13 December 2013 (Friday) – Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) has won the National Book Award 2013 for the third consecutive year and this time, the Institute took home two instead of one award for the Best General Book under Book Industry Award (Science Category) and the Premier Award (Research Category).
FRIM clinched the Book Industry Award (Science Category) for its pictorial book entitled, “99 Spesies Buah di FRIM”, by a husband and wife team—FRIM research assistant, Zawiah Ngah, and driver, Othaman Hasin,.
The couple, whose passion is to take pictures and learn about the different types of fruits, were encouraged by the FRIM Director General (DG), Dato’ Dr Abd Latif Mohmod, to compile and publish a book on fruit tree species.
It took over one year to write the book which was personally edited by Abd Latif with the assistance of several other officers including two FRIM botanists. The result was this beautiful 256-page publication, with description and scientific information on selected fruit species found in the FRIM campus in Kepong as well as in some of its research stations.
Zawiah and Othaman, accompanied by the FRIM DG and others involved in producing and promoting the book, received the trophy and certificate presented by the Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah, at the award ceremony on 11 December.
The FRIM DG received the Premier Award (Research Category) for the other book entitled, “FRIM Warisan Kebangsaan” at the award ceremony on 12 December. The trophy and certificate were presented by Home Minister Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The award presentation ceremonies were held in conjunction with the 1Malaysia Book Expo 2013 and International Book Conference 2013, organised by the National Book Development Foundation (YPBN) at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur, from 11 to 15 December.
“FRIM Warisan Kebangsaan”, launched by the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Datuk Seri G. Palanivel on 11 November, is a comprehensive book providing information on the background and content of FRIM which qualifies it for the status of Natural Heritage and National Heritage. The 16-chapter book, produced by 59 FRIM staff, discusses the FRIM campus history, research activities, education, achievements, contribution to the country and future aspiration.
Abd Latif congratulated all who were involved in producing these award-winning books, saying that the achievement would not be possible without their contribution, great team work spirit, perseverance and commitment.
“This is the third time FRIM won this National Book Award. I am very proud of our efforts. However, there is much more to be done because FRIM has so much knowledge and information to share. So we hope to continue producing books for our records and future reference,” he said.
Last year, FRIM took home the Best Technical Book Award (2011/12) for “Wild Orchids of Peninsular Malaysia”, co-authored by Ong Poh Teck, Peter O’ Byrne, Wendy Yong and Dr Saw Leng Guan. In 2010, FRIM received the award for the same category for the first time for “FRIM Tapak Warisan Semulajadi Negara”.