On May 15, the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) held its annual gala dinner at the Mira Hotel in Kowloon. Even though under the impact of the global financial tsunami, the HKJA could still host 35 tables and raised a record sum of HKD 950,000 in funding during the evening.
On the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the June 4 Incident which happened around Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989, after witnessing the Hong Kong media’s serious “self-censorship”, in particular, how the management of the magazine “Esquire” suddenly pulled out 16 pages of a feature “June 4 Incident” before printing, the HKJA issued a public statement, expressing our regret and requesting that Hong Kong people should respect the historical facts, insist on the maintenance of freedom of press and reject “self-censorship” or stifling of the freedom of the press.
At the same time, the HKJA protested at China National Publications Import Export Corporation (CNPIEC)’s action in removing some pages of Hong Kong newspapers which were imported to the mainland before the company distributed them to subscribers. We said this interfered with the freedom of the press.
The HKJA also requests the PRC authorities should release the facts concerning “June 4 Incident”, restore the truth, and ensure the free flow of information.
June 3 was the deadline for registration of candidates standing for the new executive committee. The election situation is active, as not only is there one candidate running for Chairperson, but also two candidates running for Vice-Chairperson, and, more than 10 candidates to running to be Executive Committee members, so that the next Executive Committee (2009~10) will likely have a “full team to play the game” and the HKJA will have a better capacity to face the internal and external challenges in the future.
As the HKJA Chairperson, when I see so many candidates standing for the election, I feel very happy.
According to the latest “HKJA Election Guidelines”, which were passed at last year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), the Election Sub-Committee will be comprised of three members who are neither incumbent executive members, nor candidates standing for the election. The Election Sub-Committee will be fully responsible for the election process, and HKJA office staff will only provide the necessary assistance under its instructions. The incumbent Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Executive Members will not be involved in the election process in order to avoid any conflict of interest.
I wish HKJA members with the right to vote will do so as soon as possible when they receive the background information and platforms of candidates, and will then mail or deliver their ballots to the HKJA office.
I also wish that our members will attend HKJA’s AGM at 11:00 a.m. on June 20 on time, ensuring that the AGM has a sufficient number to be held smoothly. Let us ensure that the current term of office of the executive not only has a good beginning, but also a good ending.
Camoes Tam Chi Keung, HKJA Chairperson (2008-09)