Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Award-winning Video

Remember that time last year when disgraced PM Najib Razak (left) lost his cool a couple of times before finally walking out of the Al Jazeera interview with Australian journalist Mary Ann Jolley? 

The 25-minute video of the October 27, 2018 session titled “Malaysia: Najib Speaks” went on to rack up more than one million views on Youtube and on Wednesday, it was awarded the “Interview of the Year” prize at the Royal Television Society’s Television Journalism Awards 2019. 

The RTS jury said: "…one interview stood out for its courage, tenacity and sheer unadulterated watchability". 

"Although the story focused on an issue few would have known about prior to the interview, this did not detract from the viewer's ability to understand the jaw-dropping venality of the interviewee". 

The jury added that the interviewer's "forensic approach was compelling, her knowledge formidable and her ability to combine persistence with grace quite extraordinary". 

Anyway, Jolley (left) told The Star TV on Friday that she felt frustrated while quizzing Najib. I don't blame her because verily, I can see that he was candidly ambiguous, intentionally difficult and willfully evasive. 

And as she lobbed question after question at him, he became more and more agitated, flustered and unnerved. 

Jolley was the same reporter whom Najib kicked out of the country in June 2015 while she was pursuing a story on the Altantuya Shariibuu murder. 

She deserved the award for putting the spotlight so compellingly on Malaysia’s Most Despicable Rogue. 

I was in Singapore from February 26-28 – together with Cyril Jonas  and we were there specifically for WSD matters. 

Thanks to Chew Banseng, Dr Ernest Chen and Richard Ong who were exceptionally generous with their time. 

In any case, over 2 days (Tuesday and Wednesday), two planned meetings expanded into five, including two Toastmasters meetings. 

Certainly, it was wonderful to catch up with our Singaporean friends whom we first met at the D51 Annual Conference last April. 

Better still, I also met Ganchimeg Zagdaa, another fellow Toastmaster from Mongolia. A lovely surprise, indeed – since the last time we met was in KL a couple of years ago when she dropped in to the KL Advanced Toastmasters meeting!

A WSD lunch meeting over chicken rice:

And of course, beers flowed freely after the meetings.

And before meetings too.

Overall, a worthwhile trip that gave us invaluable insights to take home. But more importantly, it is about re-connecting ties and building relationships.

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