims to inspire and help Malaysians persevere to succeed against unprecedented challenges in this new normal.

The recipients of the 2020 Merdeka Award by categories are:
  • Education and Community: National Cancer Council (MAKNA)
For their outstanding contribution in providing financial, medical, emotional and social support to cancer patients while advocating and furthering cancer research for over 26 years
  • Environment: South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP)
For their outstanding contribution to the conservation, sustainable management and restoration of Malaysia’s forest ecosystem as well as the education and training of environmental scientists.
  • Outstanding Scholastic Achievement: Professor Dr Ng Kwan Hoong
For his outstanding contribution in education and pioneering work advancing the fields of medical physics and radiation medicine in Malaysia.
  • Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia: Suzanne Mooney
For her outstanding contribution in reducing Malaysia’s food waste by feeding and donating essential items to those in need through The Lost Food Project.
Founders of the Merdeka Award – PETRONAS, ExxonMobil and Shell – congratulated the recipients on their exemplary efforts.
PETRONAS President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Tengku Muhammad Taufik, said: “As a founding member, PETRONAS is proud that the Merdeka Award continues to recognise individuals and organisations that have contributed in an exceptional way to the people of Malaysia and global communities, especially as we navigate these difficult and unprecedented times.
“This recognition paves the way for excellence that will leave a legacy for future generations. It is my hope that the 2020 Merdeka Award recipients will continue their inspiring work with passion – lighting lives, sparking new ideas and striving towards achievements that create a better, lasting future for all.”
Tengku Muhammad Taufik added: “All the winners had demonstrated tremendous spirit and dedication, gaining not only recognition for their work but bringing exceptional advancement to the lives of Malaysians and the nation, creating a legacy as well as enduring the impact for future generations to come. They give life to the heart of “Merdeka” that beats in resonance with the hearts of all Malaysians.”
Shell Malaysia Chairman, Datuk Iain Lo said: “The dedication and efforts of our recipients towards bringing positive change and supporting our communities and the nation are truly commendable. Despite facing challenges with restrictions brought by the pandemic, our recipients continue to persevere and have laid a solid foundation towards delivering impactful and innovative solutions for a better future for Malaysia and I truly thank them for that.”
ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc. President and Chairman, Edward E. Graham said: “On behalf of the Merdeka Award, we thank them for their tireless efforts and perseverance for the benefit of the nation and the people. They truly embody the spirit of “Merdeka” and are an inspiration to all us.”
Due to the current COVID-19 situation in Malaysia, the recipients will be receiving their awards in a physical ceremony that will be held in 2021. 
With today’s announcement, a total of 53 individuals, and four organisations have received the Merdeka Award. Each award category confers a Merdeka Award Trophy, Certificate of Recognition, and cash award. 
Press Kit can be downloaded here

For more information and latest updates on the Merdeka Award, log on to the following sites:
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The Merdeka Award was established by PETRONAS, ExxonMobil and Shell on 27 August 2007, to recognise and reward excellent individuals and organisations whose works and achievements have not only contributed to the nation’s growth but have also inspired greatness in the people of Malaysia in the following categories, namely Education and Community, Environment, Health, Science and Technology, Outstanding Scholastic Achievement and Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia.

The choice of name, Merdeka Award, reflects the Founding Members’ aim to commemorate the true spirit of independence, which transcends the conventional definition of national sovereignty. It explores the liberation of the mind and spirit – factors that foster the realisation of human potential and the pursuit of excellence.

Through the Merdeka Award’s other initiative, the Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment,  the Merdeka Award aims to promote thought leadership and innovation, foster a culture of excellence and encourage a world view, thereby enhancing Malaysia’s standing as a dynamic, competitive 21st Century Global Player in all key sectors from science and technology to the arts.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Nadia | +60 12 229 9314
Kerina Fauzi: 
Theveena Chahil: | +60 12 507 7220
Ayuni Nuzul: | +60 12-292 2741


Dr Edison Lee Tian Khoon
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