PETALING JAYA – Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today acknowledged that the level of sports journalism in Malaysia is on par with international standard.
He said sports journalists in Malaysia presented news and reports without bias elements nor were they sycophantic to any parties.
This was proven when he himself was criticised when he was newly appointed minister two years ago, he said.
“After being appointed minister for two years, I say you are free to say whatever you want but be fair. If there is something incorrect factually, we will correct it.
“From opinions and news analysis by our sports journalists here, I feel we are on par or even among the best not only in Southeast Asia but also comparable to the United Kingdom and so on, indeed we have a very good sports press here,” he told reporters after the 2014 Malaysian Sports Writers Association(SAM)-100 PLUS awards presentation ceremony here today.
According to Khairy, the annual SAM-100 PLUS awards clearly showed the quality of national sports journalism in recognising and honouring sports personalities in the country.
In this regard, Khairy totally agreed with the selection of national squash queen Datuk Nicol David for the 2014 SAM-100 PLUS best athlete award, which she also won in 2005.
At the ceremony, Nicol was crowned best athlete for 2014 while national go-kart racer Muizzuddin Musyaffa Abdul Ghafar was awarded the best junior athlete.
Nicol holds the record of being the longest number one reigning women squash player in the world for 106 weeks since January 2006, breaking the record of 105 weeks set by Susan Devoy of New Zealand in February 1993.
The Malaysian Karate Federation (Makaf) was chosen as the most dynamic sports association with its achievement of garnering success at every sports meet it participated and its ability to continuously churn out new talents.
The women’s squash team represented by Nicol, Low Wee Wern, Delia Arnold and Zulhijjah Azan also clinched the 2014 SAM-100 PLUS Special Award for entering the final of the Women’s World Team Squash Championships last year.
Muhammad Rizal Hashim of Astro Digital Publication won the 2014 SAM-100 PLUS Sports Journalism top award with his article ‘Skuad Aristokrat: Pahang Lengkapi Musim Gemilang’ which won in the print and electronic media special report category.
Hizami Roslan of asiana.my took the best sports photography award.
Mohd Ikhsan Firdaus Azmi of Kosmo! won the best print media sports report for his article entitled ‘Sukar Cari Pengganti Chong Wei’, while TV3 won the best electronic sports news report. Haresh Singh of The Malay Mail took the best print media commentary category award while the electronic media category was won by Astro Arena.
The Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) was also nominated in two categories, the best print media report with the article ‘Atlet Zaman Sekarang Lebih Bertuah’ by sports journalist Karina Imran and two nominations in the best sports photography category by Shahrizan Jeffri Aziz and Azhan Mohd Pidek. – BERNAMA