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President - Peter Seidlitz F¡rst V¡ce President - Steve Vines Second Vice President - Wendy Hughes Correspondent lllenrber (ìoYernors Jonathrn F¡iedland, Humphre¡' Hnwkslc¡'. Gillirn Tucker. Clruclia Rosett. l\4ârtin Howcll' Bob Davis. Cutherine Ong Hari Bcdi. Mary Ellcn Fullant Journalist Member Goyernors D!vid Thurston. Stuart Wollcndale Associate lllember Governors Rogcr Thonras,F C H Wrdsrvorth.PeterHunìble. Mike S¡tith Professional Cotrrmittee: C ttnrcn¡t : Stevc Vines,

Philip Bowring's Traveller's Tales.

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New Zealand's hard won economic lecovery.

Fleet Street Revisited.

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Advertising Manager: Rosentar¡' Little Prge Mak€-up: Jane Recio and Eva Lai

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THE CORRBSPONDBNT

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MAY T992 I


COVER STORY

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

Bowring bows out

Viva Ice House Street!

Philip Bowring who was Simon Twiston Davies interviews former Far Eastern Economic Review editor onth by owners, Dow Jones. Although Bowring was told he had removedfrom the ed has rs, Dow Jones decidecl it was time for a change' His removal done a good job over was dropped' (see page 5 ) or why his farewell piece not been

t yet another meeting with Gov-

ernment, we have finallY come to an agreement on a long lease.

Next year we will sign a new sevenyear lease. This will enable us to remain in our current premises into the 21st Century. We may still be able to get a renewal in 1996 giving us occupancy until 2004 (The Government signs leases for the period after 1997, but not for more than seven years.) It would appear that a road project in the vicinity of the FCC has been placed at the bottom of the priority list. This will enable us to go ahead with our continuing plans for renovation and transform the Club into a social hub and prowith all the fessional meeting place journalprofessional modern facilities for ists.

At a recent informal lunch we had with us leading lights of Xinhua as our guests.

We briefed them on the current status of the FCC. I believe we've established a good working relationship with the NCNA people, including director Zhou Nan. He was invited to attend the annual

Ford, and the heads of various GIS departments.

The function is planned for Tuesday,

r-lĂ .

May 26, from 6pm untilS. PLEASE COME!

this year, if ldo say so myself. We reached

We recently held two very interesting social events, including an evening of chamber music (the brainchild of FCC member Charles Smith of lhe Far East

many of the goals set last Year. The ltalian restaurant will be restarted soon with a new cook. The Trattoria at the Verandah has been a welcome addition to the FCC but we've had our problems with the cooks. (ltalians seem to be difficult to hold to a work schedule! Management has promised a solution to this

Economic Review with organisational helpfrom the long-serving Cynthia Hydes.) It got excellent reviews. We also held the first in a new series of "FCC Jazz Nights." The acoustics on the l st floor are excellent for such evenings. You also can eat, drink and be merry and more such evenings are in the works. There were some comPlaints about the HK$390 charge for the 1Oth anniversary party. I cannot agree. We had three sumptuous buffets, booze by the gallon between 8pm and 2am and a jazzband and Brazilian dance group. (Some 300 people joined in the fun and frolicking, by the way.) I think the Board has done a great job

particular problem. Management also admits the quality of the food in the 1st floor is not consistently up to par. The next Board will work on that. I would like as outgoing President to thank the Board for its hard work, particularly incoming President Steve Vines. He will take charge of many new projects, including renovation of the basement.

I think David Thurston as well did

a

splendid job with the Club magazine. We will upgrade The Correspondenf, which is now out of the red, and offer Editor Karl Wilson a better contract and editorial budget. This will enable us to assign writers and photographers for articles. The magazine should become a showcase for good reportage and writing.

Finally, we offered Manager Heinz Grabner a new contract of two years and he accepted. We are happy that someone as experienced as he is (10 years

with the FCC) will continue to supervise the Club operation. On a somewhat sad note, we will be losing Club Steward Julia Suen, who is leaving for Canada. We have made her an Honorary Member and told her she can have her job back, if she decides to return to Hong Kong after she gets Canadian citizenshiP.

With Best Wishes, Julia Suen

Peter Seidlitz

t clearly came as a shock to PhiliP

Bowring, the editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review when Karen ElliotHouse, DowJonesvice-president, informed him that he was to be

decided whether to take an alleged offer of a $1 million-a year golden parachute for a minimum amount of writing for Dow Jones or whether to pursue an unstated list of other options. "But I don't want your

replaced at the most Prestigious magazine in Hong Kong, ProbablY in all south-east Asia. For, after three Years at the helm of the magazine he had called home for almost two decades, Bowring felt he was close to achieving a balance between the needs of the conglomerate and those of the sometimes

tuted many of the other changes that many had seen as essential for the survival of a magazine in the commercially driven 1990s' But it takes money and sPace to create

offices.

something that will look good to

never been publicly explained why Bowring was removed beYond It has

adverlisers, "and the trade-off is that you can lose your authoritative feel when you lose your editorial space]' hp said. "Space is exPensive and good pictures are 1oo. Anyway there are anynumberof good picture maga-

the bland statement that it is Dow Jones policy to rotate editors every few years.

But others had long seen Bowring's job underthreat, and the words "Philip has flown to New York to talk

zines around alreadY." Yet in the Past three Years the

with DowJones" had in somepeople's

minds long held an air of menace that either the Revieww ouldbe closed

in financial ill-health

il has been -since Dow Jones took over in 1987 himself was under

ln the event, Ms House flew to Hong Kong in March to announce to the staff that Bowring was to be succeeded by an American Wunderkind, R. Gordon Croyl-l itz, a 33-year-old with a high lQ but little experience of Asia or, indeed, the kind of journalism that has been practised at the Review since its inception some 30 years ago.

When we sat down with Bowring at a hotel coffee shop to talk about the changes he was still unsure of his f uture. He hadn't

place but also considerable editorial costcutting at the behest of New York. "l had wanted to go four-colour for some time but we were onlY allowed to do so last Year, thanks to man-

agement decisions. That was long overdue." At the same time Bowring insti-

rarified atmosPhere in Ihe Beview

or that Bowring -threat of rePlacement.

be proud of in manY, manY waYs," said Bowring, adding that under his leadership not only had "modernisation" taken

piece to seem like a list of self justifications," he said. "That's the last thing I want." Yet one thing was clear' Bowring feels he made a success of the job at the Review, not only for his own publication but also for his masters in New York. lndeed, Bowring is defensive about his professional record as the editor who took over from the equally acerbic veteran Derek Davies. "l think that within the constraints, my time was something to

editorial budget had fallen by 20 per cent in real terms, including a 10 per cent cut in editorial staff . "That hasn't been easy to coPe with," said Bowring. Story lengths had been cut bY an average of 20 per cent and the number of pages in lhe Review had fallen by about 'l 2 per cent in recent years. Wasn't that a good thing in magazine that had long been criticised for being overly wordy?

we asked. "Yes, some stories are definitely bet-

ter. But others have been a lot worse because they lacked the detail of previous times. But don't let people say we have been static. We haven't, " said Bownng.

THECORRESPONDENT

2

THECORRESPONDBNT

MAY

1992

MAY 1992

3


-l

"But, of course The Review is more long-winded than Ihe Economist, for instance, because that kind of glib, opinionated style is not acceptable here. You have to be better grounded in Asia and had better be able to back up your argu-

ments." The proof of the pudding, despite all the criticism, is that the format for all the problems has still worked, according to

!I

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have a sticky time in the Philippines." And, of course, Singapore had always

t

a4

Bowring.

"lf you exclude the Philippines, where we have never done much, and Singapore where we have had special problems, the Review has consistently met

Ihe Asiaweek challenge all along.

ln

Hong Kong our circulation has been identical, as it was in Singapore." ln allthe Review's circulation been running a|72,500 per week, a 46 per cent increase over five years.

"That shows it's a canard that we are unreadable as compared wilh Asiaweek,"

said Bowring defensively. "corporatised" says Bowring. Without naming any particular execu-

I I d

tive, Bowring notes that the costs of bringing out expatriate packaged executives must have been enormous while the journalists'salaries have been closely pegged to financial performance. "Things went well commercially for some time - especially 1975 to 1985 but later there was little more than a revolving door on the commercial side with all our best advertising staff leaving." At the much same time as the commer-

cial control changed, Ihe Review was gazetted in Singapore and the 10,000 circulation there disappeared. By the end of the first round of changes the top three commercial posts were held by DowJones firemen. ln the early days the circulation of the Review was little more than 15,000 with a masthead that reads well today, including Derek Davies, Leo Goodstadt, Mike O'Neil, T.J.S. George, David Bonavia, Barry Wain, Bill Kraitzer, Morgan Chua, Gary Coull, Graham Wild and Freddie Wadsworth. But the magazine was making money with an established regional presence. "lt was far more than just a Hong Kong sheet that it was in 1947."

When you mention

4

to Bowring that

THECORRESPONDENT

The new man: Gordon Crovitz

many of those names are still well-respected in Hong Kong, he says with a possible back-handed swipe at un-named

Essentially, lhe Beview has been

MAY

1992

PHILIP BOWRING

With a hint of the bloody-mindedness that may have been a part of the reason for his departure from the editor's chair, Bowring says with pride that: "we were banned from Thailand in the year I arrived. And then we were beginning to

detractors that " those people are committed to the region. That's why they have stayed." You sense that he feels some of today's Review staffers and others aren't quite as dedicated to the cause

as were the old crew. Even when Bowring joined the Review as a stringer in Sydney in 1972 it already

In those days and I hope we have been doing thøt until now we were writing pieces that other

-

-

people wouldn't run bcsuse they were either lazy, frightened or didn't have the intellectual capacity to grasp their importance.

had a bolshy reputation among those who believed in the status quo and in only rocking the Asian boat with gentlest of touches. By that time the Review had been highly critical of the Vietnam War and in Hong Kong, for instance, had offended the local powers by not only being critical of the communists in 1966-7, but also of lhe colonial government's handllng of the various crises with China.

been a thorn in the side. "ln those days we have - and I hope we been doing that until now were writing pieces that other people wouldn't run because they were either lazy, or frightened or didn't have the intellectual capacity to grasp their imporlance. lt was because of things like that that we always felt we were more than just another Western magazine reporting the events of the week," he said. That sorl of tone has certainly not helped Bowring's cause with some of his Hong Kong colleagues who have sometimes characterised him as defensively arrogant to the point of rudeness. lndeed, the sight and sound of Bowring tersely correcting a hapless soul at the kitchen corner of the main FCC bar is not easily forgotten. Yet the worst of it for his critics is that Bowring is often logically correct in his analysis. That public intelligence and public inability to suffer a fool with any attempt at gladness, say his admirers, is masked by an occasional personal kindness that for outweighs the apparent failings. Maybe that is why on the night that Bowring "resigned" from his leadership post at lhe Review, something akin to a

Travellerfs Tâles t is almost exactly 20 years since made my first contribution to the Far Eastern Economic Review. So it is perhaps appropriate to mark the anniversary with this my last contribution as editor, and look back on those years as correspondent, business editor, deputy editor and editor. Not that at 49 I feel old or tired, but I suppose on this occasion a little nostalgia is justifiable. The Review has always generated fierce loyalties among its staff to whom it has devolved freedoms and responsibilities. Appropriately my first contribution was to a cover story on British financier Jim Slater. Slater is barely a memory to today's mobile phone and gold card carrying stock players, but was a hero to an earlier generation of the species. With the wry scepticism for which it has long I

been noted in its coverage of fast rising corporate heroes, lhe Review's cover on Slater was entitled "Asia's Worried Welcome" as he came to inspect his new Asian offshoots, Haw Par in Singapore and Slater Walker Securities Hong Kong. Less than three years later, the Review was uncovering some of the market and accounting manipulations of his lieutenants in Asia. These revelations undermined Slater and contributed to the rapid

demise of his empire in Britain, and in Asia led to the Malaysianisation of the tin industry.

The journalist largely responsible for the Slater coverage was Andrew Davenport who built a formidable reputation for ncovering f inancial shenanigans in Hong Kong and Malaysia-perhaps most notably those of the Chang Ming Thien/Kang u

Kock Seng gang then running United Malayan'Banking Corp. Davenpoñ died in a water skiing accident in 1977. Another key player in the Slater story was the then Singapore correspondent Arun Senkuttuvan. Arun was not the world's

most timely filer but he was a stickler for accuracy. No journalist in Singapore has suffered more at government hands than he did during his time in jail under the ISA and subsequently he suffered various off icially inf licted indignities. Another Singapore internee worthy of note was Ho Kwon Ping, a staff correspondent in Singapore who was also jailed, and later became a Hong Kongbased economics writer. Kwon Ping left journalism to help run the family business, the highly successful Wah Chang

and Thai Wah groups, but this has not

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staff marking what they all knew was the end of an era in their usual a close-knit drinking group. With a hint of petulance he says :"lt is an organism rather than an organisations. lt has always had a small business ethos that produced an esprit de corps, and I am frankly not a corporate man. l'm a Beview man."

China

Today Philip Bowring is no longer a Review man. He is now his own man. Perhaps he should have seen the writing on the wall when Dow Jones took full con-

trol. But the alternative was Murdoch in 1987. That was the same year that the Review's profits began to dwindle away and costs to rise. @

Under the guidance of Mr Royce Lane, resident of Hong Kong, Chief Migration Consultant and former Governmenl Offic¡al (para legal pos¡t¡on), the lmmigral¡on Centre has an unbroken record of success. From Australia to New zealand, Canada to Amer¡ca, lhe centre's clients are reap¡ng the rewards oftheir new l¡ves. The Centre also handle Hong Kong Visa cases as well The lmmigration Centre offers a "Certificate of Guaranteed Approval",

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MAY 1992

5


prevented his Review career from being subject to top level slanders.

I have lost count of the number of Review correspondents made unwelcome in Singapore but the last, Nigel Holloway,

now business editor and married to a Singaporean, was pushed out five years ago. Now we rely mainly on former Straifs Iimes business writer N. Balakrishnan in Hong Kong who still writes too accu-

and Leo Gonzaga in Manila who, though his own writing was constrained, kept readers appraised of realities under Marlial Law. some, like S. Kamaluddin, Manik de

silva, ChitTun, Jayanta Sarkarand Kedar Man Singh still contribute. Nor among stringers should I forget Sophie QuinnJudge, who moved from Bangkok to Moscow just in time to cover the dramatic

-

editor of Soufh. Another refugee from the Herald and Singapore intolerance was Mary Lee. Mary was first in a feisty line of females covering Hong Kong, the most famous of whom is Hong Kong's first elected woman Legislative Councillor Emily Lau and latest of whom is Stacy Mosher.

Our monthly China Trade Repoñ has also nurtured largely female talent including Louise

It is invidious

to recall some names

amongthemanywho contributed to the growthofthe Review over 20 years, who took it from a circu-

lation of 15,000 to 73,000-despite the

loss of Singapore

which once

ac-

improved the layout over the past 18

another ex-Fe-

started and ended his distinguished career with the magazine and whose knowledge of China and fluent writing style earned international recognition and to Harvey Stockwin who wrote regularly from the mid-60sto mid-70s. Harvey in those days wrote in long hand and at inordinate

months. He hasthat raredistinction among designers in seeing that design is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is invidious to single out current staff for praise, but Hamish McDonald is the most versatile writer I have met in 28 years in journalism and Lincoln Kaye, who has served in six bureaux and seems at home in any culture and with any language, is not far behind. Jonathan Friedland, Carl Goldstein, Bobi Tiglao, Paul Handley, Michael Taylor, Mark Clifford and Ed Paisley are all in the best Davenport tradition of investigative business journalism. V. G. Kulkarni's ency-

length. But his coverage, particularly

clopedic knowledge of the region

around the time of the 1969 riots, helped put the Review on the map in Malaysia, now its largest market. Building on this were a string of good correspondents including K. Das, Suhaini Aznam, Nick Seaward and now, Doug Tsuruoka and Michael Vatikiotis. Thanks to John McBeth, soon to return to active duty after a leg amputation, for excellence in Bangkok, Seoul and the

unmatched as is Adam Schwarz' coverage of lndonesìa. Robert Delfs' scholarship and computgr literacy put most of us to shame. Tai Ming Cheung and Bob Johnstone have rare talents and Julian Baum rare gentility. Charles Smith shows that age and wisdom do go together. Shim Jae Hoon's commitment to fearless journalism set him apart during the Park and Chun presidencies and in more democratic times he remains an exem-

independent organism. Back in 1972, lhe regional editor was T.J.S George who went on to found Asiaweek. A brilliant writer, George for a while lried to make Asiaweek a worthy competitor until

-

what an irony for such

a fervid anti-American - it fell into the hands of lhe Reader's Digest, and later Time Warner which made it ever slicker and more trivial. (l have always maintained that because Asiaweek reaches so far down-market it will only succeed if it can sell twice as many copies as the Review. ln fact, it only sells nine percent

ington. Susumu is hereby appointed guardian of lhe Review belief that issues are mostly more impoftant than personalities.

Another survivor from earlier times is Rodney Tasker who can still turn in as lucid a news story as anyone, making instant sense of the complexities of Thai military politics or the idiocies of Philippine elections. And Michael Westlake, now transport correspondent, who like Tasker came from the old China Mail. But the veteran of the editorial staff is

more despite being on sale in Singapore.) George was only one of the several hyper

none other than the still youthful cartoonist Morgan Chua. This unlikely one-time corporal in the Singapore army joined in

educated Malayalis who worked for the Review at various times - another was the delightful Narayana "Nanappan" Pillai, now a famous (l hoped !) Malayali novelist but living in Bombay. When lfirst joined, lhe Reviews had no staff correspondents, relying entirely on stringers. Many were excellent journalists like the late Koji Nakamura in Japan

gapore Herald and The,Asran. ln those days, regional publications were locally owned and had more Asians working for them than they do now and lhe Review picked up several people who had been with those two ill fated newspapers, including the late Denzil Pieris, who was our regional editor before becoming first

6

THECORRESPONDENT

gapoean Elizabeth Cheng, the

current incumbent and Teresa

view

financial

writer, Robert Cottrell.

fhe

Review

owes much to

the late David Bonavia who

leagues who were loyal not to individuals or organisations, but to lhe Review as an

MAY

1992

1972 after brief careers with the Srn-

unheralded desk men including Tony Patrick and Ron Richardson, champion

to

counted for almost 10,000 copies and last three years of the Soviet Union. The first overseas staffer was Susumu Awanohara who was posted to Japan in 1974 and has since served in Singapore, Jakarla, Hong Kong and is now in Wash-

or personality boosterism. Each wants to add to its knowledge and understanding of their particular speciality. lf that can be made interesting to other interest groups, fine. But excellence - superior information, better analysis, clearer exposition should never be sacrificed to the simplifi-

single handedly creating the Arls & Society section before handing it over to Margaret Scott - who unfortunately is leaving soon. And to Lynn Pan for developing the Books section so well. To numerous

Ma, now a law-

The Review's success is based on recognising that controversy is inseparable from reporting facts and vie\rys honestly, on avoidance of identifÏcation with any one ideology, race, nationality, commercial interest or personal favour. Its audience is a coalition of interests. Each part of that coalition wants not a once-over lightly, easy-to-read summary of events, nor a glossier slicker recounting of last week's ne\üs, nor more doses of national or personality boosterism. Each wants to add to its knowledge and understanding of their particular speciality.

selection of names that will always be with me after working so long with col-

week's news, nor more doses of national

ledgement to those who helped build circulation is due to Billy Woo and Stanton Leung who both recently left after

yer married

do Rosario, now

in Tokyo, Sin-

our second-largest market. But here is a

happened a few months later. Acknow-

headlinewriterSteve Proctorandto Donald Wise, who retained his wit and wits despite putting out a record 10 successive Yearbooks. To Andrew Waller, K. Nadarajah, Gavin Greenwood, Mike Malik, Paul Bayfield and Clarry Hubbard who astoday's by-lineless alchemists turn dross into gold. And thanks to John Hull who has greatly

rately for official comfort.

Burma coverage. To James Bartholomew

for inventing Shroff. To lan Buruma for

Philippines. And

to his

successor in

is

Bangkok, Paisal Sricharatchanya, now editor of lhe Bangkok Post. Thanks aredueto Nayan Chandawhose

plar. Shim sid time in jail for his Review activities as did Salamat Ali in Pakistan.

coverage of the lndochina diplomatic story post-1975 made the Review essential reading. Nayan's reputation was a major help in our getting Murray Hieberl into Hanoi in 1990, making us the first noncommunist publication to have a staff correspondent in Vietnam. To Bertil Lint-

an immense debt to Freddie Wadsworth who between 1968 and 1978 single handedly increased advertising revenue many times over, and to Elaine Goodwin who did the same in the following decade. Her departure probably did the rgeviewas much commercial damage as did

ner for the continuing excellence of his

Singapore restrictions on our sales which

As for non-journalists, the Review owes

serving 35 years between them. An efficient production team was created by the late Hiro Punwani and has been developed by Paul Lee and Henry Chiu, who with very little capital have kept us abreast with technological change. Thanks to librarians Roger Tam and Jan Bradley, statisticians lvan Kwong and Pauline Lui. And thanks to secretarial staff, particularly editorial administrator Lily Kan, who has been with lhe Review since 1972, and Celine Fernadez, who

has been running the KL bureau for 15 years, Pongpun Chavalakul in Bangkok, Marlene Martinez in Manila and my secretary, Winnie Tse.

Victories over enemies make good memories too, at least after one has forgotten the sleepless nights. Anthony Rowley's defeat of a libel action brought by the viciously litigious British wheelerdealer Sir James Goldsmith was memorable. But the prize for sheer persistence in the litigation stakes goes to C.S. Low late of the Ka Wah Bank. Review exposures of his massive frauds have kept

lawyers busy for a decade and made it even now, from exile in Taiwan where he fled form fraud charges in Hong Kong, he continues to pursue libel writs and issue blood-curdling threats. Sincere thanks is due too to figures in public life who always seemed to respect honest and searching journalism even if the governments they represented did not or the results were inconvenient. For no particular reason the names of the late Hon Sui Sen, Anwar lbrahim, Cesar Virata, Philip Haddon-Cave and Ali Alatas are a few which come to mind. I feel Ihe Review they respect is the same as

stories are the priority even if they offend corporations and advertisers over accustomed to the press eating out of the hands of public relations agents. Correspondents are expected to generate original stories, to know better than the wires and dailies which issues are significant,

and not to hide behind anonymous rewrite desks producing homogenised and harmless prose. fhe Review has changed greatly in the past four years. Stories are shorter, the magazine is in four colour throughout - it was not so long ago that it was mostly printed on newsprint. Computers have made it easier to produce more graphs, charts and maps and move as many statistics possible out of the text. But we reject the theory that literacy is no longer

relevant and that, to quote a recent article in lhe Herald Tribune comparing word-literate Japan unfavourably with image-literate America :"Because images pack countless insights and ideas into a fleeting moment and communicate information more efficiently than words, they have become the pre-eminent means of relating knowledge." But these are deep waters. So let me end with some final thanks. To my former Fi n anci al Times colleague Stewart Dalby, who first got me a job on lhe Review.To the late Eric Halpern who founded it. To

Dick Wilson who made

mtne.

fhe Revienls success

cation of things that are not simple. lt is based on upholding the primacy of the written word. Original, and if necessary hard-hitting,

is based on rec-

ognising that controversy is inseparable from reporling facts and views honestly, on avoidance of identification with any one ideology, race, nationality, commercial interest or personal favour. lts audience is a coalition of interests. Each part of that coalition wants not a once-over lightly, easy-to-read summary of events, nor a glossier slicker recounting of last

it a

regional

- the first in the world. And most of all to my predecessor Derek magazine

Davies who gave it guts and flair and was

big enough a man to invite me back as deputy editor three years after I had left following a rather public dispute. To you all and to such readers who have made it to the end of this double dose of TTs : au revoir.

E THECORRESPONDENT

MAY 1992

7


New Zealand's hard won economlc recovery he land of the long white cloud has found itself riding high again.

By Karl Wilson

Exports are standing at a record 12 month high, GDP has started to grow again and there are distinct signs that the

recession has bottomed out. Ruth Richardson, New Zealand's Finance Minister for the past 16 months, believes the country is only just starting to stand on its own two feet again in economic terms. Richardson insists, however, there is still a long way to go and warns against complacency. ln a frank address to the Club on March 24, Richardson spoke of New Zealand's decline and of how a nation "fed-up with that decline" climbed back on top. "New Zealand," she said, "had to de-

"We went on a wave of borrowing, a wave of inflation, a wave of subsidies and

a wave of protectionism. New Zealand became a debt-ridden, debt-hobbled

"The impact on New Zealand was devastating. Overnight we were shut out. Then came the Middle East crisis and the oil embargo. "lnflation soared and we as a nation instead of standing up and fighting for our economic life, threw in the towel.

8

THECORRESPONDENT

MAY

1992

a lot, not only from the politicians but the business community and the New Zealand people. Richardson said that when the National Pafiy gained power from Labour in 1990, New Zealand was still in recession-

ary mode. "The economy was highly regulated and the labour market was totally inflexible," she said. "Our business and social culture was

our means."

still one largely based on dependency and not one of enterprise and we had this

fiscal policy versus monetary policy war going on. "One of our first objectives was to stop

this war. We made it known that every

game and get back there with the best, in economic terms, or continue to stagnate. New Zealand chose to lift its game..." ln 1950, the year in which she was

And there was never any indication that it wouldn't last. Everything was on the house. We traded freely and enjoyed high living standards - standards which we considered to be ours by right. "All that was shattered when I became an adult. That was the time when Britain had a midlife crisis and went off and had an affair with Europe.

In international banking:

economy. ln short we lived way beyond

cide whether or not it wanted to lift its

born, New Zealand had never had it so good. Richardson said : "lt was a year in which my parents received the biggest wool cheque of their lives. "Wool," she said, "ran the New Zealand economy. "Right throughout the early part of my life we, as a nation, wanted for nothing.

The Swiss name

o¿

Ruth Richardson

The past decade, Richardson said, has seen New Zealand face up to some bitter home truths. At the same time the coun-

try has witnessed something akin to an economic revolution - a revolution which is stilltaking place. "As a country we have made the transition from a debt-ridden, debt-hobbled

economy to one that has ceased to be protectionist and one that is open and competitive," Richardson said. "The fact that we now enjoy the lowest rate of inflation in the OECD indicates that we are on the right track." Lifting the performance of the country's economy, she admitted, demanded

dollar the government spent had to be for maximum advantage. "On the fiscal policy side we set about introducing a programme of social policy reform, something which had not been attempted in New Zealand before because the country had been brought up on welfare. This was one area we had to look at very carefully because people do not take too kindly to politicians trying to restructure the welfare state. "On thê monetary policy side we ensured the independence of the central bank insisted on price stability. "But one area which I think has ben a tremendous success has been in labour reform. "The labour market has been deregulated and we no longer havethe situation where people are paid to do nothing. Today we have an economy servicing

lrade 24 hours a day, seven days

Swiss Volksbank The international bank with the personal touch

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a

week." Richardson said her government had no intention to simply give New Zealand a "quick economic fix". "We are not in the business of imple-

menting shortterm reforms. What we have put in place are reforms which will ensure the long-term viability of our economy," she said.

@

Swiss Volksbank


Fleet Street revisited

Congratulations fo Foreign Correspondents CIub I

disbelief and asking

hey used to call it The Street of

Adventure

- or at least that's

By Ted Thomas

what Arthur Hacker used to call it. The satirical magazine, Private Eye, had a more cynical name, having labelled it The Street of Shame back in the days when it had a lot to be ashamed about. I had an office there for some time and bought a flat in Covent Garden, a brisk

ten minutes walk away, and from that time on I was hooked on

it.

It's a love affair that's been going on for nigh on twenty years or so and was not in the least dimished by the fact that the harlots picked up their skirts and ran off to Wapping, led by the Murdoch bordello of the Neurs of the World, The Times (odd bedfellows to be sure), and The Sunday Times and the Sun (equally odd). The Telegraph relocated on the lsle of Dogs, Ihe Daily Mail and The Evening Standard to Kensington (as befits a lady

of her breeding) and the Express just across Blackfriars Bridge to the wrong side of the River Thames.

yers and journalists - uneasy bedfellows indeed ! El Vino's stillfrowns on ladies who have the temerity to front up at the bar along with their male colleagues reeking of booze

and BO in equal measure. Dick and I endured many measures of El Vino's awful plonk - said by connoisseurs to be okay, "as long as you don't get it on your skin".

became camp followers and went with them -- notoriously, Geoffrey Van Hay's Scribes Cellar, a club with which the FCC had reciprocal membership rights, and a famous retreatforthe infamous Mail crowd.

wives, and retired judge Miles Jackson Lipkin was there too, as I recall. I cannot check up on that because l'm not speaking to John Griffiths until he pays me the magnum of Champagne he owes me as a result of a foolish (on his part) wager.

Simon Twiston-Davies on the Sunday Post's'M' Magazine.

Well, recently stumbling toward El Vino's,

bumped into former FCC member Barry Simpson, still with Reuters and brave enough to face a glass of El Vino's special claret - which could double as paintstripper.

The following day

I met up with

Dr

in

Kensington and presumably Mr Van Hay has gone back to doing what he does best; getting up the noses of the tightfisted newspapermen. lt wasn't long before Fleet Street took on a new life.

house in Chelsea. We lunched together with Tommy Roberts, the Hong Kong architect who gave the late Sir Y K Pao a few sleepless nights and left him with a hole in his long pockets

The Printers Pie restaurant never

The venue was the Wig & Pen, not quite Fleet Street, being more properly on The Strand, but who cares? lt's an-

changed. Standing at the bar with one foot on lhe rail you can still observe "the rich tapestry of life in the fast lane" as I once described it in what was said later by a member of the FCC to be the most baroque piece of journalism ever written. I was standing there one day when the late Richard Hughes hobbled past on a walking stick l'd bought him for his 70th

birthday. We retired to El Vino's, that musty old wine bar frequented by law-

10

THECORRESPONDENT

MAY

1992

incomparable Brigette, aided by London's

best barmaid Connie. I used to see my boyhood hero, Express cartoonist Giles there, and despite heading for his eightieth year he usually had an uncommonly good looking assistant along to brighten things up. Hilary Alexander, now atthe Telegraph, but once the darling of the old China Mail,

Derek Seymour - Jones another ex-FCC stalwart, now living in quite the grandest

Scribes had a deservedly short life

Kong

I met John Griffiths, QC, one time Attorney General in Hong Kong there once, with one of Jim Biddulph's former

I

A few of the best-known watering holes

if all Hong

people were like that. "Yes", I said. Prescala, the subterranean hideaway just opposite the old Express building is another welcome way station in the long stumbling trudge from the Law Courts to Ludgate Circus. lt's presided over by the

other hangout forthe lawyers and journos and is abundant in dark nooks and cran-

nies with little mahogany tables and a wine list that won't cause your expense account to be hurled back in your face with a scornful laugh. The lovely Annette Don, now studying to be a doctor, brightened up the luncheon and later came out of the gloomy interior shaking her head in

is working with David Twiston-Davies, brother of the rotund but incessantly jolly

David was hip deep in a story on Peter Godber, the bent copper who went to jail as the first of a procession of Asia's finest who heard the cell doors slam behind him before being released to live out his re-

tirement in sunny Spain. As the world's expert on Peter Godber - (he was f ramed, of that l'm certain) - I was looking forward to a pot of gold for my own input, only to find that the project had been dropped. Any other antediluvian FCC members who might be going to London and would

fancy a trip down memory lane and an hour or two of wet-eyed reminiscing over a pot of ale about how good it was when Tsimshatsui was fields, should phone or fax me and I'll be glad to put you on the right track. A brief round up on some of the better known spots. The Wig & Pen, The Strand Prescala Club, Fleet Street The Printers Pie, Fleet Street The Cheshire Cheese (under renovation after about 300 years) Scribes Cellar, mercifully deceased El Vino, Fleet Street

On Its Tenth Anniversary


12 TIIE CORRESPONDENT MAY

1992

THE CORRESPONDENT i|i{AY

1992

13


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14 THECORRESPONDENT MAY

1992


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TIìE CORRtrSPONDBNT MAY 1992 I7


Emily Lau : Eight days a week campaigning for the people

"l didn't go into this with my eyes closed,"

could probably count them on one hand. But that is the reality of politics." Although Lau says she is an independent, she is not against the concept of party politics. lndeed, she is a firm believer in Western-style multi-par1y poli-

Lau said. "They were wide open."

tics.

W[h##iä"ïr;:,'tr' year's Legislative Council elections, many of her friends and colleagues thought she was mad. As she admits: "l plunged headfirst into the unknown." One of Hong Kong's most outsPoken journalists, Lau is today the only directly elected female member of Legco and is still as outspoken as ever.

ln a luncheon address on March

By Karl Wilson

With the appointment of so-called consultants by China, Lau already sees Beijing's "sinister" hand at play in Hong Kong's attempt at building the democratic structures that will lake the former British colony past 1997. "Party politics", Lau says "is in its early

door.

stages here in Hong Kong. "l still think we can unite the people show them that some things are important to fight for. I made the sacrifice - | left the security of a high-profile job to enter thè unknown. "l believe independents can play an important parl in the development of true parly politics here in Hong Kong. Being

Lau made it perfectly clear that she was elected as an independent member and would "probably" remain an independent member. The fact is that Lau not only won her seat of New Territories East she also came out on top of the poll with 45,000 votes, some 6,000 votes ahead of Andrew Wong who had spent the Past six

days a week

.

18 THE CORRESPONDENT MAY

1992

passports in the legislature after 1997 is

20 percent. lt does not specify directly elected members.

"That is one of the problems of this colony-trying to interpretthe Basic Law, either Britain's way or Beijing's. The people accept what they are told. I don't go along

under colonial rule after 1997. That was promised in 1984 when the two governments concluded the Sino-British agreements after two years of secret negotiations. "The people had no part in this. lt was a case of take it or leave it. lf we had left it we would have been on our own. But as we have taken it we must hold them to the agreement and the people's views must be taken into ac-

perhaps given as much the local media space or even more than those in Legco. "lt is obvious that Beijing is manipulating the people here in Hong Kong. They see the low turnout in the directly-elected Legco seats last year as an indication of the people's lack of interest in politics. "You will hear more and more from Beijing's supporters here in Hong Kong talking about the counter-revolutionary types who are anti-China. lt is a slow, subtle process of thought control.

-

count."

K

mobilised through party politics.

10,

was that she fought the election without the aid of an organisation or money. Since being elected on September 15, Lau says she is the only member who works "200 percent full-time" on Legco work. She has hired three assistants and a secretary, all of whom share her appetite for work --12 to 16 hours a day, seven

the massacre of 1989 as do five or six others in Legco. "The basic Law stipulates that the number of people who can hold foreign

here in Hong Kong should be allowed to

enjoy the freedoms they have enjoyed

Lau says that Hong Kong's salvation can only come about if the people are

Lau spoke of the problems she faces as a Legco member and the problems Hong Kong faces from the communists next

years in Legco. The result surprised many of her supporters and critics alike. After all she was a little known quantity. As Lau admitted:"1 had no connections with the constituency, was not backed by any political organisation or group and didn't or do not live there." But she ran an intensive five-month campaign backed by an army of supporters. What is perhaps even more surprising about Lau's victory over the others

"But I maintain the six million people

with that view. The people should start standing up and being counted. "Now that China has its own advisers locally, you willsee them being quoted by

Emily Lau

She is commonly referred to by some

as "a one person political party". Lau, however, rejects such labelling. "l don't pretend to be a political party. My constituents don't expect it. I am an independent and work for the betterment of those who elected me and for the people of Hong Kong generally. "Legco is dominated by two big facthe United Democrats and the tions Co-operative Resources Centre (CRC). ln between these two factions are the independents," she said. "But I would question just how many are truly independents like me. I think you

-

Club News... Club News... Club News... Club News... FROM Wednesday, June 10 to 12 it will be Mexican fiesta time in the main dining room. The fiesta is sponsored by Augustine Guiterrez Ganet the Mexican Consul General of Hong Kong.

*****

an independent you are not bound to toe the party line. You can speak your mind. But it does have disadvantages, " she admitted. "For a start I am not a convenor of any of the 15 Omelco panels. These have gone to the CRC because they have the

School and Home for the Blind netted $1 1,400.00. The case of Lanson Brut Champagne was generously donated by Hirams

votes."

Walker Wines & Spirils Ltd.

Despite that, Lau is on six panels and,

as she says, "God knows how many groups". She attends up to five meetings a day and every Friday can be found back in her constituency. Since her election she has also held eight public meetings in her constituency justto hearthe views of those who elected her. "lt is my way of being directly accountable," she says. Lau said the real pressure, as far as she is concerned, does not come from

SALE

Health Corner News lN addition to the generous support we receive from WELLA beauty products

WHEN redecoration

over the past six months, supplying us with free hair-body shampoo and condi-

wick pool tables and one set pool table lights becomes obsolete and is for sale.

tioners, WELLA products can now be

All of the above goes for $14.000.00

purchased at a reduced price from the Health corner attendant.

only, transportation not included.

of the Pool Room commences in June one of our Bruns-

OUR tenth anniversary party's charity

raffle for the benefit of the Ebencer

***** WE also like to Thank JEBSEN Co.Ltd Fine Food and Wines department and HIRAMS WALKER Wine & Spirits Ltd for supporting our anniversary.

*****

THE House wine tasling last month was a great suocess and the results showed that ltalian wines are by far the most popular. Most of the wines where in a higher price range than the Club's House wine and it was decided to give the Members'a choice of two white and two red wines. The following are the new House wines

Cuvee St Piere Cuvee St Piere

red white

Montepulaciano D'Abruzo

glass

:

carafe

$16 $36/$72

red $24

$48/$96

bottle $90 $140

Grigio di Cavit white

The Asian food theme nights will continue with a Thai buffet prepared by our anonymous Thai guest chef on May 26 and on June 9 we will feature Malaysian cuisine.

THE CORRESPONDENT

MAY 1992

19


Building a new South Africa March 17, South Africa'swhite population was asked one very simple question: Do you favour Prime Minister F.W. de Klerk For reform? political gamble yet. boldest his it was million whites minorityfive The country's give a system, uP to asked were being given years had past 40 for the which a country in life-style privileged them a

at the FCC and said 'Don't go to South Africa'. That was two years ago. Today, I say'Come and see what is happening for

n

By Karl Wilson

"South Africa has changed and out and gave de Klerk a massive YES for 68.6 percent wanted de Klerk change

to continue to negotiate for political

re-

form.

"That process is now,happening, a process in which all political organisations, matter how big or how small, are

problem. We should not ignore that 30 percent.

"But I am confident that we will soon see a new constitution acceptable to all." Matsila admitted that the ANC has had to make certain compromises, especially in the field of economic reform. "The area in which the biggest compromise will have to be made is in government," he said. "The ANC will have to look seriously at a coalition government. The gulf has to be bridged. A coalition government would bridge that gap. I see that being the case for the next 10 to 15 years. "But we can do it. I know we can and we must. The future of our children will de-

taking part in working out a formula for a new South Africa."

Already working parties have been established to look at a new constitution, interim government, ways of reincorporating the homelands back into South Africa and ways of solving some of the outstanding issues such as political pris-

.-+

Lï!

--'

I

all.

When de Klerk came to Power 30 months ago he did so on a mandate to

Africa. Where as before, they made

reform his countrY, "a

country which enshrined racism in law and as a result was forced to PaY the ultiworld mate price

-

condemnation and isolation from sPort and trade. A ln 30 months, O" È Klerk and his govern- ¡

ment have kicked .! down the walls of !

{

A massive Yes for de Klerk

Africa on a new political path, one in which all South Africans - black and

white-will

continuing to change." Matsila was in Hong Kong sPeaking with business leaders about the investment potential in South Africa. of process. education am here to tell business leaders about the changes that are taking place in South

jority had no say at

aparlheid, freed ANC leader Nelson Mandela and set South

is

sort

where the black ma-

process. We need to deal with this problem. Likewise, the government mustopen its books on its covert activities and payments to political partìes. "While a majority of whites voted for reform, some 30 percent said No. That is a

For the next four years Mandela and the government talked. "We realise the need to work out a formula in which all South Africans can take part.

have an equal say in theirown

future. For many whites the thought of throwing away a system which had given them a privileged life seemed abhorrent. For others it was inevitable, especially in the

light of the political changes which had been sweeping the world in recent years German reunification and the break-up -of the Soviet emPire. For South Africa, change was inevitable, the onlY question was when ? On March 17 the country's minority whites gave their answer and closed the book on apartheid for good. Some 84 percent of the country's white registered voters turned

20 THECORRESPONDENT MAY

1992

The result surprised most political black and white alike commentators who had expected the result to be close. Even de Klerk and his government were surprised at the sheer size of the mandate.

The African National Congress chief representative in Asia, Jerry Matsila saw the result as giving de Klerk the legitimacy he needed to continue with the reform process. Speaking at an FCC luncheon three days after the historic referendum, Matsila said : "There can be no turning back of the clock rtow. We live in a changing world and South Africa is part of the changing world. "Two years ago I stood before you here

money off the backs of millions of black workers, today those black workers are part of the decision making process. "This is the reality of South Africa today. What you see evolving is one South Africa in which all people and -areblack equal." white Matsila pointed out that South Africawas Hong Kong's biggest market in Africa, especially in textiles and garments. "The referendum has given de Klerk the mandate he was seeking," he said. Although de Klerk has been given most of the credit for the reforms, Matsila said the process began back in 1 986 when the then president, P.W. Botha began talks with Nelson Mandela. "At the time South Af rica was in chaos," Matsila said. "lnternationally it was ostracised and isolated. Botha wanted help and the only man who could do that was Mandela. "Mandela told Botha that he had been in prison for 23 years and the only way he could ever possibly negotiate a settlement was as a free man."

oners and outstanding apartheid laws. Matsila said "now that de Klerk has been given a clear mandate by the white population he should order an immediate sweep of the security forces. "De Klerk has admitted that possibly 80 percent of the army supports right wing elements along with 80-90 percent of the police," Matsila said.

Jerry Matsila "The point is, we have a security force

pend on it."

that does not support the reconciliation

@

For information on Offshore Bank Accounts, UK Mortg¡ages and E>patriate FTnancial Advice Contact Graham Donald

Têt 527 0132 or Far: 865 1046 29/F Tower One, Admiralty Cenfre, Hong Kong THECORRESPONDENT

MAY

1992

2l


,re{E re\0{EK crqçLE,

Japan prices foreign n wsmen out of existence

PLEASE PATRONISE THESE FCC SUPPORTERS

HONG KONG

ave you noticed ? One of the most rare of birds seems to be nearing extinction in Japan. That is the American and other varieties of Western foreign correspondent, who is becoming nearly as scarce as the Mongolian Whooping Crane. The changing face of journalism and

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that it is becoming a luxury for a single newspaper to maintain abroad a staff of foreign correspondents. Deepening economic recession obviously has a lot to do with this syndrome. It is a sign of the times that the Yomuri Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun of Japan now each have more correspondents abroad than does any American newspaper.

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ln Tokyo, four North American newspapers recently closed their one-man bureau: the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, the Atlanta Constitution and the Toronto Globe and Mail. All cited soaring costs of living in Tokyo, the world's most expensive city, and a general belt-tightening by their organisations because of the US recession.

Another paper, Pravda, also closed its

F.C.C. members represent one of the highest earning, per-capita, consumer spending groups in Hong Kong.

INNER CIRCLE: HK$600 (Minimum 6 insertions)

bureau but for different reasons. Roberl Deans, the chief Asia correspondent of the Atlanta Constitution,said his office rent in Tokyo was running at YEN850,000 (U5$6,800) per month and that annual operating expenses ran to YEN26 million (U5$208,000). Another case quoted a recent edition of the No 1 Shimbun, journal of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, was

that of the Wall Street Journal.

Call Rosemary Little on 577-9331 for further information

From Edward Neilan in Tokyo Some of the correspondents, with children's schoolfees and high housing costs, may not be able to stay in Japan, said the source.

American television networks are in the same boat. The NBC bureau chief and four reporters have pulled out of Tokyo. The CBS bureau is not reducing its personnel but the survey said its expenses were being reduced.

Washington Postand Los Angeles Times have beefed up their Tokyo bureau not one of them now has a full-lime reponer, sent out from the home office, permanently based in Seoul. This despite the fact that the United States has important security interests in Korea. The lone American news organisation with a fulllime expatriate staffer in Seoul is |he Wall Street Journal, with Damon Darlin as bureau chief. Even though the American one-man bureau is fast disappearing in Japan, the

overall media scene is expanding.

Sophia University professor Hideo

ln Tokyo there are now 340 foreign

Takeichi, who specialises in the history of American journalism, said: "The amount of information dispatched to the United States from Japan is far less than the amount of information dispatched to Japan from the United States. I suppose Americans with interest in Asia will have to make more use of English dailies printed in Japan or of English wire services." Despite the recession, some major US newsapapers are expanding rather than decreasing their Tokyo presence. The survey quoted T. R. Reid, Tokyo

news organisations, employing 476 foreigners (down from a record 505 in 1990) and 309 Japanese. . While US news organisations are cutting back in Japan they are certainly not cutting back in other parts of the world. According to the latest census results from the E.W.Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, American news organisations employed 1,734 full-time

staffers (820 correspondents) in 1990.

Writing in the Newspaper Research Journal (Winter 1991) Ralph Kliesch,

bureau chief of The Washington Post, saying the newspaper's bureau grewfrom

professor emeritus at the E.W.Scripps School, said the figure was almost three

three to five correspondents over the

times as many as were employed

past few years. David Sanger of the New York Times

1975, when the last survey was carried

was quoted as saying the limes had expanded its bureau from two to three full-time correspondents about two years ago. American and Western wire services also continue to expand. But the trend of the vanishing one-man bureaux tends to rob the information flow of its diversity.

The paper is cutting housing allow-

Korea, of course, continues to be un-

ances for its correspondents. "One source

dercovered by the foreign press and any

says this will have the effect of docking the salaries of its Tokyo correspondents by 20 percent."

cutbacks in Japan sometimes have an even deeper impact in Korea.

Although Ihe New York Times, The

in

out. "At that time US news organisations only employed 676 full-time staffers of which 429 were correspondents," he said. Asia still dominates the foreign interests of US media with 466 full{ime staffers based in the region compared with 160 in 1975. Tokyo and Hong Kong were still the two main centres from which US correspondents operated.

Edward Neilan is Norlheast Asia bureau chief for The Washington Times, based in Tokyo, and is an absent member of the

FCC.

THE CORRESPONDENT Þ;lAY

tg 1992

23


THE ZOO

BY ARTHUR HACKER

FCC

LONG I_IVE DEAAOCÍìACY./

V/E NOTE THAT ONE CADRE FROAA YOUR RULING ELITE WA9 ELECTED UNOPPO 5EÞ , YF-T AGAIN ./

LETTERS TED DuNFE&.continues to defy the odds and his comeback to full health continues. Ashley Ford reports fromVancouver that Ted is becoming more feisty by the day. After a recent visit Dunfee made an impassioned plea for a bottle of ouzo 1o be produced on the next visit. The Greek tincture is proving beneficial in Dunfee's comeback as the following letter read to fellow journalists at the recent PATA meeting in Hong Kong shows. Enough said.

ÊLECTIONS

V OTE

FOR THE PRES I ÞENT OF YOUR

CàOIC= Dear PATA Press Golleagues and Friends,

ljust want to say hello and express thanks to you all, especially

c\

to my special friends, Graham "Doc" Hornel and Alan Boyd, for all the wonderful help and support that has come my way since I suffered my unfortunate and unbelievable illness in May of

)t

1

990.

With my combination of Viral Encephalitis, followed by a stroke and infarction, I was told by doctors in both Vancouver and Bangkok that it would be unlikely if I was ever able to speak, read, walk, or even talk again.

ln December of 1990, I uttered my first word, it was "no", and have expanded my vocabulary to include many words my mother would not like you to hear.

I

Then, last July, Alan Boyd brought my younger son, Satori, from Buri Ram, Thailand, and within a month he inspired the wires in my brain which control vision to once again work properly, almost as good as they were before my illness.

l've also started an autobiography about my illness, and, two chapters into it have given it a title - The Miracle Man. I can't walk yet, but I will - and I hope to see you all at next year's PATA conference and to be able to walk to my seat.

Goodbye,

E.J (Ted) Dunfee

Think about ir! F.C.C. members represent one of the highest earning, per-capita, consumer spending groups in Horig Kong.

l.l4Page

Type

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INNER CIRCLE : HK$600 (Minimum 6 insertions)

24 T}lE CORRESPONDENT MAY

1992

THECORRESPONDENT

MAY 1992

25


REVIEWS

the PRC into coming round." Since it was the Hong Kong dollar crisis which finally persuade<ì the British to yield to China's obduracy, and to prepare for a withdrawal from Hong Kong, the

Advancing America's own interests

incident is fundamental to much of

a

I-I.Tilliam

;

;H j;jiilî

ffi

Kong, first through incompetence and then through spinelessness; and that the United States should be taking steps to limit the damage suffered by Hong Kong

as a result, not least because to do so would advance the interests of the United States itself. He asserts that : "Britain's real interest lies in getting out as quietly as possible before the whole show breaks up. By contrast, American's multi-billion dollar investment here, and

its use of the colony as a base for l 1

its

Asian trade, means that the US interests are more closely aligned with those of the people of Hong Kong is, in keeping -that the place as free and open as it is today." His criticism of Britain's behaviourcentres on the British and Hong Kong Government's retreat from the pledges of "representative government" and a "legislature constituted by elections" for Hong Kong, made at the time of the Joint Dec-

laration. He also attacks the British

re-

fusal to extend right of abode in Britain to morethan âfraction of Hong Kong people. "Having arrived in a cloud of opium", he says, "Her Majesty's representatives are sidling out under the cover of contract."

Peffidious Albion : The Abandonment of Hong Kong

and should attempt wherever possible to

"make the case for the freedoms that allow Hong Kong to prosper today ... whether this takes the form of interna-

1997.

By William McGut'n Published by Ethit's and Public Policy Centre, Washington DC.

l65pp USïI6.9s

tionalising the civil service, reversing the decline in English standards, or impressing upon Peking the commercial imperatives of preserving Hong Kong's tradition

of common law, Americans ought to be ready to lead."

visions in the 1990 US immigration law which increase the number of visas available to Hong Kong, extends the period for which their use can be deferred, and allows US companies to sponsor overseas employees for entry visas with a 10year lifespan. US

Chinese to stifle the establishment of democracy in the last of its major colonies." It draws. further supporl from Bud Williams, of the American Chamber of Commerce, who predicts that "the British won't like this book", thereby greatly underestimating the British capacity for self-recrimination. McGurn writes fluently and directly. His style will be familiar to readers of the Asian Wall Street Jour-

nal's editorial page,

British record, or entirely accurate in his rendering of it. He passes over the

Hong Kong cannot be kept as it is, then "The next best thing [for Americal is to get as many as possible of Hong Kong's people to its own shores, so that they will use their talents and energy to ad-

dian interests".

Britain has betrayed its obligations to Hong Kong

1992

soever to alter China's attitude or behaviour towards Hong Kong, short of some atrocity to compare with Tiananmen. The

fight for democracy, and for a high de-

applied by one of three means: harsh words, economic sanctions and war. ln

gree of autonomy, will have to be waged by brave individuals like Lee and Emily Lau, who, if they are to have any hope of succeeding, will have to wage their fight in the name of Hong Kong alone. That is how it should and must be. McGurn's polemic is enjoyable, but it is his very affection for Hong Kong which leads him astray. The best service which America can render to Hong Kong is not that of confusing its own interests with those of the territory, but of stepping-up its pressure for the

this case, the first is useless, the third is not justified, and it would be interesting to hear what Williams, and the rest of the

protection of human rights and the advancement of democracy in the whole of China, Hong Kong included.

American Chamber of commerce, had to

@

est in Hong Kong, including that of China. Bul. Perfidious Albion has no very strong view as to what America, once it has finished telling Peking to be nice to Hong Kong, should actually be prepared to do about defending those interests.

lnternational pressure is generally

Chamber Music Concert Pianist Monique Duphil and Cellist Jay Humeston FCC, April 16 Reviewed by Cynthia Hydes was an enchanting evening unexpected, unique and beautiful. The

t

-

venue was certainly different: thedining room of the hard-drinking, fasttalking news centre of Asia - the FCC. There, underthe original restored beams of the old Dairy Farm ice house, which had never thought itself to be host to a couple of internationally famous musi-

the market to take a dive as a means of pressuring

are more like the paintings and less like a

British deliberately allowed

than Australian or Cana-

MAY

McGurn is on surer ground with his account of the retreat from democracy in the years following the Joint Declaration. The shame is not so much that Britain failed to hold China to a liberal interpretation of the Joint Declaration on this topic; but that it went to such cynical lengths to conceal that failure, by attempting to represent its actions as having been dic-

a chamber music concert took place. The old rafters were nearly lifted over to silence the bells in the Bishop's house with the sounds of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition in black and white which the French pianist Monique Duphil prefers to Ravels's orchestrated version. She said: "The characters can be more clearly defined and I think they

Hong Kong dollar crisis of September 1983, for example, in a single paragraph, including this aside: "To this day, some observers specu late that the

vance American rather

THE CORRESPONDENT

on I

lf

26

indeed that they had any capacity at all to control the Hong Kong dollar exchange rate under the old floating-rate system?

McGurn is, if anything, too modest here in his criticism. On his main theme, that of the American interest in Hong Kong, McGurn is thorough and persuasive - indeed, so thorough that he sometimes threatens to leave little room for anybody else's inter-

A little night music at the FCC

which he worked in the 1980s. But he is not, think, entirely fair to the

McGurn applauds pro-

market to take a dive". But is there a shred of evidence that they did so; or,

was an infamous document, towards which

say about the second. The fact is that America, and the world in general, can and will do nothing what-

Perfidious Albion is endorsed by Mar-

tin Lee, leader of the United Democrats, who declares it to be "a strong and clear analysis of how the British government has worked closely with the Communist

Reviewed by Robert Cottrell

He goes on to suggest that the

little more investigation. lt may be logical to suspect the British of "allowing the

should attempt to "treat Hong Kong as a nation separate from China and Britain" in commercial, tax and cultural treaties,

McGurn's argument is

W tîï:il:lå

McGurn's argument, and so deserves a

tated by the wishes of Hong Kong rather than of China. The Green Paper of 1987

cians,

novel in the orchestral version:the lovely - one rich, one poor; the Hut on Chicken Legs, the Ballet of the Chicks in Their Shells and the Great Gate of Kiev all seem to come alive under my fingers." The audience thought so too, and was spellbound and silent even though chaos still reigned in the main bar below us. old Jews, Goldberg and Schmyule

Monique's musícal and life partner is

Jay Humeston, principal cellist of the

the magic atmosphere of the dining room

in time to listen, enraptured, to the Sonata in C by Sergei Prokofiev, which, as Jay explained, is filled with everything from his stunning ballet music to the composer's mischievous and satirical wit. They closed with an encore which was simply divine - a Chinese/Russian piece called Homantic Evening which Jay dedicated to Su Villiers who for many years devoted

ally with descriptions of the pieces they

her life to the Philharmonic and has always loved the cello. This unique, barrier-breaking idea was conceived by

played after the Pictures: Rachmaninov's Vocal ise,and Glazu nov's Mi nstrel's Song both of which I missed since I was -being rescued from a locked loo by male members of the staff who climbed over the adjoining cubicle but I arrived back in

Charles Smith, RegionalEditor o1rthe Far Eastern Economic Review who for years organised chamber concerts in the Tokyo Press Club, strongly backed by the out-going President of the FCC, Peter Seidlitz. Will wonders never cease ?

Hong Kong Phil who entertained us roy-

E THE CORRESPONDENT

MAY 1992 27


TONGUE-IN-CHEEK

Championing the rights of the overworked news hound Overwhelmed by the challenges of being MONDAY It's 6.30 and l'm preparing for my 1.35 mile jog around the Peak. After a 29.5 second highly refreshing shower, I settle

a light breakfast of specially imported mangoes and muesli washed down by dandelion herbal tea. By 7.48,1 am at my desk reading the overnight faxes from around the world... Slowly the nightmare fades and I wake up, check the clock and am relieved to see that it is well past the unspeakably antisocial hour of 6.30. I emerge from the bed clothes, taking care not to disturb

a

foreign correspondent in

the new high-tech environment of today, Steve Vines has discovered the value of delegation. Howevet', he finds that even this solution can land the high powered hack in deep do-do.

down to

parls of thq body which have retired from

active duty. Breakfast, the most important meal of the day, (and the only British food which can be consumed with confidence) is a cholesterol filled affair, punctuated by copious supplies of gut rotting tea. Mindful of my obligation to prepare this

exciting account of the working weak, I am determined to be both dynamic and decisive. I stroll into my corporate HQ, the converted bedroom next to the bathroom, and have a high level executive meeting with my Executive Dog (ED), an invaluable aide in these fast moving times. I sometimes wonder why the expression 'one man and a dog' has become a term of derision, it is cefiainly not justified in my experience stretching over 16.5 years. Anyway, after a highly successful brain storming session, ED comes up with the suggestion of writing a piece about how the Asian Pacific region is the 21st century's zone of growth. I am so pleased with the idea that I instantly promote ED to the post of SED or Senior Executive Dog. This has been a thoroughly rewarding and satisfying day and so I decide to quit

while l'm stillahead.

28

THECORRESPONDENT

MAY

1992

The Working Weak TUESDAY Following the excitements of yesterday I decide to read the local papers as a

way of calming down" My subsequent sleep is rudely shattered by a telephone call regarding a highly important press

with ED who has taken her demotion badly. I try to explain that in this ever changing world the global challenges inherent ยกn the dynamism of a society in transition fundamentally mean that interpersonal relations must carry a transitional element. For some reason she is not quite clear about the above. The highlight of the day is, of course,

conference by HK Telecom regarding the installation of the 100,000th telephone line in Sau Mau Ping. SED is deputed to

the afternoon's meeting of the Legislative

attend.

Council. I am sure that

Steve Vines and the dog

not alone in

traordinary event but as I was barely conscious and my stomach was unsettled by

power

regretting the demise of Maria Tam. Who

watching my companion pick at a fruit

lunch with adazzling senior government official. I gather, entirely off the record you understand, that there is a good chance of Hong Kong's prosperity and stability being maintained if certain things happen. I have now lost track of what these certain things are and resolve to buy both note book and pencil as an aide memoire. An evening call from my foreign editor brings the disturbing news that the idea for the Asia Pacific rim piece is not wholly

can ever forget the sight of that formi-

plate (containing vast amounts of acid), I was entirely distracted. After breakfast, that is to say still perilously close to the crack of dawn, I decide to unwind by reviewing cash flow charts, forward planning scenarios and marketing strategies for the 2020's. I decide that these are sufficiently earth, shattering to be onpassed to ED for executive action. We at Megapublications believe lhat it is vitally important to delegate and give staff a sense of responsibility. I am, as usual, deluged with invitations to all manner of phenomenally important

Today is the occasion for

a

original. lndeed he suggests that it is something unmentionable in a family magazine. SED is promptly demoted back to ED again.

WEDNESDAY Although here at Megapublications we pride ourselves on a good working environment and the highest priority being atI have to report a breakdown in communications

tached to human resources,

I

dable hulk scuttling out of the chamber to avoid the agony of having to vote on a controversial motion? We may not see

her like again, but I have a soft spot for. dear old Allen Lee who is lumbering up for the world fence -sitting championships in

a most impressive manner. Like the

la-

mented Ms Tam, Mr Lee does much to lighten our lives with his wit and turn of phrase.

THURSDAY Please don't mock, but

I

have suc-

cumbed to the curious American habit of having what I believe is called a'working breakfast'. Although lsuggested 10 o'clock as a suitable time for this encounter, my breakfasting partner seemed to think that 8 o'clock, yes 8 o'clock, would be more suitable. I am trying hard to recall what vital exchange of views occurred at this ex-

and exclusive drinks parties. Today, for example, I have brushed aside a summons to a VIP launch party for a British company of plastic moulders, have had to decline the opportunity of meeting Miss Jurong New Town 1985 and sent regrets to the publishers of an important new opus on the stockmarkets of Eastern

I clip on my tie and venture

forth to one of those swanky hotels where marble is rapidly going out of fashion. Here I clink glasses with many people and make small talk with numerous luminaries. Although this is very enjoyable and contributes to the corporate aim of building a high profile for Megapublications, I am slightly disconcerted to find that I know not a single person in the room and that they all seem to be talking

about lkebana, whatever that is. FRIDAY It is hard not to become blase about jet setting around the globe when you are

part of the fast moving team at Megapublications. Clutching my 261,000,000 notebook computer and porlable satellite transmission station, I am a regular visitor to Kai Tak airport's departure hall. Today however ED has made arrangements for me to visit Kowloon, I have not been

there for some time and am very impressed by the developments which have

taken place in this distant location. Throwing caution to the wind I decide

to travel First Class on the Star Ferry. SATURDAY Afteratruly memorable and high achiev-

ing week,

I look forward to

Saturday,

coming as it does right before Sunday. This is a day for relaxing with the family and spending a quiet time home. For reasons, which can only be described as

carelessness, I have forgotten to secure the services of a family, and so I settle down to the usual routine of drugs, sex and rock and roll. I

trust that members of the law enforce-

ment agencies will realise that the first word is a joke, so, coming to think of it, is the word that follows but I should stress that ED and myself take R&R very seriously.

Steve Vines was not in c' onversation with any one

from Sunday Money. @ THE CORRESPONDENT

MAY 1992

29


NEW MEMBERS

The FCC welcomes the following New Members Asia Ltd.

Sarah Poon, Associate Edihor, Reader's Digest.

CORRESPONDENT

Richard Burn, Managing Director, Batey

Burn (HK) Ltd.

Alain Chaillou, Asian Bureau Chief, TV -TF1 (France)

Jack Kompan, Publisher, Cahners Publishing Co. Rebecca Leung Woo, Vice President

JOURNALIST

Doo-Sam Choi, Hong Kong Correspondent, The Seoul Shinmun Andrew Hurst, Deputy News Editor,

Philip Ben-David, Freelance Writer. Paul Lewis, Assistant Editor, Execu-

(Public Relations), Satellite Television Asia Region Ltd.

tive Media Ltd.

Reuters.

Harry Kawilarang, East

Asia

Correspondenl, Suara Pembaruan Daily (lndonesia) Byeong-Soo Kim, Correspondent, Yonhap News Agency (South Korea) lan O'Sullivan, Hong Kong Correspondenl, lnternational Financial Review.

Mai-Khoi Nguyen, Self-employed

Susie Weldon, Education Editor, Ihe

Graphic Designer.

Standard.

Eugene Oh, Solicitor, Baker and ASSOCIATE

McKenzie.

William Slimmon, Merchandise Man-

Nissen David, Vice President Com-

ager, A.S. Watson and Co Ltd.

munications, McDonnell Douglas Pacific

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National Press Club, 14th Street N W., Washington, DC 20045, USA. Tel: (202) 662-7500

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THE CORRESPONDENT

MAY 1992 31


A PEDDLER'S JOURNAL

A leak in the night 7Tl I t

he other night I had to get uP at two in the morning to fix a leaky toilet. One of those little rods in there had become stuck. lt was not the first time, and based on long experience

in grappling with that devilish device,

I

knew it would not be the last. I

have often wondered why our modern

civilization which has been able to put men on the moon, build super computers, and isolate the most elusive viruses, has been unable to come up with a more satisfactory flushing mechanism for the common toilet. When I look into the inner workings of the snazzy sleek porcelain toilet in our luxury flat in Hong Kong I see the same intricate, delicately balanced, interlocking set of rods, chains' テ考oat and rubber stopper as I clearly remember in the one I grew up many years ago in the United States. That one dated from the early 30's and it also used to go on the blink on a regular basis.

in our house where

ln other industries

manufacturers

compete to turn out new improved stateof-the-a11 products. Moreover in

theirquest

for technological perfection some industries are revolutionized when a new innovation enables them to break through a technology threshold. Why is it that the toilet makers are content to remain in the horse and buggy age? But it seems I am talking only of the American design. Many years ago when I went to the UK for the first time I discovered the British version. There the box containing the flushing mechanism is placed high above the bowl and is activated by pulling a long

chain. I never stayed in one place long enough to be able to judge their reliability but I did discover they had a peculiarity of their own. A simple pulling of the chain would only rarely do the job. A pulling

to hold the chain down for specified period of time before releasing it. The speed

with which one pulled the chain also sometimes had a bearing. And of course

there were all sorts of variations in between. Since lwas exploring the country-

ing and constructing outhouses. The book

is titled "The Specialist" and unfortunately is long out of print. The author

side and staying in B & Bs, rarely for more than one or two nights at a time, I gained a very wide exposure. More than once

went into great detail covering, among others, such fine points as the location

after trying all possible combinations, was left with no option but to sheepishly

of the rising sun), the pros and cons of a

I

call on one of the household members for assistance. Strangely I found lhe most idiosyncratic toilets in lreland. I am told that the inventer of the flushing mechanism was a gentleman by the name of Thomas Crapper who came up with the idea sometime around the middle of the eighteenth century. lt was no doubt one of the technological marvels of the

time. He also, unbeknownst to himself I suspect, enriched the English language with his name, albeit in abbreviated form. But it was at least 200 years before Thomas Crapper's invention fully displaced in the United States that old stand-by the outhouse. We had one behind our house in rural New Jersey until the late 40's. lt found use each August when the well went dry. The definitive work on the outhouse is a slim volume of memoirs which was published in the US sometime in the 1920's or 30's. The author was a retired gentleman who had spent his life design-

(they should face East to catch the rays

allnt8non

crescent or a star on the front door and which mail order catalogues are most suitable as a source of paper. (For thickness and paper quality Sears Roebuck was preferred. Another option was a used telephone directory but the ink tended to run). He devoted a whole chapter to what he considered the apex of his career, a commission to make a ten-holer for a rather large family in West Virginia. It is unfortunate for travellers in China that he had no counterpart in that country. One finds there a plethora of what can be termed ming-loos dotting the countryside. Moreover it is the rare provincial hotel which can not boast of at least one. They are loos which have not been cleaned since the Ming dynasty. But that is another subject.

Leighton Willgerodt,

on Assodate Member of the FCC, is a sales executiye v'ith a US multinational chentical compatly.

Gelebrating 6O million great cameras.

Colour prints on the feature wall of the Club are made courtesy

PETER CHO'S COLOR WORKSHOP

technique to each toilet was almost invariably required to successfully activate

the mechanism. For some it was a sudden jerk of the chain. For others one had

32

THB CORRESPONDENT

MAY

1992

FLAT G, 2ndlF., Luard Road 1, Southorn Mansion, Wanchai, H.K. Tel :527 4813,527 4781 Fax : 865 4370

Canoil

Canon Hongkong Trading Co., Ltd, 10/F, lvlirror Tower, 61 Mody Road, Tsimshatsui East, Kowloon, Flong Kong. Tel: 739 0802 Fax: 369

201

Telex: 30046 CHKT HX


let the rest conform


The Correspondent, May 1992