Najib's Infamous Al Jazeera Interview Just Won An 'Interview Of The Year' Award In London
Najib has won an award for 'Interview of the Year' at a prestigious awards show honouring excellence in broadcast journalism
Well, in a manner of speaking.
On 27 February, Australian journalist Mary Ann Jolley took home the much-coveted award for her infamous Al Jazeera interview with the former premier at the Royal Television Society (RTS) Television Journalism Awards 2019 in London.
According to RTS, which is well-known for being the oldest television society and educational charity in the world, the interview "stood out for its courage, tenacity, and sheer unadulterated watchability".
"Although the story focused on an issue few would have known about prior to the interview, this did not detract from the viewer’s ability to understand the jaw-dropping venality of the interviewee.
The interviewer’s forensic approach was compelling, her knowledge formidable, and her ability to combine persistence with grace quite extraordinary," it added.
The interview, conducted about five months after the 14th General Election (GE14) in October 2018, saw Jolley quizzing Datuk Seri Najib Razak on several issues related to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal
The interview, titled Malaysia: Najib Speaks, was filmed for Al Jazeera's 101 East programme.
Some of the questions posed to Najib include his involvement in the RM2.6 billion "donation", his relationship with businessman and now-refugee Jho Low, as well as the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Coincidentally, Jolley was once deported from Malaysia in 2015 in the midst of filming a docu-story on Altantuya's murder.
Jolley's encounter with Najib gained notoriety upon its release, as it showed the latter abruptly walking out of the interview after the journalist brought up Jho Low's connection to 1MDB about 24 minutes into the interview
During the interview, Najib also called Jolley a "nuisance" for asking about her 2015 deportation and accused her of "not being fair" to him for bringing up his alleged involvement in the 1MDB scandal.
After the interview aired, Najib released a statement to explain why he lost his temper and chose to walk out of the interview:
In light of renewed interest for the 2018 interview, Najib has since responded to Jolley winning the award in a Facebook post: