KUALA LUMPUR, 11 December 2020 – The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) today celebrated members of the media at its annual Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) that serves to recognise outstanding reports and articles by journalists, editors, producers, and media organisations for their contributions in promoting Malaysia’s medical travel industry. MTMA2020 shone a light on the dedication by both local and international media despite the constraints presented by the pandemic.

Sherene Azli the Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC)

“This year’s Awards celebrates the contribution of the media as frontliners in their own right. The media are a vital source of information and have never ceased to serve the public by educating and keeping us informed during these times of crisis. Through all these, they have even continued to be advocates for Malaysia Healthcare as a platform to showcase our achievements in the global medical travel landscape. We are truly grateful for their unwavering support,” said Sherene Azli, Chief Executive Officer of MHTC.

Commenting on the success of MTMA2020, Sherene said the secretariat had received up to 400 submissions from 11 countries in addition to Malaysia, such as Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, Bangladesh, South Korea, China, Vietnam, India, the UK, Croatia, and Tunisia. The number of submissions marked an increase of 60% from last year.

Suhaimi Sulaiman, a well-known Malaysian media personality with over 30 years of experience as a producer, broadcast journalist, anchor-man, and content strategist, led the team of seven judges. Among those on the judging panel were The Straits Times’ Malaysian Bureau Chief, Shannon Teoh; Head of Television at ABU Programming Department, Hanizah Hamizah; Professor in Public Relations of Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam (UiTM), Prof. Dr. Kiranjit Kaur; Senior Lecturer in Persuasive Communication, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Dr. Izzal Asnira Zolkepli; Senior Editor of Convergence, Commercial and Multimedia, The New Straits Times Press (NSTP), Salina Ahmad; Editor of The Yum List, Monica Tindall, and The Expat Group’s Group Editor, Chad Merchant.

Suhaimi Sulaiman, the Head Judge of MTMA2020

“This year, the judging process was quite a tedious one, not only because of the increase in the number of submissions. Due to the excellent quality of the submissions themselves, we were left in a tough spot deciding the winners,” Suhaimi commented.

The winners of MTMA2020

This year, MTMA2020 crowned nine winners, one each for international and local media, in five categories:

·         Best Print Report of the Year (Malaysia) – Ms. Kong Lee Lian, UNRESERVED Magazine (Cash prize: RM8k and trophy)

·         Best Print Report of the Year (International) – Mr. Jannatul Islam, Daily Sun, Bangladesh (Cash prize: RM8k and trophy)

·         Best Online Report of the Year (Malaysia) – Ms. Christina Chin and Ms. Yuen Meikeng, The Star (Cash prize: RM8k and trophy)

·       Best Online Report of the Year (International) – Mr. Neang Sopheap, The Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia (Cash prize: RM8k and trophy)

·        Best Broadcast Feature of the Year (Malaysia) – Mr. Shafizan Johari, Astro Awani (Cash prize: RM8k and trophy)

·         Medical Travel Journalist of the Year (Malaysia) – Ms. Christina Chin and Ms. Yuen Meikeng, The Star (Cash prize: RM8k and trophy)

·         Medical Travel Journalist of the Year (International) – Mr. Paul Bradbury, Total Croatia News, Croatia (Cash prize: RM8k and trophy)

·         Medical Travel Editorial Team of the Year (Malaysia) – BERNAMA (Cash prize: RM10k and trophy)

·         Medical Travel Editorial Team of the Year (International) – The Bruneian, Brunei (Cash prize: RM10k and trophy)

One of the main criteria in making headway to winning the titles was the shareability/reach of the articles on social media – a key tool in promotional activities. The winners were also judged on the research quality of their reports, their chosen approach in presentation and technique, creativity, the headline, as well as the content of the report.

Sherene paid special credit to the sponsors of MTMA2020, ParkCity Medical Centre, Sunway Medical Centre, Mahkota Medical Centre, Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, and SM Advertising, saying she appreciated how they stepped up to the role to recognise the contributions of media to the current landscape.

In 2019, Malaysia Healthcare hosted nearly 1.3 million healthcare travellers, reaping over RM1.7 billion in hospital receipts, which contributed a total economic impact of RM7 billion.

MTMA2020 is supported by Asia’s first and largest digital public relations platform, Supernewsroom.

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