Seven Malaysians received the prestigious 2018 Merdeka Award in recognition for their contributions and achievements to the nation and global communities in their respective fields, here today.

KUALA LUMPUR: Recognised for their significant contributions and achievements to the nation and global communities in their respective fields, six Malaysians received the prestigious 2018 Merdeka Award at the presentation çeremony today at the Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia's most prestigious award for excellence, it is conferred to outstanding individuals and organisations that embody the "Spirit of Merdeka" in their pursuit of excellence.

The Merdeka Award was first established in 2007 by PETRONAS, ExxonMobil and Shell.

His Royal Highness The Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, who is also the royal patron of the Merdeka Award attended the ceremony to present recipients with their awards.

In his welcome speech President and CEO of PETRONAS Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said it has been 11 years since the debut of the award which has been presented to ordinary people who have gone above and beyond to perform extraordinary feats.

" The Merdeka Award is a fitting salute to their achievements. Some have added immensely to the store of human understanding and scientific knowledge, some have pursued their passions and given voice and expression to the Malaysian identity, some have led social causes that have uplifted the lives of many, and some have left lasting legacies that continue to deliver dividends to society at large," said Wan Zulkiflee.

Today, a total of 49 individuals and two organisations have received the Merdeka Award. Each award category confers a trophy, certificate of recognition and cash award.

The recipient's of the 2018 Merdeka Award by categories

are:

EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY: HASSAN ABD MUTHALIB

For outstanding contribution as the pioneer and earliest influence in local animation through his folk-tale inspired works and his leadership role in developing educational framework on the artistic importance of animation in the country.

ENVIRONMENT:Engr GURMIT SINGH K.S

For outstanding contribution through his activism, advocacy works and leadership role in the promotion of sustainable environment and combating climate change in Malaysia.

HEALTH, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: PROFESSOR DR MOHD HAIR BEJO (joint recipient)

For outstanding contribution and his instrumental role in advancing efforts towards sustainable food production through the development and commercialisation of chicken disease vaccines in treating Gumboro disease that benefits the poultry disease in Malaysia and internationally.

HEALTH, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: PROFESSOR DR GAN EE KIANG (joint recipient)

For outstanding contribution in his pioneering work in developing a successful, exemplary commercial model for R&D for Malaysia's universities, and through his extensive work and leadership role in the fields for clinical pharmacology, pharmaceutical sciences and drug- related research in the country.

OUTSTANDING SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVEMENT: EMERITUS PROFESSOR TAN SRI DATUK DR KHOO KAY KIM (joint recipient)

For outstanding contribution to the scholarly research, development of reinterpretation of Malaysian history and lifetime dedication in history education in the country that has shaped post-independence study of history in modern Malaysia.

OUTSTANDING SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVEMENT: DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR DR RAJA RASIAH (joint recipient)

For outstanding contribution in his scholarly research and development of theoretical macroeconomic framework in the promotion of sustainable development by pioneering the conceptualisation, measurement and application of innovation theory and the framing of innovation policy for developing countries.

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE PEOPLE OF MALAYSIA: ANDREW JAMES EAVIS

For outstanding contribution in his pioneering work in the areas of geomorphology and cave survey through the Mulu Cave projects with the Royal Geographical Society Expedition and the discovery of the Sarawak Chamber, leading to extended research on rainforest habitats and ecosystem, and establishing international collaborations for scientific and nature expeditions.

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