The winning entry, announced last night at a gala dinner in Hong Kong, was Aw's four-part investigative report titled ‘ The rise of the Johor royal family's business empire ’.
According to the panel of judges, the report was a "rare and successful attempt to pull open the veil that hides the activities of Malaysia's royal families."
Established in 1999, the Sopa award is the most prestigious award in the Asian media industry and is often dubbed the Asian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize in the United States.
The panel of judges for the award comprises more than 100 international judges including journalists, editors, columnists from leading publications, as well as notable academics from media departments of prestigious universities.
"The Sopa Awards for Editorial Excellence represent the gold standard of journalistic integrity and consummate professionalism in Asia," said Sopa chairperson Raymond Warhola.
'Extremely special award'
Aw joins the ranks of only a handful of Malaysians who have won this award.
" Malaysiakini has won many awards over the past 15 years, but this Sopa award for investigative journalism is extremely special for us," said Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan.
Starting as an Malaysiakini intern back in January 2010, Aw ( right in photo ) has since rose up to the ranks to assistant news editor.
Aw was also among 227 media personnel who were conferred the Pingat Kedaulatan Negara (National Sovereignty Medal) by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in 2013 for his on-the-ground coverage of the Lahad Datu incursion.
Click on the links below to read his winning Sopa entry:
Johor royalty’s business empire
Part 4: Royal businesses: Who is Daing A Malek?