The Star photographer Zulazhar Sheblee receives Special Appreciation Award

KUCHING: The Star photographer Zulazhar Sheblee has received the Sarawak Premier's Special Appreciation Award in conjunction with the ongoing National Journalist's Day (Hawana) celebration here.

Zulazhar, 52, was one of seven recipients to be recognised for their contributions to the Sarawak media profession.

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg presented the awards during the Hawana highlight event here on Monday (May 27), witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil.

The other recipients were Alice Wee Siok Lian, Johnny Loh Kee Kong, Kadir Dikoh, Murugaiah Meyappan @ M. Rajah, Sulok Tawie and William Cornelius Chan Khun Neng. They received RM3,000 and a plaque each.

Zulazhar, who joined The Star in 2009, said the award was not only a personal recognition but a mark of honour for all press photographers and cameramen who often worked behind the scenes.

He dedicated the award to fellow photographers, saying their commitment to capturing important moments and delivering the news should not go unnoticed.

"In my 30 years of work, this is the first time a press award like this has been given to a photographer. I hope after this more photographers and cameramen will be given the same honour," he said.

Zulazhar said the award would motivate him to keep giving his best to journalism and photography.

"I hope it will inspire the younger generation to take up this job. Together, we can contribute our creativity, dedication and innovation to the profession."

He thanked Abang Johari and the awards panel for selecting him as a recipient, as well as his colleagues and family for their support.

The notable events Zulazhar has covered include the release of 21 hostages kidnapped by the Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf militant group from Sipadan in 2000, helicopter crashes in Sarawak and the Mount Kinabalu earthquake in 2015.

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