By : KOH LAY CHIN
AS we welcome Peninsular Malaysia’s 55th year of independence this year, we celebrate once again the people who continue to inspire us and give us hope for a better Malaysia.
We first published The Nut Graph’s Merdeka Awards in 2009. Four years later, we continue to be reminded of the immense talent in the country. And we continue to be moved by fresh initiatives from citizens of all stripes. Our selection comprises awardees who uphold constitutional freedoms and civil rights, empower citizens and/or care for the environment or the cities we live in. They are people whose actions contribute towards making Malaysia a better democracy and place to live.
We do not claim that this list of awardees is definitive or exhaustive in any way. Indeed, these are our picks. We welcome readers to include theirs in the comments section to make the picture complete.
At The Nut Graph, we tip our hats off to the following Malaysians, in no particular order:
It must be something when WWF-Malaysia praises a state government for its actions in protecting the environment. In July, WWF-Malaysia applauded “the Sabah state government’s passing of the Bill to prohibit coastal areas in Kota Kinabalu to be alienated to others”.
An amendment to the Sabah Land Ordinance 1930, the Bill that was passed bars any development on the Kota Kinabalu seafront from Tanjung Aru to Likas Bay. The passing of this law garnered plenty of praise from other environmental NGOs. And rightfully so. The amendment helps protect the state’s precious coastal areas, mangroves and coral reefs.