Four outstanding Malaysians received the 2016 Merdeka Award tonight. The four, who received the award from Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah are Tan Sri Lakshmanan Krishnan, Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor, Prof Datuk Dr Looi Lai Meng, and Prof Datuk Dr Wan Ramli Wan Daud. (Pix by MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI)

KUALA LUMPUR: Four outstanding Malaysians received the 2016 Merdeka Award tonight.

The four, who received the award from Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah are Tan Sri Lakshmanan Krishnan, Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor, Prof Datuk Dr Looi Lai Meng, and Prof Datuk Dr Wan Ramli Wan Daud.

Lakshmanan, a pioneer in the Malay film industry, received the award in the Education and Community category for his outstanding contribution to laying the foundation for the modern film industry in the country and for his instrumental role in developing early acting talents, including Malaysian film icon, the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee.

Salleh received the award under the Environment category for his outstanding contribution to the conservation of the natural environment and forestry in the country, through his leadership role at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) and the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS).

Dr Looi, the longest serving diagnostic renal pathologist in the country, was honoured under the Health, Science and Technology category, for her outstanding contribution in pioneering research in amyloidosis, renal pathology and cancer pathology and for her significant contributions and role in promoting the field of pathology in the country and the region.

As for Wan Ramli, he was given the award under the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement category for his scholarly research and development in advancing the technology of fuel cells and hydrogen energy in the country and the region.

Sultan Nazrin presented the Merdeka Award trophy, a work of art by Malaysian artist Latiff Mohidin, a recognition certificate and a cash award of RM500,000 to the recipients.

Also present was Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim.

Since its establishment in 2007, 34 individuals and two organisations have received the award.