The Award

FAQ - The Award

The Merdeka Award nomination and selection process is independent, objective and fair and administered by a Board of Trustees, Selection Committee and five (5) Nomination Committees. The tenure for members of the Selection and Nomination committees is three (3) years.

The Nomination Committee’s role is to identify, deliberate, shortlist and recommend candidates to the Selection Committee. There are five (5) committees, one for each category, with three (3) members in each of the committees except for Education & Community which has five (5) members. For Anugerah Harapan Merdeka, candidates are identified, deliberated, shortlisted by the Education & Community, Environment and Health, Scien & Technology committee members. 

The role of the 5-member Selection Committee is to deliberate the merits of the candidates put forward by the Nomination Committees and recommend the short-list to the Board of Trustees.

The Board, comprising representatives of the Founding Members as well as two (2) Independent Members, determines the final selection of the recipients. There may not be recipients in every category, every year. The decision must be unanimous and there is one (1) award for each category. The Award can be shared by as many as two (2) recipients.

For more about the Nomination and Selection Process and the roles of the different committees, please click here.

The Merdeka Award has several key initiatives, including:

The Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment

The Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment is designed to make it possible for qualified Malaysians, between the ages 22 -35 to engage in short-term collaborative projects/programmes at a selected, internationally-recognised host institution abroad. It is designed to help the recipient build on his or her expertise by undergoing a learning experience in an institution or organisation of international repute, and improving the recipient’s body of work and achievements. 

Merdeka Award

The Merdeka Award was established on 27th 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. It is a prestigious award that honours their outstanding effort and role in living the 'Merdeka' spirit in 6 Award categories:

  • Education and Community
  • Environment
  • Health, Science and Technology
  • Outstanding Scholastic Achievement
  • Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia
  • Anugerah Harapan Merdeka

The Award aims to promote thought leadership and innovation, foster a culture of excellence, 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. 

The Merdeka Award aims to promote thought leadership and innovation, foster a culture of excellence and encourage a worldview, thereby enhancing Malaysia’s standing as a dynamic, competitive 21st century global player in all key sectors from science and technology to the arts.

Launched by PETRONAS, ExxonMobil and Shell in 2007, the Merdeka Award is an enduring contribution to the people of Malaysia, demonstrating and renewing the commitment of the oil and gas industry to the growth and development of the country. 

Since 2019, the Merdeka Award will be carried out bienially to reach out to more Malaysians in our efforts to foster a culture of excellence and promote thought leadership and innovation in all key sectors. 

‚ÄčTo date, the two founding companies, PETRONAS and Shell continue their support with MAT following the departure of ExxonMobil from the Trust in 2021.

The recipients are announced each year in the month of Merdeka or thereafter, with the presentation taking place after that at the Merdeka Award Ceremony. The award presentation is made by the Royal Patron of the Merdeka Award Trust.

The Merdeka Award is conferred on individuals and/or organisations – Malaysians as well as non-Malaysians – whose excellent work has made outstanding and lasting contributions to the nation and the people of Malaysia, in their respective fields. The focus is on achievements and not personalities, based on original, significant and sustained contribution to the country.

There are six (6) Award categories:

  1. Education and Community
  2. Environment
  3. Health, Science and Technology
  4. Outstanding Scholastic Achievement
  5. Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia (open only to Non-Malaysians)
  6. Anugerah Harapan Merdeka 

Each award category carries a cash award, a trophy and a certificate except for Anugerah Harapan Merdeka which will receive a cash award and a certificate. Recipients are selected from a list of nominees on an annual basis. Since it was established in 2007, 57 individuals and six organisations have received the Merdeka Award.

For a full list of Merdeka Award recipients, please click here.

The Merdeka Award is named to capture and commemorate the “Spirit of Merdeka” as demonstrated by the nation’s forefathers, which is about foresight, discipline, perseverance and self-sacrifice. It is where the true meaning of independence lies in the liberation of the mind and spirit – factors which foster the realisation of human potential and the pursuit of excellence.

The Founding Members of the Merdeka Award also hope that in commemorating this pioneering spirit, the Award will help strengthen the intellectual foundation and elements of civil society that will drive a nation’s economic and social progress.

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