Full name:


Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)
Date of Birth:


Affiliations (at the time of the award):




Forestry & Environment, Forestry Biotechnology, Forest Products, Forest Biodiversity, Natural Products, Economic & Strategic Analysis
Summary of body of work recognised by MSA:


The Academy of Sciences Malaysia is awarding the Mahathir Science Award 2009 to the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) for its contribution to Tropical Natural Resources. This award is being conferred on FRIM in recognition of its role in the development of the rubberwood furniture industry.
Latest Biography/Profile of Organisation: Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) is one of the leading institutions in tropical forestry research in the world. Founded in 1929, the former Forest Research Institute became a fully-fledged statutory body, governed by the Malaysian Forest Research and Development Board (MFRDB) under the Ministry of Primary Industries, in 1985. Presently, both FRIM and MFRDB are under the purview of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The Institute sits on a 545-ha site adjacent to the Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve in the Kepong municipality, 16 km northwest of Kuala Lumpur. FRIM was awarded the MS ISO 9001:2008 certification starting 2010. It was gazetted as a natural heritage on 10 February 2009 under the National Heritage Act 2005, and officially declared as a National Heritage on 10 May 2012. The Institute is helmed by Dato’ Dr Abd Latif Mohmod as its Director General.

Research Areas

FRIM’s research activities are organised under the following divisions:

• Forestry & Environment: To develop technologies and provide solutions to support and ensure the sustainable management of resources and ecosystem services of the natural, urban and recreational forests.

• Forestry Biotechnology: To develop technologies and products based on biodiversity resources for forests and herbal plantations for related industries through biotechnological approaches.

• Forest Products: To focus on the development of R, D and C towards improvement on durability, service life and utilisation of wood resources and ligno-cellulosic materials available for producing various high quality/value-added products.

• Forest Biodiversity: To provide and develop key scientific knowledge to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services in Malaysia for their wise management and sustainable utilisation.

• Natural Products: To support the national bio-economy agenda via the empowerment of natural product based industries through bioactive feedstock security.

• Economic & Strategic Analysis: To conduct socio-economic research and strategic analysis on forestry and environmental issues for national development.

The results of FRIM’s research are published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and also transferred to relevant government agencies involved in overseeing and managing forests, as well as forest-related industries.

Award-Winning Research

FRIM researchers have acquired a sound track record over the years winning innumerable awards for their work. The awards included those for research on rubber wood utilisation at the International Cologne Furniture Fair (1995); and for its oil palm fibre extractor at the 25th Geneva International Invention Exhibition (1997); the International Union of Forestry Research Organisations (IUFRO) Scientific Achievement Award (1995, 2000 & 2010); Toray International Science Award (1999); Petronas Inventor’s Awards (1992, 1994); National Inventor’s Award (1995 & 1997); MINDEX/INNOTEX Award (1993, 1995); Langkawi Award (1991); Public Services Department Award (1996); National Science Award (1993); and Japanese International Award for Young Agricultural Researchers (2009 & 2013). In 2009, FRIM received the Nikkei Asia Prize for its contribution to environmental protection in the region and the Mahathir Science Award in recognition of its contribution to the research and development of the country’s rubberwood industry. Among others, FRIM also won the National Book Award (2010, 2012 & 2013); the Brand Laureate Awards 2010-2011 & 2012 for the Best Brand in Forestry–Environment Conservation; the International Socrates Award for Best Enterprise (Applied Research & Scientific Achievements) 2011; Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Science and Technology Prize 2012; and the International Diamond Prize 2012. More recently, FRIM clinched the National Innovation Award 2013 (Products Category) and the National Intellectual Property Award (NIPA) 2014 (Patent Category) for its High Temperature Drying (HTD) system for lumber treatment. 

FRIM is one of the top eco-tourism destinations in Malaysia, offering visitors various attractions and activities such as nature trails, waterfalls, nature education centre, camping and picnic sites, botanic gardens and arboreta.