Wall Street Journal’s Tom Wright was honoured as journalist of the year at the prestigious annual Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) awards, for leading coverage on alleged financial scandals linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
He was presented the award at the gala awards dinner at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this evening.
In his acceptance speech, Wright said he had worked for a year on the explosive scoops — published between June and December last year — on Malaysia’s troubled state investment company.
“I’ve basically worked on this for a year now,” he said, adding that the WSJ had faced threats from the Malaysian government.
“Obviously on this story, we were threatened a lot by the Malaysian government; threatened to be sued. We’ve been told we made up stories, made up sources, (that) our sources may or may not have existed — I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean — and that, basically, we have an agenda, (that) we were a political actor in Malaysia,” he added.
“That isn’t true. All we were doing is reporting the truth, as our Malaysian colleagues have done. Hopefully that will make a difference. It hasn’t made any difference yet, but we’ll keep going at it,” Wright said in his speech.
The WSJ’s series of reports — published between July and December last year — was also listed as a nominee for this year’s Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.
Their work was credited on the Pulitzer Prize website as exposing ‘corruption at the highest levels of a fragile democracy, leading to “Malaysia’s Watergate.”’
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