Iskandar Malaysia in focus

The top three winners with Guest of Honour, Tan Sri Datuk
Seri Shahrir Abd Samad [2nd from Left] and Datuk Syed
Mohamed Syed Ibrahim [2nd from Right]
In the month-long IM klik Photography Competition 2014 that started on Sept 22, more than 1,000 entries were submitted from avid photographers in the theme, “Liveable City of Iskandar Malaysia.”  Organised by Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB), the competition gave photographers an opportunity to showcase their talents and encouraged students to take up photography as a hobby.  Registered participants also had the privilege of learning the finer points of photography in a workshop conducted by the Nikonian Beyond Photography Academy, with renowned photographer, Andrew Boey and his team to equip them with skills to create better shots.

A sunset view of the MBJB fountain by Anis Syuhada Sukur
when the site still had its natural beauty
The panel of judges comprising teams from IIB led by President and CEO of IIB, Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim and the Nikonian Beyond Photography Academy headed by Andrew Boey, had a challenging time to review and shortlist entries before they could select the winners.  

The competition received overwhelming support not only from local shutterbugs but there were also participants from other states.  Even though some participants submitted multiple entries, they usually had one favourite shot that they knew would catch the attention of the judges.

A precious scene of Danga Bay captured by Yap Chong Kit
“These photographers have given a fresh breath of life to Iskandar Malaysia,” said Datuk Syed as he thanked the participants for supporting the inaugural IM klik photography competition.  He said the camera was like a sketchbook where photographers painted pictures of Iskandar Malaysia.  

“The way faces, emotions and expressions of Iskandar Malaysia have been captured and celebrated by Iskandarians themselves are a testament to the transformation of Iskandar Malaysia into a liveable city,” he added.

Mohd Nazri Sulaiman [Right] with his 5-year old daughter,
Naisha Amani Mohd Nazri, who was featured in his photo
Photographs submitted for the competition captured a wide range of sights and scenes of Iskandar Malaysia that included local landscapes and portraits of people.  

While many entries featured scenes of Kota Iskandar and sites in Nusajaya like Legoland Malaysia Resort, Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia and Puteri Harbour, there were also shots of the iconic Sultan Ibrahim building, Danga Bay, Dataran Johor, Dataran MBJB and places of worship like Masjid Sultan Abu Bakar.  With the theme, “Liveable City of Iskandar Malaysia” photographers had free rein to submit a wide variety of shots that depicted new and old views of a transforming metropolis.

First runner-up, Francis Pay Ah Khee, with is winning entry
Top prize winner, Mohd Nazri Sulaiman who hails from Batu Pahat, is a full-time photographer who submitted 5 entries but he had a gut-feeling that his photograph entitled, Kota Iskandar – Kota cinta hatiku, should score highly.  He said that the haze that prevailed over the Iskandar region during that time deterred him from photographing landscapes so he decided to feature his 5-year old daughter, Naisha Amani Mohd Nazri, in a composition captured in Laman Jauhar, Kota Iskandar.  The child playing with soap bubbles against the backdrop of the Moorish architecture had a unique emotional appeal that rewarded him with the top prize of cash and merchandise vouchers worth RM4,000.

Tan Sri Shahrir admiring the sunset view of Kota Iskandar
by the second runner-up, Sun Kong Wei

First runner-up, Francis Pay Ah Khee, who has photography as a hobby, said his friends nicknamed him the Marathon Photographer because he would often stay at a particular scene for several hours to survey the angles and wait for the right light.  The winning entry among his 6 entries entitled, Harmony at Iskandar Region, featured a view of the Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanam Temple with buildings on Jalan Trus in the background that was captured about 7.15pm on the eve of Taipusam with a fish-eye lens.  Pay, a father of two daughters, said he took a long time to select from his multiple shots and it was his 17-year old daughter who helped to pick the photograph that became his winning entry.

Visitors enjoying the winning photos displayed at the
IM klik photo gallery during Iskarnival 2014

Second runner-up, Sun Kong Wei, have experienced many sunsets in Kota Iskandar because his work in bridal photography among the magnificent architecture of the buildings here was the inspiration for his entry.  With 15 years experience, first as a graphic designer and then as a bridal photographer, Sun has vast exposure to photography projects at internationally renowned sites in Europe and the Asia-Pacific.  Even though his composition entitled, Sunset in Kota Iskandar, is a familiar scene in his line of work, he is thrilled that it turned out to be a winner!
Tan Sri Shahrir [Left] and Datuk Syed Mohamed [Right]
unveiling the new logo for the
IM klik Photography Competition 2015
“From the experience garnered in the first IM klik, I hope IIB will organise the next competition that allows participants to have more time to find the best images that truly reflect Iskandar Malaysia,” said guest of honour, Johor Baru Member of Parliament, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Shahrir Abd Samad.  “IM klik need not only be a competition of still photography but in future, may include videos, shorties or short movies and even computer-graphics,” he added, clearly hoping that this will be a platform to launch the next level of competition.

Some of the winning entries have truly captured the essence of living in Iskandar Malaysia and reflected the vibrancy of this region as seen through the eyes of the photographers.  Winners of the 50 consolation prizes will receive RM400 each and their photographs will be compiled into a coffee-table book as a valuable resource of the images of Iskandar Malaysia.  At the close of the event, a new logo that symbolises a discovery of new talents was unveiled by Tan Sri Shahrir and Datuk Syed for the IM klik Photography Competition 2015. 

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Streets Johor on 11 December 2014


  1. Thanks for your article and photos of me. It is really nice to see myself being featured in your article.



  2. Thanks To Peggy Loh.You a the Best.