One for the album... The Vibes video editor Ryan Lam Tien Yue with videographer Alif Omar, Zaidi and National Press Club president Datuk Ahirudin Attan who is also Petra News Executive Director. -- Courtesy picture.

“GO forth and seek your fortunes… paddy planting is not for you,” this would always be etched for Muhammad Zaidi Azmi heart and mind for it was his father’s words that kickstarted his foray into the world of journalism.

“After I graduated, I returned to Kedah and tended to the paddy fields,” Zaidi said during a conversation following his teams’ winning award at the recent Malaysia Press Institute-Petronas Awards 2020 at Kuala Lumpur’s The Majestic Hotel.

“It seemed the natural thing to do… to help my dad cultivate the paddy fields.”

Describing it as hard work toiling under the sun daily, Zaidi felt it was surely an eye-opener to what hard work was all about.

“Scorching sun, perspiration … it was an experience away from the classroom air-conditioned comfort lectures.”

Zaidi and colleagues – videographer Alif Omar and video editor Ryan Lam Tien Yue – were The Vibes team which captured the Petronas Excellent Environmental Journalism Award for their report about the plight of theTemuan tribe in Kuala Langat, uploaded last year.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was guest-of-honour at the event which also saw the presence of MPI chief executive director Datuk Dr Chamil Wariya.

Last year, Muhammad Zaidi, was a specialist writer with the then launched The Vibes, before moving to the portal’s Bahasa Malaysia site Getaran.

Aged in his early 30s, Zaidi, as he’s popularly known, is also the honorary secretary of the National Press Club Malaysia.

“It was a team effort and we would not have been able to pull off this victory without my colleague’s contribution.”

The award came with a trophy, recognition certificate and RM10,000.

For us, Zaidi added, it’s an honour as we are new among media circles when the portal went live in September last year.

There were more than 200 entries for the event which was held recently following the postponement earlier due to the Movement Control Order.

National petroleum conglomerate Petronas continues to be the major sponsor.

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