Ladies and Gentlemen,
- On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Merdeka Award Trust, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Merdeka Award Presentation Ceremony, to recognise the outstanding achievements and contributions of five exceptional Malaysians.
- These individuals, and the remarkable and extraordinary work that they have done over the years, exemplify the Spirit of Merdeka, the very essence that drives the pursuit of excellence through foresight, determination, courage and perseverance.
- Congratulations for being named recipients of the Merdeka Award for 2013. This honour is well earned, and well deserved, and it is our hope that it will continue to inspire and spur you on in your enduring quest for excellence.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- The Merdeka Award, first and foremost, is and has always been about reaching the highest of heights.
- We draw as our inspiration the efforts of the nation’s founding fathers, who came together to unite the country under one flag, and set as their aim the growth and success of this nation.
- These are the values that anchor the Spirit of Merdeka, and which we, at the Merdeka Award, have made our mission to cultivate and nurture amongst the people of Malaysia.
- Together with our partners and fellow collaborators from the world of business, academia, social groups and the media, we have made it our collective responsibility to inspire and promote excellence in the areas that are central to the development of the nation.
- Through our collective efforts, this year, we hope to continue to encourage more Malaysians to embrace excellence and drive innovation in our journey to take our nation to greater heights.
- Each year, we try to reach out to more Malaysians, especially to those from the post-Merdeka generation. The ideals of the Merdeka Award serve as the clarion call to inspire more Malaysians to extend their reach, and aim to be the best in their chosen field of endeavour.
- In 2013, we announced the first recipients of the Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment, and in 2014 we will see the recipients depart for their attachment to two world-renowned universities in the United States, to establish working relationships and collaborations in the field of cancer research and aquaculture.
- In addition, we continue to take our message of pursuing excellence and contributing to the nation to more Malaysians through the Merdeka Award Roundtables.
- We closed 2013 with our first ever collaboration with the Nobel Museum. Together with the Academy of Sciences Malaysia and GALERI PETRONAS, we presented Malaysians with a Merdeka Award exhibition, titled “Celebrating the Culture of Excellence”, held alongside the Nobel Museum’s Sketches of Science exhibition.
- It is our hope that such initiatives will cultivate an appreciation for the arts, science, technology and discoveries, and inspire and motivate young Malaysians to explore and pursue their passions to make a mark in their chosen fields.
- Before I conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the members of the Merdeka Award Nomination and Selection committees, who have worked diligently and tirelessly in the last three years to identify, deliberate, shortlist and recommend candidates for the Mereka Award.
- You have done a tremendous job in maintaining the independence, objectivity and fairness in the selection of Merdeka Award recipients.