Press Releases

Press Releases


22 AUGUST 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, 22 August 2022 – In conjunction with the 15th anniversary of the Merdeka Award Trust, six recipients have been conferred the prestigious 2022 Merdeka Award for fostering a culture of excellence, and for their remarkable contribution to Malaysia and its people.
The recipients of the 2022 Merdeka Award by category are:
  • Education and Community: Teach For Malaysia
For their outstanding contribution in delivering high-quality education in government schools, especially in rural and underprivileged communities, fueled with a belief that a child’s education and future should not be determined by his or her circumstances in life.
  • Environment: Global Environment Centre (GEC)
For their outstanding contribution in mangrove, peat swamp forest, river and coastal management, climate change programmes and forging community engagement as well as partnerships that help to conserve and protect the environment and natural resources in Malaysia.​
  • Outstanding Scholastic Achievement: Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr. Siti Zuraina binti Abdul Majid, FASc
For her outstanding contribution as a historian and in being the first ever Malaysian archaeologist as well as driving the efforts for Lenggong Valley to be recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site.​
  • Health, Science and Technology: Dato’ Professor Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman
For being the driving force behind mitigating the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and structuring policies and responses that led to the prevention, treatment and reduction of HIV/AIDS cases.
  • Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia: Dato’ Dr. Annabel Teh Gallop
For her outstanding contribution in scholarly research, curation, archiving and preservation of ancient Malay letters and manuscripts, Malay seals and documents which led to the understanding of Malay language as the language of trade and diplomacy throughout the Malay Archipelago, and the illumination of the rich heritage of the Malay world.

The Merdeka Award this year includes a new category, Anugerah Harapan Merdeka, which recognises the distinctive efforts of Malaysians aged 40 years old and below or organisations which have been incepted for less than 10 years. The inaugural recipient:
  • Anugerah Harapan Merdeka: Samuel Isaiah
For his outstanding contribution as well as commitment in improving and uplifting the standard of education among the Orang Asli children, and in coaching teachers to elevate the overall quality of education for all.

This year, laureates were selected following an extensive search within Malaysia and internationally in which more than 300 high-calibre individuals and organisations were evaluated based on their distinction and sustainable impact in their body of work. 
With today’s announcement, a total of 57 individuals, and six organisations have received the Merdeka Award since 2008. Each Merdeka Award category recipient is conferred with a Merdeka Award Trophy, Certificate of Recognition and cash reward, while the Anugerah Harapan Merdeka recipient receives a Certificate of Recognition and cash reward.
Founders of the Merdeka Award – PETRONAS and Shell – congratulated the recipients on their exemplary efforts, in conjunction with Malaysia’s 65th independence day this year.
PETRONAS President and Group Chief Executive Officer and Merdeka Award Board of Trustee, Datuk Tengku Muhammad Taufik, said: “The Merdeka Award recognises and rewards those who embody the spirit and heart of “Merdeka” - individuals and organisations who epitomise perseverance, emerging with an enduring purpose to improve the prosperity and progress of our people, as well as the well-being of society at large.”
Datuk Tengku Muhammad Taufik added: “Many Merdeka Award recipients continue their inspiring work with great passion, striving to create a sustainable future for all. They pave the way for us even as we navigate unprecedented challenges, all the while fostering a culture of excellence.”

PETRONAS President and Group Chief Executive Officer and Merdeka Award Board of Trustee, Datuk Tengku Muhammad Taufik during his welcoming speech
Ivan Tan, Shell Malaysia Country Chairman and Senior Vice President Malaysia Upstream and Merdeka Award Board of Trustee said, “The continuous dedication and courageous efforts of our laureates in bringing change for communities, societies, and the planet are truly commendable. As trailblazers, they lay a solid foundation in delivering a better future for Malaysia - and this path will set many others up for greater things ahead.”
The Merdeka Award Press Kit can be downloaded here.
For more information and latest updates on the Merdeka Award, log on to the following sites:
The Merdeka Award Trust was established by PETRONAS 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, Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia. In 2022, Anugerah Harapan Merdeka was introduced as a new Award category, recognising the efforts of Malaysians aged 40 years old and below or Malaysian organisations less than 10 years in inception in the areas of Education and Community, Environment, Health, Science and Technology.
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 initiatives, the Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment 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 Izuddin  | +60 12 229 9314
Christine Ong | +60 12 375 2852


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:
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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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