Presented to

The Following Accomplished Plant Breeders in Recognition of Their Outstanding Contributions In the Field of Plant Breeding:

Faculty of Science & Technology
Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM)


Professor Dr. Jalani Sukaimi graduated from the University of Malaya in 1970 with B.Agric.Sc. in Agronomy (Plant Science) and Ph.D. in plant genetics in 1974 from University of Reading, England. He also possessed Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, London and Professional Diploma in Export Marketing from Market Development Institute, Geneva.  He spent 1-year Post-Doctoral Fellow under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at Iowa State University, USA and as a Senior Distinguished Scholar under the Fulbright Fellowship at Harvard, Yale, Cornell, etc). He was awarded with Hon. Doctor of Science by  UKM.

Prof. Jalani  specializes in plant breeding and genetics. He started his career as a Lecturer in 1974 at the UKM and finally as a Professor. He held various administrative positions, including Dean of Graduate Center and  Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic & Research Affairs).  In 1989, he joined MPOB (formerly PORIM) as Director of Biology Division and later as the Deputy Director General, and upon retirement in 2000 as Senior Research fellow. He had a short stint at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia for 10 months.

In June 2003, he joined Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) as the Founding Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology.  He was a Board Member of Golden Hope Research, Golden Hope Plantations Company. He is a Fellow of Academy of Sciences (FASc) and a Fellow of Malaysian Scientific Association Malaysia (FMSA). He is an active member in various professional, social and recreational organisations. He was the President of International Society of Oil Palm Agronomists (ISOPA, 1990-2005) and President of International Society of Oil Palm Breeders (ISOPB, 1990-2007).  He is currently a Member of National Science & Research Council, Prime Minister’s Department, Malaysia.

He has published over 267 scientific articles in journals (national and international), symposia, confer¬ences, etc, and edited 24 proceedings plus one book  (with DBP) and co-edited 1,526-page on Advances in Oil Palm Research: Vols. I and II published by MPOB. His research achievements included germplasm conservation and genetics of four-angled bean under IFS and ICDUP Fund, mutation breeding with the successful release of rice lines having resistant genes to blast and brown planthopper (joint MARDI-UKM Project partly funded by IAEA), soybean mutation breeding (Joint MARDI/RRIM/UKM/UM/UPM Project partly funded by RCA/IAEA/Japan/Australia), and germplasm conservation and breeding of oil palm with successful release of parental genotypes having very high yield, high quality oil and dwarf for large scale planting by MPOB. He continues his research work by supervising graduate students in oil palm breeding.

Formerly with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)


Prof. Dr. Yap Thoo Chai, an Academic Fellow of Academy of Science Malaysia, is a Retired Professor in Plant Breeding at UPM (1976-96).  Prior to that, he was a lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur (1971-75). He obtained his B.Sc. from Dept. of Agronomy, National Taiwan University, Taipei; M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Dept. of Crop Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.

His interests in crop breeding, quantitative genetics and biometrics brought him to work as part-time research assistant in the Statistics and Experimental Design Laboratory, Department of Agronomy, National Taiwan University, Taipei; research assistant at the Crop Science Dept. at University of Saskatchewan; did sabbatical research on genotype x environment interaction at Univ. of Western Australia, Perth; and did sabbatical research on computer simulation  of plant breeding research at Institute of Genetics, Mishima, Japan.  He also did oil palm breeding research at PORIM, and later was appointed as a Technical Advisor to PORIM (1982-1995). He has published over 100 scientific papers in local and international scientific journals, and a book on plant breeding entitled “Prinsip-Prinsip Pembaikbiakan Tanaman” (1985 & 1990). He released three varieties for commercial production, namely Chinta sweet corn, Bakti super sweet corn, and Line 30 of long bean.

Upon retirement, Prof. Yap continues to be active in education and research after, teaching in International Multimedia College, Senior University International at Lead Academic Sdn. Bhd., offering  EMBA courses of the Rutherford University Kuala Lumpur at Corbiz Consultancy Sdn. Bhd., and  serving as business consultants in agricultural projects of many private companies.  He was President of the Malaysian Scientific Association (1992-96), President of the Malaysian Senior Scientists Association (2009-11) and served as Regional Secretary and Board member of SABRAO (1989-2000).

Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)


Dr. N. Rajanaidu holds a Ph.D. (Genetics) from University of Birmingham, U.K. and is a Fellow, Academy of Sciences Malaysia.  Currently, he serves as a Senior Research Fellow with Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), contributing his over forty years of experience as an oil palm breeder.  He also serves as consultants to a number of companies (local and overseas) on oil palm breeding.

While in MPOB, he has had held many key positions including Head of Oil Palm breeding Group, and Head of Biotechnology and Breeding. Very early into research, the narrow gene pool had already been recognized as a major obstacle to rapid selection progress in oil palm. It was the concern generated by this situation that provided the initial impetus for the prospection of oil palm genetic materials in its natural environment (the centers of origin such as West Africa for Elaeis guineensis and South America for Elaies oleifera). In 1973, the first oil collection expedition was mounted to Nigeria, and 180,000 oil palm seeds were brought to Malaysia after a strict quarantine procedure. The collection expeditions then continued to other countries in Africa (Cameroon, Zaire, Tanzania, Madagascar, Angola, Senegal, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Guinea Conakry, and Ghana) and South America.  Largely due to his efforts, he collected and assembled for MPOB the largest oil palm germplasm in the world.

These materials are continuously being evaluated, and are expected to provide interesting and invaluable traits for the breeders. Elite lines from the collections have been used to broaden the genetic base of current breeding materials such as Deli duras and AVROS pisiferas. He released to the industry elite genetic lines from the collections known for dwarfness, unsaturated oil, long stalk, compact frond for high density planting, and high harvest index. He has a passion for  teaching and regularly gives lectures on oil palm genetic resources, and also supervises many postgraduate students in the field of oil palm breeding.

Malaysian Agrifood Cooperation Bhd. (MAFC)


Dr. Chan Ying Kwok graduated with a Bachelor of Agric. Sc. (Hons.) from the University of Malaya in 1972; Masters in Horticultural Science from the University of California (Davis) in 1979 and Doctor of Philosophy in Genetics from the University of Malaya in 1995. He started his career in plant breeding at the Malaysian Agricultural and Research Institute (MARDI) in 1972. He was the Head of Fruit Breeding from 1983-1992 and the Deputy Director of Horticultural Research from 1993-2006. He joined the Malaysian AgriFood Corporation (MAFC) as Head of Research and Development in 2006 and had worked there since.

Dr Chan Ying Kwok is a renowned fruit breeder in Malaysia, particularly for his research and development of papaya and pineapple. He is responsible for the development of the Eksotika papayas that made Malaysia a prominent papaya exporter in the world in the 90’s with export revenue of RM 120 million annually. In pineapple breeding, he developed the Josapine and Maspine varieties which are good quality table varieties.  Josapine is the world’s first commercial pineapple hybrid and the most popular variety in the country today estimated to be worth RM60 million annually. His breeding techniques used for papaya and pineapple breeding such as the backcross breeding for developing Eksotika papaya and hybridization techniques for breeding Eksotika 2 and Josapine pineapple were pioneering work and has paved the way for others to follow and are now standard breeding tools for these two fruits in the world today.

His current expertise extends beyond his respected past as an accomplished plant breeder and covers the more holistic integrated supply chain in production and marketing of fresh fruit and vegetables. At MAFC, Dr. Chan has also been involved in the development of certification for Skim Amalan Ladang Baik (SALM), Carrefour Quality Line (CQL) and Global GAP. This involves good agricultural practices, food safety and environmental care and sustainability in fruits and vegetables production. The Frangi papaya was developed at MAFC and branded under the name `Paiola’ and is now grown at Lanchang (Pahang), Kuala Pilah (Negri Sembilan), Bukit Tangga (Kedah) and Kota Tinggi (Johor). It is registered under the Malaysian Plant Variety Protection Act in 2010 and was nominated for the Berlin Fruit Logistica Innovation Award 2009. His current research interest is in the development of papaya varieties with resistance to Erwinia dieback.

His research on papaya and pineapple breeding is recognized worldwide and he has been invited to speak in many national and international symposia and conferences as keynote and lead speakers. He was awarded the MARDI Research Excellence Awards in 1984, 1997 and 2004, the Kesatria Mangku Negara (KMN) from the King in 1997, Toray Science and Technology Award in 2000, MARDI Horticulture Writer’s Awards 2000-2002, International Invention, Innovation, Industrial Design & Technology (ITEX) Bronze Medal in 2004 and the MARDI Science and Technology Innovation & Commercialization Gold Medal in 2005. He was appointed Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia in 2011 and Research Fellow of the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) in 2012.

Formerly with Rice Research Center, MARDI, Seberang Perai


HADZIM KHALID  was a gifted and prolific rice breeder, working almost his entire life with MARDI.  He first joined the Department of Agriculture as a Laboratory Assistant in 1963.  Two years later, he was posted to Bumbong Lima as a  young Breeding Assistant to Mr. J. Kawakami, one of the four Japanese renowned rice breeders who were responsible for the breeding of varieties Malinja, Mahsuri and Bahagia.  Although he received no formal education beyond first year upper secondary school (which he attended in night classes), the then contemporary rice breeding experts had put him through the mill  as an aspiring rice breeder.

In 1968, he attended an intensive “Rice Cultivation Research Course” at Central Agricultural Experimental Station, Konosu, Japan. Later, he was trained in an intensive Genetic Evaluation and Utilization (GEU) Programme under Prof. Dr. Gurdev S. Khush’s stewardship  at International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in late 1970s. In 1994 , via the Research Counterpart Exchange Programme of JIRCAS, he was  in Japan again for a brief coursework  on ‘Preliminary Studies on Some Aspects of Rice Quality” at The Biological Resources Division, JIRCAS in Japan. Empowered by his polished practical skills and deep passion for the trade, he assisted considerably in breeding and selection for pests and diseases resistance (1965 to mid 1980s) and later in breeding for high quality rice (from late 1980s onwards). His efforts and contributions were instrumental to the release of many MARDI’s rice varieties, namely Sekencang (1979), Sekembang (1979), Kadaria (1981), Manik (1984), Muda (1984), Seberang (1984), Makmur (1984), MR81 (1988), MR106 (1990), MR211 (1999), MRQ50 (1999) and MRQ74  Many of the parental varieties he bred had been used by other rice breeders, such as Manik (as parent to breed MR84), Muda (as parent to breed MR167) and MR137 (as parent to breed of MR219 and MR220).

After retirement, he had served as a consultant to Bernas for three years in 2005-08. Earlier, in year 2000-01, while on  post-retirement extension of service with MARDI, he  was  also involved in the attempt by Bernas in translating and walking the idea of commercially producing “Beras Puteri” –  the first  Malaysian high value rice. In 2003-07, he again assisted MARDI via a flexi-time contract rice breeder. Here, he pulled yet another accomplishment when he succeeded in transferring of ‘Cl gene’ to breed for herbicide resistant varieties (MR220 CL-1 and MR220 CL-2) to control the problem of “weedy rice”  (Padi angin). This padi angin had progressively surfaced to become a serious recurring problem when direct-seeded rice culture began to replace the transplanted rice culture, beginning in mid 1980s.

Although no longer able to be with MARDI’s rice breeding programmes, his legacy in rice breeding remains very strong and pervasive. Several varieties from his rice breeding pipeline continues to be released by MARDI.  Some of the non-released varieties that he left which include Mahsuri Mutant (1984), Q34 (1994), Q72 (1999) and Y1304 (1999) continue to be used as the main parents to breed for new quality rice varieties.


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