16 December 2016 (Friday) – Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) Director General (DG) Dato’ Dr Abd Latif Mohmod received the Anugerah Perdana Research and Development (R&D) Icon 2016 award from the National Book Development Foundation (YPBN) yesterday.
The Minister of International Trade and Industry, Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, presented the Icon award at a ceremony, held in conjunction with the launching of a book on ‘Dikir Barat’ at the International Book Conference 2016.
The conference was co-organised by YPBN, IIUM Press, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur, from 14 to 15 December.
Abd Latif and co-authors comprising Dr Ahmad Zuhaidi Yahya, Zawiah Ngah, Nik Zanariah Nik Mahmood and Othaman Hasin also took home the National Book Award (Best Technical Book category) for the publication entitled, ‘Sinonim Nama Tempat Dengan Nama Tumbuhan’ (Synonyms of Places and Plant Names) on 14 December. The award was presented by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Dato’ Sri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, at the official launching of Malaysia Book Expo, the International Book Conference and National Book Award.
“I am very honoured and proud to receive these awards. I hope that our achievements will help to inspire and motivate more people particularly the younger generation to read and write,” said Abd Latif, who was awarded the Anugerah Perdana for ‘Tokoh Buku Penyelidikan’ last year in recognition of his contribution in sharing scientific information through the production of simple, easy-to-read books.
He said Sinonim was the result of his aspiration, which he highlighted to the National Biodiversity Council in 2013, to produce a publication for national reference in efforts to ensure the continued conservation of traditional trees in Malaysia.
The 354-page book highlights names of places in the country that were derived from 149 plants, some of which were spelt/pronounced in accordance with the different local Malay ‘loghat’. Also listed are names of popular flower and vegetable plant species that are synonymous with the names of places; list of places of which the names are synonymous with local names of plants as well as that which are synonymous with scientific names of local plants.
Sinonim is the fifth publication by FRIM to be picked for the National Book Award. FRIM received the first award for the Best Technical Book for ‘FRIM Tapak Warisan Semula Jadi Negara’ in 2010, and the second, for ‘Wild Orchids of Peninsular Malaysia’ in 2012. In 2013, FRIM clinched the award for both the Best General Book under the Book Industry Award (Science category) for ‘99 Spesies Buah di FRIM’ and the Premier Award (Research) for ‘FRIM Warisan Kebangsaan’.
Also present at the award ceremony were Abd Latif’s wife, Datin Halidah Kasmin, son, Muhammad Ismail, Deputy DG (Operations) Datuk Dr Rahim Sudin, Research Planning Director Dr Nur Supardi Md Noor, Flora Biodiversity Programme Head Dr Richard Chung and Corporate Communication Head Norhayati Nordin.