Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik (centre, back row) takes a group photo with winners during the MPI-Petronas Malaysian Journalism Awards 2018 in Kuala Lumpur. - NSTP/MUHD ZAABA ZAKERIA

KUALA LUMPUR: The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd (NSTP) group won a total of 15 awards at the MPI-Petronas Malaysian Journalism Awards 2018 here, last night.

Former Media Prima Bhd chairman and New Straits Times columnist Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar was awarded Tokoh Wartawan Negara. He won RM30,000, a trophy and a certificate.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik, who launched the event, handed the award to Johan.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik (second from right) presenting a cheque for RM30,000 to former Media Prima Bhd chairman and former ‘New Straits Times’ columnist Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar (third from left) who was named Tokoh Wartawan Negara at the MPI-Petronas Malaysian Journalism Awards 2018 in Kuala Lumpur. - NSTP/MUHD ZAABA ZAKERIA

Present were the prime minister’s special adviser on media and communications Datuk A. Kadir Jasin, who is former NSTP group editor-in-chief; MPI executive chairman Datuk Dr Chamil Wariya; and Petronas president and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.

NST graphic artist Ahmad Suhairy Shuib won the consolation prize in the Best Front Page Category for three front pages – Warning Against Child Abuse; Prioritise Redefined; and Why Exempt Big-Ticket Items?

Among the big winners at the 2018 awards was NST’s sister publication, Harian Metro (HM), which bagged a total of eight awards.

Mohd Firdaus Ibrahim won in the Excellence Investigative Journalism category, while Muhammad Naqib Nor Said, Mohammad Syafiq Mohd Aznan, Mohammad Zulfaizan Mansor and Mohd Firdaus Mohd Hashim from the same publication won the consolation prizes in the same category.

Mohd Firdaus Ibrahim, together with Syazwan Msar and Amir Abd Hamid, were named as winners in the Excellence News Reporting category.

HM journalist Mohd Azam Shah Yaacob was named winner in the Excellence International Journalism category.

The publication was also named both winner and consolation prize recipient for the Best Infographic category.

NST’s sister publication, Berita Harian (BH), won a total of six awards at the event.

‘Berita Harian’ Current Affairs and Commercial Executive Editor Datuk Ahmad Zaini Kamaruzzaman (left) with fellow winners from ‘Harian Metro’ and ‘BH’. - NSTP/MUHD ZAABA ZAKERIA

Among the winners from the publication was Current Affairs and Commercial executive editor Datuk Ahmad Zaini Kamaruzzaman, who won in the Best Columnist category.

The prestigious Kajai Award went to Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli and Luqman Ridhwan Mohamed Nor from Kosmo for their report on plastic recycling factories in Selangor. The team took home a cash prize of RM30,000, a certificate and a trophy.

The MPI received a total 267 entries for 20 categories from media practitioners for the 2018 awards, a significant drop compared with 349 entries the previous year.

The Excellence Photo Journalism category received the highest number of entries at 42, followed by Excellence Photo Essay and Best News Video at 25 for each of the categories.

The MPI also received three nominations for the Special Jury Award and Tokoh Wartawan Negara.

Winners for each category walked away with a cash prize of RM10,000, certificates and trophies. Consolation prize winners received RM1,000 each and certificates.

Petronas has been the major sponsor of the awards since 1994.