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Fatimah Hashim among recipients of Merdeka Award

KUALA LUMPUR: The first woman to be appointed a Malaysian cabinet minister, Tun Dr Fatimah Hashim has been chosen as one of the four prominent and outstanding Malaysians to receive the Merdeka Award this year.

The other three recipients are the first Malaysian woman appointed to the United Nations (UN), Datuk Lim Phaik Gan, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Vice Chancellor, Prof Ir Dr Zaini Ujang and Prof Dr Halimaton Hamdan.

Dr Fatimah, 85, and Lim, 91, emerged joint recipients of this year's Merdeka Award for the Education and Community Category.

The Merdeka Award Board of Trustees chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican in announcing the recipients of the award here Wednesday said both Dr Fatimah and Lim had been selected because of their outstanding work and achievements which represented the progress of women in the country.

Prof Ir Dr Zaini, 44, meanwhile won the award for the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement category for the study and scholarly contributions in the various environmental initiatives concerning water supply, sewage, river rehabilitation and industrial ecology.

The other recipient, Prof Dr Halimaton won the Health, Science and Technology category for the development and application of Maerogel as a commercially viable multi-purpose material.

Dr Halimaton, 53, who is also Professor of Chemistry at UTM, has reduced the cost of producing aerogel by 80 per cent, making it affordable enough for widespread use.

According to Mohd Hassan, there was no recipient this year for the Environment and Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia category.

Recipients of each category will receive RM500,000, a trophy and certificate to be presented on Oct 19 this year at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas.

Mohd Hassan said the Merdeka Awards aimed to recognise Malaysians and non- Malaysians who had made an outstanding and lasting contributions to the nation and Malaysians.

"The committee has ensured that every aspect of the candidate's contributions and achievements as well as the impact of their work on Malaysia and Malaysians are carefully examined, so as to arrive at the most deserving recipients," he said.

The award, jointly initiated by Petronas, ExxonMobil and Shell, was launched by former prime minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Aug 27, 2007. (Bernama)

MySinchew 2009.08.19

 

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