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KUALA LUMPUR, December 2014 – An academician and also a professor in Membrane Science and Technology from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Professor Dr. Abdul Latif Ahmad was among six outstanding individuals who received the prestigious 2014 Merdeka Award here recently.

He was recognised in the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement category for his great contributions and expertise in scholarly research and development of technologies in the areas of polymer science, wastewater treatment and membrane separation technology.

His Royal Highness The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, who is also the Royal Patron of the Merdeka Award Trust presented the award to all six recipients at the Petronas Philharmonic Hall. The event was also graced by the presence of Her Royal Highness The Raja Permaisuri of Perak, Tuanku Zara Salim.

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While being interviewed, Abdul Latif said that the award is one of the most prestigious recognitions he has received so far, and he is now among the country's prominent figures that have made outstanding and lasting contributions in their respective fields to the nation and its people.

“This recognition for the 20 years effort in developing area of research that impact not only for the industry, but also the community as a whole means a lot to me. I am humbled by this recognition.

“Hopefully the Merdeka Award will continue to inspire and motivate other academicians, researchers and academics to the development of research and knowledge,'' he said.

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He is also thankful to USM for his achievement as USM has always supported him in developing a research that gives impact to the society.

Abdul Latif, who was born in Beranang Selangor on 4 January 1967 recently was also recognised as one of The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds 2014, as well as being the first individual from Asia Pacific who received the Saudi Arabia Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz International Prize for Water.

The Merdeka Awards was introduced in 2007 through the initiative of Petronas, ExxonMobil and Shell to recognise the contributions of individuals and organisations whose works have made an impact to Malaysia and its people in five categories, where each recipient stands a chance to receive a certificate of recognition, a Merdeka Award trophy and RM500,000 prize money.

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This award was first launched on 27 August 2007 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Malaysia's 50th independence. Since then, 28 individuals and two organisations have received the award, including this year’s recipients.

Appointed assessors will evaluate the contribution of the individuals and organisations in various categories that are meaningful and significant to Malaysians and the country.

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Besides Abdul Latif, other recipients for 2014 are the famous cartoonist, Datuk Mohd. Nor Khalid (Lat) in the Education and Community category, Mohd Khan Momin Khan (Environment), Datuk Dr. Choo Yuen May (Health, Science and Technology), Professor Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail (Outstanding Scholastic Achievement - joint recipients) and Dato' Sri Dr. Gathorne-Hardy, Earl of Cranbrook (contributions to the Malaysian community). - Translation: Siti Faizah Abd Halim & Tan Ewe Hoe/Photo: Mohd Fairus Md. Isa

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