Former photojournalist David ST Loh wins Malaysian National Library Book Awards 2020

'Over Penang' showcases the Pearl of the Orient from an aerial perspective.

The Penangite seeks to document how the island balances progression and preservation (All photos: David ST Loh) 

Penangite David ST Loh’s dronescape photography book, Over Penang, has won this year’s Malaysian National Library Book Awards 2020 under the English (Adult) category.

The good news was received by Loh’s publisher, Elaton Publishing, on November 3 via email from the National Library of Malaysia.

Over Penang, launched in July 2019, comprises a collection of aerial drone-shot photographs taken over the vibrant, historical island. Each image in the book is accompanied by a short write-up, which unfolds tales of intimacy and amity behind the divine isle.

Readers are treated to fresh perspectives and a bird’s-eye-view of familiar landscapes, buildings, street scenes and festivals unique to the island, which is famed for its melting pot of culture, blend of eastern and western architecture, and of course, glorious local cuisine.


An aerial view of Penang island

Loh previously left his home to pursue a career in photography. He ended up spending 21 years at Reuters as a photojournalist and subsequently, an editor. His images have graced many global newspapers, including The New York Times, Washington Post and UK Times. Upon his return in 2017, Loh started exploring his beloved island with a revived passion to capture its stunning views.

Now an international author and aerial landscape artist, Loh has held several solo and group photography exhibitions displaying his work around Malaysia and overseas. His work can also be viewed at his gallery, David ST Loh Gallery, in George Town.

When Over Penang first launched, it was not only popular among those charmed by the island, but also among the people who called the island home. Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow proudly gifts the book to visiting dignitaries, ambassadors and investors.

The awards ceremony will be held virtually, though the date has yet to be announced.


'Over Penang' is available at bookstores and retail outlets in Penang and Kuala Lumpur. Alternatively, it can be purchased via Kinokuniya for RM135 here.


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