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Petronas, ExxonMobil & Shell Create Merdeka Award
August 27, 2007 20:52 PM


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi stands before the Merdeka Award logo at its launching ceremony. Pix: Mazlan Samion

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 (Bernama) -- National oil company Petronas and two major oil and gas companies, ExxonMobil and Shell, have set up a RM50 million trust fund for what is described as Malaysia's most prestigious award, the Merdeka Award, to specifically celebrate, honour and reward excellence.

The award is to recognise and reward individuals and organisations that have made outstanding contributions for the advancement of Malaysia and its people.

The Merdeka Award is to be launched tonight by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in conjunction with Malaysia's 50th year of independence.

At a media briefing earlier, Petronas president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican said the award reflects a commitment by the oil and gas industry, which has long played a key role in Malaysia's nation-building efforts, to continue to be a major contributor to the development of the country and its people.

He said the Merdeka Award will be given annually and have its own secretariat to manage it properly.

"We hope every year in August, we will be able to announce the winner. This award is to recognise the achievements of the Malaysian individual in five categories," he added.

The categories are Education and Community; Health, Science and Technology; Environment; Outstanding Scholastic Achievement; and Outstanding Contribution to the people of Malaysia.

Each award category carries a cash prize of RM300,000 and comes with a trophy and a certificate. Winners will be selected from a list of nominees on an annual basis. The first recipients will be honoured in August next year.

The award is open to all living Malaysian citizens, but non-citizens may also be eligible for the Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia award.

It is also open to institutions or organisations except in the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement category.

Hassan said the Merdeka Award format will be similar that of the Nobel Prize.

He hoped oil and gas industry players will come forward to contribute to the fund.

-- BERNAMA

 
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