CHARLES Mohan, 37, was once prevented from entering Sandakan, Sabah for a year — all for his own safety.
The ntv7 assignments editor had exposed a prostitution ring in a new township there after a tip-off from his friend. Charles’ friend, a teacher, was worried about the negative impact on students and asked for his help.
His investigative report in Sandakan, titled Bisayak di Sandakan which was aired on ntv7’s Edisi 7 slot, earned him a nomination in the Special Report category of TV3’s Anugerah Skrin 2010.
Charles knew what he wanted to pursue in life at an early age. The Bachelor of Arts (with a major in Journalism) graduate from University of Malaya, who has a nose for news, was named Best TV Journalist in 2002 by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs. He also won the Best TV Report in Anugerah Skrin 2006.
“Thirteen years as a journalist have made me a better human being and I have more empathy,” says Charles. “My reports have helped to change lives. SOCSO (Social Security Organisation) finally approved payment to a critically ill husband and his paralysed wife after I highlighted their plight.
“I want to continue to make programmes that encourage Malaysians to think, observe and change,” he adds.
He answers questions on his schooldays:
Yaqin: Which primary and secondary schools did you attend?
Charles: I attended SRK Methodist ACS Klang and SMK Methodist ACS Klang. I went to the same school from Standard One until Upper Six… I still remember the school song.
Yaqin: Did you have a favourite teacher and why did you like him/her?
Charles: My favourite teacher was Puan Siti Maryam who taught Bahasa Melayu... now Bahasa Malaysia. I like her because she has students’ interest at heart. Guess what? I still keep in touch with her and try to catch up (on each other‘s news) at least once in three months. I visit the other teachers in school too. The school building still looks the same although it needs a touch-up.
Yaqin: What subject(s) did you like at school?
Charles: I liked Bahasa Melayu, English, History, Commerce and Malay Literature. We liked the teachers and we always imitated them.
Yaqin: Were you rewarded for good performance by your parents? If yes, in what way.
Charles: I am from a lower middle-income family. There were six of us schooling at the same time. Although I am the youngest, there was no special treatment. Dad and mum always encouraged me to work hard and go to university. They said only education can change your future. Their encouragement was better than any reward!
Yaqin: What was your best (and worst) school holiday?
Charles: The best was in Form Six when my school went on a tour of University of Malaya. The trip inspired me to gain admission to the university the following year. UM, you are the best!
The worst holidays were when I stayed at home and wondered how my friends were enjoying their break... when I went back to school, I found out most of them were at home! (laughs).
Yaqin: What hobbies did you have while at school?
Charles: I changed my hobbies all the time but I enjoyed collecting stamps.
Yaqin: What was your ambition while schooling?
Charles: I have always wanted to work in broadcasting — not restricted to being in front of the camera — because I feel it’s so happening. After I obtained an honours degree at UM, I got a job at ntv7. It is very challenging being in front of the camera but I enjoy it.
Yaqin: If you were to live your schooldays all over again, is there anything you would like to change?
Charles: Of course. I would have a better understanding of friends. I love all of my friends from school but wish I had cherished the moments more. I am still in touch with most of them and they are very supportive of my plans. Thanks, ACS batch 92, and Jeffry Law Teck Siong and Din.