29 Dec 2016
And the Newsmaker of 2016 is…
Over the past 16 years, Malaysiakini has without fail named a top newsmaker as we bring the curtain down on the year.
A newsmaker is defined as “someone whose actions make news headlines, who effects the course of public discourse and creates an impact in Malaysian politics, for better or worse”.
Malaysiakini has nominated 16 candidates for the Newsmaker of 2016 award. A total of 1,393 participated in the seven-day poll, opened only to paying subscribers of the news portal.
They voted by indicating their preference for each of the nominees – one vote being the lowest and 10 the highest.
And here’s their verdict – for the first time, this year’s award goes to an acronym – MO1 aka Malaysian Official 1.
MO1 was mentioned 36 times in the civil suit filed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in July to recover US$1 billion in assets allegedly tied to corruption at Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund 1MDB. But the identity of MO1 is no mystery.
Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan was among those who named Prime Minister Najib Razak as MO1. “Only an idiot doesn’t know who that person was,” he said.
Meanwhile, the runner-up to Newsmaker of 2016 is no stranger to Malaysians. He is last year’s winner – former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a man loved by some, hated by many. At 91, he continues to hog the headlines and has recently embarked on a campaign to oust Najib from power.
Mahathir is a three-time winner of the award. He was picked Newsmaker of 2005 (along with Rafidah Aziz) as well as in 2006.
No 3 on the list is Bersih coordinator, Maria Chin Abdullah, who has ably filled the rather big shoes left by Ambiga Sreenevasan, who was named Newsmaker of 2012…