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COVER STORY

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS’ CLUB

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HONG KONG

Speaking for the voiceless asdf

23rd Human Rights Press Awards

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JULY 2019


CONTENTS COVER STORY

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SPEAKING FOR THE VOICELESS 23rd Human Rights Press Awards 2019

There were 52 awards presented this year, with prizewinners attending a ceremony at the Club. The keynote speaker was Maria Ressa, CEO and co-founder of Rappler in the Philippines, who told the audience: “Your reporting matters. Now more than ever.” Cover image: Human Rights Press Awards, Photography (Series) Winner: The Looted Honor by Mohammad Rakibul Hasan of Ilta-Sanomat

REGULARS

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Message from the President

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Editorial

FEATURES

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New Board of Governors and Q&A with new President, Jodi Schneider

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What Happens When Government Ministers Get To Decide What Is True And What Is False?

A list of new members and some of their profiles

A critic of Singapore’s new “fake news” bill outlines the pitfalls

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Membership

Club News & Rejected by Harry Harrison

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On The Wall

Young Lenses: Hong Kong Stories; Human Rights Press Awards; Images of Tiananmen and Beyond: Twelve Photojournalists Tell The Story

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Books

Nick Bailey; Liu Heung Shing

Smoke, Air and Caviar

The new cocktail menu has arrived at Bert’s

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First Clare Hollingworth Fellowship WInners Announced

Two young journalists receive FCC award named after the legendary correspondent

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‘Nobody Ever Changed the World on 40 Hours a Week’

Hong Kong works hard, but at what cost?

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Speakers

Who said what when they visited the Club

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Obituaries

Marilyn Hood; Gary Ling Wah-kee

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Last Word

Turning the page or swiping a device: What’s your idea of a “real” book?

THE CORRESPONDENT

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FROM THE PRESIDENT Dear FCC members, I’m excited and honoured to write to you for the first time as FCC President. While many of you know me, and I’ve been able to talk to and hear from many of you over the past six weeks since becoming President, this will be my first chance to address the entire membership. I’d first like to thank my predecessor, Florence de Changy, and the many among you who either served or are serving on the FCC’s Board of Governors or committees. Your participation is key to making the Club what it is. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m an editor with Bloomberg News and have been based in Hong Kong since November 2016, following a stint in Tokyo. I worked as a journalist in Washington, D.C., for many years, the last five leading Bloomberg’s coverage of the U.S. Congress. I’ve been involved with the FCC since shortly after becoming a member early in 2017, first serving on the Professional and Press Freedom committees and then on the Board of Governors. One question I’ve been asked a lot in recent weeks is: Why did you decide to serve as FCC President? The answer is pretty straightforward: Because there is no place like the FCC. This Club is a steadfast voice for press freedom and also provides a unique forum for discussion on a variety of topics – political, journalistic, cultural and business. We are housed in a beautiful heritage building, have the world’s best bar and great dining facilities, and a rich history. Who wouldn’t want to help lead such a place? I think our uniqueness can be symbolised by The Wall photo exhibition that we held for the month of June. There is no place, in the world, that had a display quite like ours and some would say only our Club could hold it. The exhibit, Images of Tiananmen and Beyond, included 63 photos from 12 photojournalists, all of who witnessed the events at Tiananmen Square and elsewhere in China 30 years ago. We also displayed headlines and magazine covers marking coverage from that period, including from the Chinese press. Not only was it a visually arresting and museum-quality exhibition, it helped provoke conversation and debate about this anniversary and what it means. We should be proud to remain a forum for that kind of debate, in the heart of Hong Kong.

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We are housed in a beautiful heritage building, have the world’s best bar and great dining facilities, and a rich history. Who wouldn’t want to help lead such a place? Since becoming President, it’s been an interesting time – to say the least – in our city. We have seen huge, historic public protests spurred by anger over the government’s proposed extradition bill, with action by police and just days before I am writing this, vandalism and resulting police action at the Legislative Council headquarters. The demonstrations have highlighted significant and often emotional issues about Hong Kong’s future, with the whole world watching our coverage from here. I’ve heard from a number of you about this. Some wanted the FCC to react immediately and continually to the demonstrations and the government and police response. Others want us to stay out of this completely, saying it’s not a “traditional” press freedom fight. We have reacted, with a statement (discussed vigorously by our Press Freedom Committee) calling on Hong Kong officials to ensure press access to those covering demonstrations and to uphold the rights of the media to cover protests free of intimidation and violence. We’ve also expressed concerns about reports of journalists with visible identification apparently being targeted by police and have called for an independent investigation of allegations made by journalists and other witnesses of the use of force by police. We will continue to back such investigations. Be assured we will continue to speak up and will do what we can to help ensure the press is free to cover such demonstrations, which is a right under Hong

THE CORRESPONDENT


Kong law. We are holding a luncheon panel on the protests and coverage of them and will, I’m sure, organise more events in the future. We have issued an open invitation to government and police officials to speak at the FCC on these matters and I hope they will take us up on that in the coming months. In other matters, we have gotten off to a good start this Board year reconstituting our nine FCC committees. One of my goals as President is to involve more members in our committees and in the day-to-day work of running our club. The committees are: Professional, Press Freedom, Wall, Constitutional, Finance, Communications, House/ Food and Beverage, Building and Membership. Please be in touch with me or any member of the Board of Governors if you are interested in serving on a committee, especially if you have professional expertise in one of these areas. I’m happy to report that we’ve announced the award of our inaugural Clare Hollingworth Fellowship to two talented Hong Kong journalists – Mary Hui, a correspondent with Quartz, and Jessie Pang, a recent graduate of HKU’s journalism programme who is joining Reuters. The fellowship is intended to honour early-career journalists with a free year of FCC membership, along with mentoring. It is part of our efforts to diversify the membership and bring in younger talent. Another of my goals is to spread journalism training through the year beyond our Journalism Conference, which we are starting to plan for next spring. I welcome ideas on a range of topics that we could explore and would like to begin training sessions in the autumn.

PHOTO: FCC

In closing, I welcome hearing ideas from all members – associates, journalists and correspondents – on how to improve our Club. Feel free to write to me at president@fcchk.org or introduce yourself in person if we haven’t met. I’m in the Club most days and happy to chat over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Thank you again for this opportunity.

Jodi Schneider Hong Kong July 2019

THE CORRESPONDENT

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The Foreign Correspondents’ Club 2 Lower Albert Road Central, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2521 1511 Fax: (852) 2868 4092 Email: fcc@fcchk.org Website: www.fcchk.org

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS’ CLUB HONG KONG

EDITORIAL Journalism is all about giving voice to the issues of the day, and this time around your magazine is celebrating those who are speaking out across Asia. The 23rd Human Rights Press Awards (pp20-25) showcased an incredible variety of talent, tackling important subjects – some of which don’t often make it into the media. Keynote speaker at the awards and guest at a lunchtime event the next day (p41) was Rappler’s Maria Ressa, out on bail and speaking about her government in the Philippines while reminding us why journalism matters. Similarly, the stunning Wall exhibition of photographs from Tiananmen (pp30-31) pulled no punches, showing the human cost that can follow when people have the courage to make their voices heard. Someone whose voice was loud and clear for decades was the Club’s late and great Clare Hollingworth and we are delighted to announce the first two winners of the FCC’s fellowship in her name (pp36-37). Congratulations to them both and our best wishes for an exciting year ahead. Another outspoken voice is that of Kirsten Han, a critic of Singapore’s “fake news” bill, who brings us up-to-date on the pitfalls she foresees if the bill is passed into law (pp1819). On a much lighter note, Morgan M. Davis was tasked with sampling the new cocktails on offer in Bert’s (pp26-27) and rose to the challenge admirably. Finally, congratulations to the new Board of Governors, headed by new President Jodi Schneider, and a warm welcome to all our new members.

Sue Brattle

The Board of Governors 2019-2020 President Jodi Schneider First Vice-President Eric Wishart Second Vice-President Tim Huxley Correspondent Member Governors Emma Clark, Jennifer Hughes, Richard Macauley, Shibani Mahtani, Keith Richburg, Kristine Servando, Feliz Solomon, Dan Strumpf Journalist Member Governors Clifford Buddle, Adam White Associate Member Governors Genavieve Alexander, Kin-ming Liu, Simon Pritchard, Christopher Slaughter Club Treasurer Tim Huxley Club Secretary Jennifer Hughes Professional Committee Convenors: Eric Wishart, Keith Richburg, Kristine Servando Finance Committee Conveners: Tim Hurley (Treasurer), Jennifer Hughes, Kin-ming Liu Constitutional Committee Conveners: Cliff Buddle, Kin-ming Liu Membership Committee Conveners: Simon Pritchard, Kristine Servando House/Food and Beverage Committee Conveners: Adam White, Genavieve Alexander, Richard Macauley, Building - Project and Maintenance Committee Conveners: Christopher Slaughter, Keith Richburg, Simon Pritchard Press Freedom Committee Conveners: Eric Wishart, Feliz Solomon, Emma Clark, Dan Strumpf Communications Committee Conveners: Genavieve Alexander, Feliz Solomon Wall Committee Conveners: Shibani Mahtani, Christopher Slaughter, Adam White General Manager Didier Saugy Editor, The Correspondent Sue Brattle Publisher: Artmazing! Tel: 9128 8949 Email: artmazingcompany@gmail.com Printing Elite Printing, Tel: 2558 0119 Advertising Contact FCC Front Office: Tel: 2521 1511 The Correspondent ©2019 The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong The Correspondent is published four times a year. Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of the club.

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THE CORRESPONDENT


YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Volunteer for one of the FCC’s committees if you want to get your voice heard

To find out more, contact Club President Jodi Schneider on president@fcchk.org

www.fcchk.org


MEMBERSHIP Who’s joined the Club, who’s leaving and who’s turned silver! This is the column to read.

Welcome to New Members Correspondents

• Kurien Abraham, Supervising Producer, Bloomberg • Suhas Bhat, Reporter, Haymarket Media • Laurel Lik-Fung Chor, Reporter/Producer, Vice Media LLC • Carol Pui-yee Lai, Freelancer • Joseph Leahy, Asian News Editor, Financial Times • Nicolle Ka-Wun Liu, News Researcher, Financial Times • Ravi Mattu, Deputy Asia News Editor, Financial Times • Carmel Austin Ramzy III, Hong Kong Correspondent, The New York Times • Siddarth Shrikanth, Reporter, Financial Times • Laurence Si-Meng Tan, Assignment Editor, Getty Images Journalists

• Gayatri Bhaumik, Editor, The Loop HK • Stephen Dunthorne, Sub-Editor, RTHK • Pete Koveos, Principal Sub-Editor, TVB News • Louise Lai-Sheung Wong, Publisher, Next Magazine Associates

• Kirsten Boazman, Self-Employed • Neil Carabine, Partner, King & Wood Mallesons • Pui Nga Chan, Director, Bank of Nova Scotia • Lai Ming Cheng, Financial Analyst, Plaza Premium Lounge Management Ltd • Andrew Ngai-dick Cheong, WAG Worldsec Corporate Finance Ltd • Robin Gill, Retired • Ravi Khan Harjani, General Manager, RKH Agencies Ltd • David Haynes, Director, Asia Pacific Sales, Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions • Mary Ho, Adjunct Assistant Professor, HKUST Business School • Deepa Jivan, Director, J Gordhan & Co Ltd • Albert Kaiser, Executive: Risk, Asia: Corporate and Investment Banking, Standard Advisory Asia Ltd • Kevin Ka-wing Kwong, CEO, The Aria Group • Graham Ka-wai Lam, Managing Director, Gram Capital Ltd • Rebecca Terner Lentchner, Head of Government Relations & Public Policy Asia Pacific, BNY Mellon • Ka Chuen Lo, Self-employed Independent Investor • Robert Mason, Counsel, Sidley Austin • Maneck Mohan, Director, Recruit.net Ltd • Kar Chung Mok, Partner, Reed Smith Richards Butler • Graham Cheuk-kwan, Barrister-at-Law, Liberty Chambers • Benze Ninan, Associate Director, Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions • Gregory Payne, Managing Partner, Payne Clermont Velasco Solicitors • Andrew Powner, Partner, Haldanes, Solicitors • Stuart Roseman, Director, Securities and Futures Commission • Robert Serjeant, Partner, RMS Concepts Ltd • Winston Wing-Yan Siu, Chairman, G2G Mediation Centre Ltd • Jonathan Sparks, Managing Director, Emerge 360 HK Ltd • Corrina Po-yuen Tai, Retired

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• Hans Hing-cheung Tang, Managing Director, STWS Technologies Ltd • Hendrik Van Der Linde, Managing Director, Chief Asian Equity Strategist, HSBC • Maurien Oi-man Yau, Research Analyst, Schroders Investments (HK) Ltd Diplomatic

• Cassandra Gunter, Vice Consul, U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau • Matthew Moore-Bick, Consul Regional Economic Diplomacy, British Consulate-General • Jonathan Williams, Consul, Communications & Political (Head of Section), British Consulate-General Diplomatic Replacements

• Ming Tsun Kso, Acting Director General, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office Corporate Replacements

• Shirley SY Co, Vice-President, Hill & Associates Ltd • Sally Cox, Vice-President, BASF East Asia Regional Headquarters Ltd • Peter Hirst, Senior Equity Partner, Clyde & Co • Guy Meldrum, Regional Director, British American Tobacco Asia Pacific Region Ltd • Lisa O’Connor, Managing Director, SWIFT • Hugo van Heerden, Senior Risk Manager, Macsteel International Far East Ltd

On to Pastures New

Au revoir to those members leaving Hong Kong who have become Absent Members: Correspondents

• Paolo Bosonin, Executive Producer, The Wall Street Journal • Gabriel McKail, Video Editor, UBS • Andrew Peaple, Asia Heard on the Street Editor, The Wall Street Journal Journalists

• Stephanie Yan-ting Tsui, Reporter, South China Morning Post • Pamela Williams, Director, The Pam Williams Studio Associates

• Sabine Bauer, Group Credit Officer, EMEA Financial Institutions, Fitch Ratings • Wolf Berthold, Chairman, Helicon Enterprises Company Ltd • Paul Burke, Freelancer • Prachish Chakravorty, Publisher, Asia, Institutional Investor Inc • Eric Charrington, Retired • Ellen Coetzee, Dept Wine Manager, The Dairy Farm Company Ltd • Graham Forbes, Senior Training Captain, Cathay Pacific Airways

THE CORRESPONDENT


• Amit Gupta, Partner, NewQuest Capital Partners • John Holmes, Executive Director, Willis Towers Watson • Christopher Lind Johnson, Director, Johnson Lind Consulting • Sharon See-wai Li, Coach Assistant, Ithaca Golf Team • Patrick Low Smith, Adjunct Professor, The University of Hong Kong • Vasilios Lykouras, Design Director, Lan Kwai Fong Group • Anthony Matthews, Director, Acorn Vet Hospital • Michael McDonough, Managing Director, SAC Capital • Marie-nette Ngo, Senior Manager, Fung Global Institute • Guy O’Loghlen Reynolds, Barrister • John Scade, Programme and Project Management, WPP Asia Pacific • Carmen Ka-man Tse, Professional Photographer, Carmen Tse Photography • Richard Ward, Chairman, Ward Associates Asia Ltd • Ian Yat-hin Wong, Clinical Assistant Professor, The University of Hong Kong

Despatched

We are extremely sad to announce the death of: Correspondent

• Gary Ling Associate

• Marilyn Hood

Category Changes Honorary Widow

• Yuk Chun Ma Silver Associate

Resigning Correspondents

• Joanna Colodin, Associate Editor, Ren Publishing • Lucy Craymer, Agricultural Reporter, The Wall Street Journal • Bradley Hodson, Producer, Bloomberg • Anne Sophie Labadie, Freelance Journalist • Julie Brooke Steinberg, Reporter, Dow Jones • Lara Wozniak, Growth Markets Media Relations Lead, Accenture

• Joseph L Spitze • Hester Waters-Chan Correspondent to Associate

• Paolo Danese, Vice-President, FleishmanHillard Correspondent to Journalist

• Kurt Lin, Senior Multimedia Producer, South China Morning Post

Associates

• Michael Brady, Managing Director, Jardine Fleming Investment Management Corporate

• Philip Allington, Director, Ho + Allington Ltd • Nadine Gibbon, Associate Director - Business Development, Allen & Overy Diplomatic

• James Cunningham, Chief Commercial Consul, U.S. Consulate General • Ching Fang Hu, Director, Kwang Hwa Information & Culture Centre

Welcome Back To Correspondents

• Stanley J Orzel, Freelancer • Sian Powell, Journalist, The Australian Associates

• Louise Barringtopn, Self-Employed Business Owner • Daniel Browne, Executive Director, Conduit Securities • Robert Clarke, Owner, 7bridge Capital Partners Ltd • Ruth Hunt

THE CORRESPONDENT

A huge advantage of being a member of the FCC is being able to use clubs around the world. If you are visiting Australia and New Zealand there are clubs in most major cities. In North America there are clubs across Canada and the USA. For those of you heading to Europe there are clubs in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Malta, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Across Asia in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. In Africa we only have one club so far The Wanderers Club in Johannesburg. Most of these clubs provide dining, work and recreational facilities but some offer accommodation too, such as The Colombo Swimming Club in Sri Lanka, the Hollandse Club in Singapore, The Launceston Club in Tasmania, the Terminal City Club in Vancouver, the Bellevue Club in Washington and the Devonshire Club in London. So when you are planning a trip be sure to take a look at the list on our website of partner clubs – under the Membership tab scroll down to Partner Clubs (www. fcchk.org/partner-clubs-3) – to see what facilities each club has to offer and take full advantage of your membership whilst you are travelling. PLEASE NOTE: To use our partner/reciprocal clubs many require an introduction card which you can get from the Club’s office, simply email membership@fcchk.org.

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NEW MEMBERS

INTRODUCING... NEW MEMBERS The latest group of members to join the FCC is, as always, an interesting bunch. The membership committee meets regularly to go through applications and is always impressed by the diversity of people who want to join the Club.

Jonathan Sparks I started my working life as a sailor before settling down to 20 years working in Japan prior to coming to HK. My job in IT outsourcing as managing director of Emerge 360 HK Ltd is about as far as you can get from my passion for outdoor sport – skiing, trekking, triathlons, road cycle racing, motor bike touring – other than synchronised swimming, if it is active and outdoors, I will do it. Coming full circle, I am preparing to head back to sea in an aluminium yacht capable of sailing into icy waters in high latitudes. So learning to sail well is now occupying much of my time. Pete Koveos I moved to Hong Kong a year ago, and currently work at TVB News as a producer. I previously lived in Beijing and Vancouver, and have covered three Olympics in my journalism career. Like most journalists, I am curious by nature, yet pedantic with facts. I am in a constant battle to eat better, yet be social, and try new food hotspots. I once finished second at a high school spelling bee, but now I can’t function without spell check. When I am not working, I try to go to the gym and check out my new city. I will accept any good restaurant recommendations. Suhas Bhat I am an Indian journalist covering corporate finance for a readership of corporate treasurers and CFOs with Haymarket Media. Previously, I wrote for a sports broadcaster (FOX Sports Asia) in Singapore. I am an alumnus of the journalism school at the University of Hong Kong (JMSC) and the National University of Singapore. I grew up in Southeast Asia and I’m looking to further my career here and find new perspectives. I am interested in South Asian affairs and I care a lot about minorities. I believe a lack of diversity over the years within most organisations in Hong Kong has contributed to a parochial understanding of South Asians. I also perform as a storyteller, write science fiction short stories and I love to watch TV shows that show the commonality of human experiences in different cultures.

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Louise Lai-Sheung Wong Having been a journalist for over 20 years, I am the publisher of Next Magazine. I spent my childhood in the rural area of Hong Kong and loved cycling to explore villages. There was no boundary in my little world. I picked lychees in summer and dug yams in winter. I had various kinds of animals as pets such as pigeons, dogs, rabbits, and silkworms. At that time, I met many foreigners who came to visit the border area in Lok Ma Chau to see what Communist China was like. When I was a teenager, I day-dreamed of travelling after reading the book Around the World in Eighty Days. Joining the FCC allows me to meet different people from around the world now. Neil Carabine I am a partner at King & Wood Mallesons and have practised law in Melbourne, Sydney and London. My wife Bernie and I arrived in Hong Kong four years ago (spending most of it on the FCC waiting list)! We are very pleased to be joining the FCC. This is a critical time for Hong Kong. The FCC is a shining light in protecting freedom of speech and of journalism, in ensuring that the Basic Law and Bill of Rights are more than words on a page. The recent police raid on ABC headquarters in Sydney shows that eternal vigilance is needed, even in liberal Western democracies. As a public policy nerd I will be very pleased to be in the midst of robust FCC debates on issues as varied as Brexit and One Country Two Systems. Gayatri Bhaumik I took my first flight at 10 days old, which perhaps explains why I’m now a travel and lifestyle writer. This is my third stint in Hong Kong and I’ve just been appointed group editor at Artemis Communications, where I oversee several publications. Before this, I worked in digital marketing in Melbourne, pursued an MSc in Economic History at the London School of Economics, and spent 12 years in Bangkok. Off-duty, I can be found reading spy novels, listening to country music and trying Hong Kong’s newest restaurants.

THE CORRESPONDENT


Mary Ho I started my “slash” career two years ago. I am an academic, research consultant, and impact analyst. Juggling my time around these jobs is the biggest challenge but gives me the biggest joy when projects are completed and students don’t complain. What do I teach? Business ethics and social responsibility, probably the toughest course to teach at any business school. Other than my several jobs, I picked up a new hobby – Muay Thai (Thai boxing). I have trained for one year now but am definitely still an amateur. Deepa Jivan Born in London and having spent most of my adult life in London, it was a big change to move to Hong Kong seven years ago. I am, however, very happy to call Hong Kong my home now. Like most things in Hong Kong, my husband imported me in! I have re-established my business here, where we design, develop and deliver hobby/craft/stationery products to retailers all over the world. My team and I have the best jobs in the world creating fabulous products. I am also a partner in an F&B distribution business. I am part of the Women’s Foundation Mentoring 18-19 Cohort, I enjoy hula hooping, have started playing the piano again and have a love for earrings and collect Swatch watches. Stanley Ng Toronto Raptors v Golden State Warriors 4 ORACLE 105-92 is not a court case I worked on as a civil law advocate called to the Hong Kong Bar. Rather, it stands for the scores for Game 4, which I am so proud of. My strong bonding with the Jurassic town started in my teens, which eventually got me my first degree in Philosophy, and tied me (not “down”☻) to my wife Carey. If at the FCC you run into a “kidult” of my height, or even taller as he insists is the case, stomping his iPhone with his fingers, and mostly on the Fortnite screen, that is our son Sean. Though it has been a bit of a wait to be part of the FCC community, we are finally here and look forward to meeting you all. By the time this is published, the Raptors would have already made history… fingers crossed. Laurence Tan I was born and raised in Singapore and have been living in Hong Kong for almost seven years, working as a photo editor while documenting daily life through my own lens in Hong Kong and during my travels on a backpack or biking on a twowheeler. My first visit to Hong Kong was around 16 years ago, travelling from Hong Kong to Singapore overland. I have found it fascinating touring through border

THE CORRESPONDENT

towns since then, spending the past few years exploring Central Asia. Carol P. Lai, PhD I started to join the profession in the mid 1980s, covering the 1989 Beijing student movement and June 4 massacre in Beijing. I also witnessed and covered the handover of Hong Kong sovereignty in 1997, while elected as the chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalists Association. In 2007, my book entitled Media in Hong Kong, Political Change and Press Freedom 19672005 was published by Routledge. Apart from hosting a weekly talk show, Good Morning HK on Radio Free Asia, teaching at the journalism centre, HKU, and writing profiles for Apple Daily, I enjoy interpreting for Buddhist masters. My interests include Tibetan Buddhism and yoga. I am currently writing on media and civil society, the case of Hong Kong and China. Austin Ramzy I’m a reporter with The New York Times. I grew up in the midwestern United States, and first visited China as a student in 1996. I moved to Hong Kong in 2003, when I worked for TIME Asia, then spent eight years in Beijing and Taipei before returning in 2014. Cycling is my favourite pastime, but in recent years I’ve taken up running as an escape from Hong Kong traffic. I ran my first marathon this year. Lester, a Hong Kong village dog I adopted as a puppy four years ago, is my main training partner. Siddarth Shrikanth I’m a reporter at The Financial Times, but I didn’t start out in journalism; I read biology at Oxford before making my first pivot to McKinsey & Company in London. I later went to Indonesia to set up McKinsey’s new environmental non-profit to tackle Southeast Asia’s shocking plastic pollution crisis. I moved to Hong Kong at the start of this year to try my hand at journalism, which I had been meaning to do for a long time and now realise I love. The FT has been a fantastic place to learn the ropes and work closely with colleagues far more experienced than me. I love travelling and that interest dovetails nicely with my other hobby, scuba diving, which I’ve been doing for several years now in far-flung (and warm) places across the world. n

Invitation to all members If you have an idea for a story for The Correspondent, we would like to hear from you. Just send an email to the editor, sue.brattle@hotmail.co.uk

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CLUB NEWS

Counting the cost

F

ilmmaker Evans Chan presented We Have Boots at a Club screening on April 3. The sequel to Chan’s Raise the Umbrellas, the film records young activists including Agnes Chow, Ray Wong, and Alex Chow, along with legislator Shiu Ka-chun and Occupy initiators Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man, reflecting on their personal paths – from pursuing graduate studies or seeking political asylum overseas, to confronting the prospect of imprisonment. The screening was held three weeks before Shiu, Tai and Chan Kin-man were jailed for their role in the 2014 Occupy protests.

Board member Richard Macauley (left) with Tim Franco at the launch of photographer Franco’s Wall exhibition, Metamorpolis, in the Main Bar on April 4. The exhibition, which ran until April 30, showed the extraordinary expansion of the city of Chongqing, and the changes it brought to the mainly rural population there.

Evans Chan with the Club’s Keith Richburg and Genavieve Alexander

The FCC Quiz Night on April 10 was won by this line-up who paid homage to the twists and turns and almost-impossible feats that get teams through the evening by calling themselves Dolphin Manoeuvre. Congratulations!

Start-ups with stories to tell emale Entrepreneurs Worldwide (FEW) hosted a lunch, with AI company Everise, at the Club on May 9 for a roundtable discussion, The Future of Work and Digital Transformation. On the same evening, the group took over the Main Dining Room to hear stories from eight start-ups. Janet Teo, co-founder of HYPERLAB, gave her three top tips for success: Live your life with curiosity, be creative, and keep your sense of humour. In a panel called Ask Tech Editors Anything, moderated by the Club’s Genavieve Alexander, Luisa Tam from SCMP said: “Don’t make a pitch sound like one, and give us stories about other people as well as yourself.” Sijia Jiang, a Correspondent with Reuters, said: “Know where you are in relationship to the giants in your industry – are you an investee, a disruptor? What is your story?” And Lulu Chen of Bloomberg said: “You need your talking points ready if you’re going to a party. Use every opportunity to sell yourself.”

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PHOTOS: FCC

F

Genavieve Alexander (right) with the tech panel

THE CORRESPONDENT


Bittersweet anniversary shared with friends

M

ay 15 marked the 10th anniversary of the passing of Hugh van Es, a stalwart and former President of the FCC, who joined in 1967. Hugh was a war photographer who took iconic photos of the 1966 Hong Kong riots, the Vietnam war, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Communist rebellion in the Philippines and many other conflicts. His widow, Annie van Es, equally a stalwart of the Club, joined friends – most of whom are FCC Life members and former Board members or Presidents – in Sydney, Australia, a few days before the anniversary to share their many memories.

And the winners are..

V

oting for the Board of Governors was up 50 per cent on last year, and the counting team got to work on May 22 when the ballot ended at 3pm. Their work was done in time for the AGM the next day when outgoing President Florence de Changy was joined on stage by her Board, and new President Jodi Schneider who took over that evening.

(From left, seated) Annie’s nephew Cornelius Chu, Annie holding one of her late husband’s iconic photographs, Paul Bayfield, Saul Lockhart, Alison Lockhart, Annie’s sisters Mary Chu and Mabel Cheng, Ruth Niemcyzk; and (standing from left) Paul Niemcyzk, Annie’s brother Daniel Cheng, and her niece Cornelia Chu

Welcome to new members

A

n Induction Ceremony for new members to get to know the Club was held on May 17. A warm welcome to all.

PHOTOS: FCC & ANNIE VAN ES

(From left) Pete Koveos, Robert Serjeant, Siddarth Shrikanth

(From left) Emily Yamamoto, Richard Jones (spouse member), Kurien Abraham, Caroline Jones, Akanksha Sharma (spouse member)

THE CORRESPONDENT

AGM: May 23, with the old Board on stage, plus Jodi Schneider who took over as president after the meeting

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CLUB NEWS

Dawn patrol for football final

D

ozens of Club members and their guests gathered in the Main Bar in the early hours of June 2 for TV coverage of the all-England Champions League final, with kick-off at 3am Hong Kong time. They were among well over 100 million people around the world who watched as Liverpool faced Tottenham Hotspur at Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium. Reds fans outnumbered Spurs supporters in the bar. Cheers filled the room when Liverpool’s Mo Salah scored an early penalty, and Divock Origi followed up with a second goal to seal the side’s sixth title win in Europe’s premier club competition. A special menu featuring fan-friendly fare such as pies and sausages was laid on, and last orders were taken after the final whistle at 5am. Many stayed to watch the trophy presentation on the big screen before finally leaving the Club as the skies were beginning to lighten.

Arthur Tsang, one of four photographers who captured Tank Man in Tiananmen Square, Keith Richburg and Robin Moyer

Tiananmen on the Wall

Club member Doug Wong and friends from Malaysia and Liverpool celebrate victory

A tough stand against the students was foretold in both languages

Tiananmen remembered

Around 60 footie fans supported the middle-of-the-night game

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he Main Bar was packed on the evening of June 6 as the Wall exhibition Images of Tiananmen and Beyond: Twelve Photojournalists Tell The Story was launched by veteran photographer and Club member Robin Moyer, who curated the display and witnessed events in Beijing on June 4, 1989. FCC President Jodi Schneider described the exhibition as “unique” and Board member Keith Richburg said: “It is as important as ever to keep the memory of Tiananmen alive. The images don’t lie; they are very important.” Member Adrian Brown, now Senior China Correspondent for Al Jazeera English, reported in a short video from Beijing, remembering scenes he said he will never forget. And Moyer reminded guests: “There is lots and lots of information on the internet, there is a lot to learn about Tiananmen.”

THE CORRESPONDENT

PHOTOS: COLIN SIMPSON & DOUG WONG

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Happy Father’s Day

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he Father’s Day Buffet took over the Main Dining Room and Verandah at lunchtime on Sunday, June 16 – and every dad went away with that most traditional of gifts, a pair of socks! Pictured are Club member Peter Jastreboff and Shayaan Aga with their children.

Italian treat PHOTOS: FCC

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Guneet Monga spoke at a screening of her Oscar-winning and taboo-breaking short documentary, Period: End of Sentence, on June 10 in Bert’s. Executive producer Monga is a BAFTA nominee and founder of Sikhya Entertainment.

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he Consul General of Italy in Hong Kong, Clemente Contestabile, was a guest of honour at the Italian Gala Dinner in the Main Dining Room on June 19. Guest chef Fabio Mariella (above), co-founder of Touch Eat Dining Service in Hong Kong, prepared a fabulous meal, which will come as no surprise to anyone who tried his dishes during the Club’s accompanying promotion.

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FCC BOARD OF GOVERNORS 2019-20 The new Board of Governors took office at the end of the AGM on the evening of May 23. Only four of last year’s 17-strong Board remain; voting for contested seats was up 50 per cent on last year’s count. A warm welcome to the new faces, and thanks to the outgoing members for their hard work.

President

Correspondent Member Governors

Jodi Schneider Senior International Editor at Bloomberg News Jodi has been involved in the FCC since coming to Hong Kong two and a half years ago, first on the Professional and Press Freedom committees and since late 2018 as a member of the Board and a co-convener of the Finance Committee. Her top priority is to maintain the Club’s strong, steadfast voice for press freedom in Hong Kong, Asia and the world. She wants to diversify the speakers invited to the Club so that all members can find topics of interest, and broaden its offerings of journalism training and discussions. She describes the Main Bar as one of the great bars in the world and is committed to ensuring that all members and guests feel safe and comfortable in all areas of the Club. (See full interview on Page 17) First Vice-President

Eric Wishart Global News Management Team, AFP A former FCC president, Eric wants to focus on the journalistic side of the club – speakers, side events and the journalism conference. He would like to develop breakfast and dinner events, while continuing the popular and profitable speaker lunches. He believes the Club must remain a defender of press freedom and freedom of speech and choose its speakers without fear or favour. The journalism conference will be in its fifth year in 2020, and he proposes that next year’s event be built around the upcoming local and international elections. He is hoping that a charity fund-raising event can be held next year, following this year’s success, and is a strong supporter of the Club’s anti-harassment policy. Second Vice-President

Tim Huxley Chairman, Mandarin Shipping Ltd A previous treasurer and Club member for more than 20 years, this is Tim’s second time around as second vice-president. He points up the careful stewardship required for the Club to manage its finances to meet its existing maintenance obligations and also plan for the future. Building on general manager Didier Saugy’s success in improving the Club’s fiscal position, Tim sees maintaining the qualities that make the FCC special as a priority. He has pledged to remain an accessible point of contact for associate members to promote their interests. He feels that a huge amount of energy has already been spent on the Club’s anti-harassment policy which should now be expended elsewhere.

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Emma Clark AFP Emma moved to Hong Kong last year as an editor on the Asia-Pacific Newsdesk at AFP. Within a few months of joining the FCC, she had joined the Press Freedom Committee and helped with the preparations for the Human Rights Press Awards in May. She believes the Club plays a vital role in defending the media, especially at a time when journalists are facing more threats than ever. She supports the Club’s drive to diversify membership and to promote an inclusive environment. She has already enjoyed talks, workshops and screenings at the Club and has plenty of new ideas, particularly to appeal to younger members, on topics such as technology and the environment. Jennifer Hughes Reuters Jennifer was voted onto the FCC board earlier this year to fill an empty seat and is hoping to carry what she has learned in that time into the upcoming year. She wants to focus her efforts on the Club, its operations and improving its financial well-being – all of which she believes are essential for it to continue to be a forum respected for hosting a wide range of discussions as well as a vocal supporter of press freedom. Jennifer has been in Hong Kong since 2012, and 18 months ago, joined Reuters as Asia Finance Editor after an 18-year career at the Financial Times. She treasures the sense of collegiality at the FCC as well its growing support for early-career journalists. Richard Macauley Bloomberg News Richard wants to embark on an audio project to record interviews with the Club’s longeststanding members to support the Board producing a new history of the FCC. It would eventually become a podcast to celebrate the work of great reporters and the role of the FCC in Hong Kong and Asia. He champions attracting more speakers from Hong Kong and Asia’s independent and nonEnglish language media, and young start-ups. In F&B, he continues to support greater efficiencies and green initiatives as he has as a convenor on the F&B Committee for the past year. He feels it ought to go without saying that everyone should feel welcome and comfortable at the Club. Shibani Mahtani The Washington Post Shibani arrived in Hong Kong last year as South-East Asia correspondent for the Post in a one-person bureau so values the contacts and inspiration she has found at the Club.

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She intends to prioritise finding speakers from South-East Asia who offer different perspectives on the region, and those who have skills in data-based journalism and open-sourced investigations. She is keen to help with the Journalism Conference, and wants to attract younger members to the FCC while continuing efforts to make the club a safe, harassment-free zone for everyone. She would like to work with more of Hong Kong’s independent breweries to bring more craft beers to the bar – but above all else, she is deeply passionate about the FCC playing a stronger advocacy role for press freedom across Asia. Keith Richburg The University of Hong Kong A member since 1995, and former Board member and president, Keith is director of the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at HKU after 34 years with The Washington Post. He wants to bring in new young members by increasing its interactions with journalism students, such as reserving a number of seats for students at events and hosting events specifically for journalism students, so they can meet working journalists – and editors in hiring roles can spot prospective talent. He wants the Club to consider offering any student graduating with a Masters of Journalism from a Hong Kong university a limited time guest card to the FCC and a limited number of vouchers. He advocates every member treating anyone who comes into the Club how they would want to be treated themselves. Kristine Servando Bloomberg News Kristine looks forward to helping with recruitment drives and to facilitate mentorship programs for students and journalists who are just starting out. She wants to champion environment-friendly initiatives and invite engaging experts to show how we can leave less of a damaging imprint. She supports the Club’s core mission to uphold press freedom and would like to use its links to partner clubs across the region by hosting joint talks and awareness campaigns. She suggests space on the FCC’s website could be used for a database of advice, links and other useful information on topics such as how to defend against cyber-harassment, based on information from the numerous guest speakers and supporters who have shared their expertise at FCC events. Feliz Solomon TIME Feliz believes the FCC is an invaluable resource for young journalists such as herself, providing exposure to some of Asia’s most experienced professionals and crucial advocacy on issues that will impact their freedom to work in the years to come. Her first priority now is to convince her peers that the FCC has something of value for everyone. Her policy objectives are twofold: helping to encourage new, diverse membership, and increasing participation on the committees that keep the club both functional and relevant. In her first year of membership she served on the Press Freedom Committee; over the next she hopes to escalate her involvement and motivate other members to lend their time and expertise to keep Club activities energised.

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Dan Strumpf The Wall Street Journal One of the first things Dan did when he moved to Hong Kong three years ago was join the FCC. He feels events of the last year have highlighted the importance of an institution like the FCC to Hong Kong and to the region. As a Board governor he will work to uphold the FCC’s core values of a robust and free press, freedom of speech and conscience and open and lively debate. Another priority will be to continue the FCC’s work of fostering a warm, inclusive and diverse Club, where all members feel welcome. Proactive ways to do this include continuing to invite a wide-ranging roster of speakers, as well as encouraging a membership scheme that makes the FCC accessible to Hong Kong’s up-andcoming journalists. Journalist Member Governors

Clifford Buddle South China Morning Post This is Cliff’s fifth year on the board, and he believes freedom of the press and freedom of expression are part of the Club’s DNA. The expulsion from Hong Kong of Victor Mallet, a respected journalist and, at the time, an FCC Board member, is a matter of great concern to him. He strongly feels the Club must continue to be a great place to eat, drink, and to relax with friends; it must remain a home from home for members. All members and their guests should feel welcome and at ease at the Club, whether on their own or in company. He therefore strongly supports the Board’s introduction of an anti-harassment policy, which is in line with broader developments in Hong Kong and he expects other clubs will follow it. Adam White Cedar Communications Entering his third year on the Board, and a convenor of the Wall and Communications committees for the past two years, Adam thought the trickiest transition to manage would be the arrival of the new GM, Didier. But the trouble the Club had was of a far more worrying nature – the consequences surrounding the Andy Chan talk, which ultimately led to the expulsion from Hong Kong of one of the Club’s members. Adam stands by the decision to hold the talk, while realising the FCC needs to find ways to render the future of the Club as secure as possible. The Club has an (expensive) building to care for and people to look after – members and staff alike. That’s what he wants to work on in the coming year. Associate Member Governors

Genavieve Alexander Genavieve Co. Ltd Genavieve joined the Board last year as co-convener of the Communications and the F&B committees. Contributing new energy, ideas and revenue results for the club, she admires the voluntary hard work that goes into the committees and the Board. As a

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ANNOUNCEMENT

businesswoman, she is passionate to balance the topics and events at the Club and further grow female membership, together with encouraging and supporting young aspiring journalists in the region. She admires the Clare Hollingworth Fellowship that launched at the Journalism Conference and would like to get more involved, and is excited for the new mixer events that are coming up. With 20 years’ experience in comms and PR, eight spent in Hong Kong, Genavieve is proud to call the FCC her “home from home”. Kin-ming Liu KM & Associates Kin-ming believes the Club has become too much a news maker in the past year, while fully understanding the importance and value of press freedom. Before leaving journalism and becoming an independent public affairs consultant, he spent more than two decades working in many newsrooms, served as the chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association and continues to serve as a judge of the SOPA Awards. On the Board for a few years immediately after the handover, he remained an attentive member. He wants to attract more local people, journalists or not, to join the FCC; fight press freedom battles in smarter ways; and broaden the breadth and depth of the events the Club hosts. He believes it would be helpful to have more members of the Board who can speak the local language. Simon Pritchard Gavekal Research This will be Simon’s fifth term on the Board, of which he spent three years as Club Secretary. He wants to follow through with the Club’s Master Plan, overhaul the Club’s membership categories, and simplify the disciplinary process. On the broader issues raised by the Andy Chan affair, he thinks the Club needs to focus on its role of being a neutral press club, and not setting itself up as some kind of “resistance” outpost that is allied to particular political groups in Hong Kong. The other controversy that needs addressing, Simon believes, is fallout from the adoption of a new anti-harassment code. He would object to watering it down and says the code represents a middle-of-the-road set of principles that should govern decent behaviour in any modern workplace or association. Christopher Slaughter Consultant Christopher joined the Club in 1991, has been President twice, and served on every committee in more than 15 terms on the Board. Although he fully supports the anti-harassment policy, he is puzzled that it became such a contentious issue in a year when the Club has been subjected to so much external pressure. While loving the FCC premises, and recognising the Club has “probably the best bar in the world”, he believes the FCC represents much more than that. He says the Board needs to support the Club in maintaining its historic legacy as a bastion of free press and free speech, while ensuring its future as a welcoming, non-threatening, and inclusive association. n

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FCC Committees 2019-20 CLUB SECRETARY Jennifer HUGHES PROFESSIONAL Committee Convenors Eric WISHART Keith RICHBURG Kristine SERVANDO Sub Committee - Journalism Conference Convenor Eric WISHART PRESS FREEDOM Committee Convenors Eric WISHART Feliz SOLOMON Emma CLARK Dan STRUMPF CONSTITUTIONAL Committee Convenors Clifford BUDDLE Kin-ming LIU MEMBERSHIP Committee Convenors Simon PRITCHARD Kristine SERVANDO COMMUNICATIONS Committee Convenors Genavieve ALEXANDER Feliz SOLOMON FINANCE Committee Convenors Tim HUXLEY (Treasurer) Jennifer HUGHES Kin-ming LIU HOUSE/FOOD and BEVERAGE Committee Convenors Adam WHITE Genavieve ALEXANDER Richard MACAULEY BUILDING - Project and Maintenance Committee Convenors Christopher SLAUGHTER Keith RICHBURG Simon PRITCHARD WALL Committee Convenors Shibani MAHTANI Christopher SLAUGHTER Adam WHITE FCC Interest Societies 2019-2020 Golf Society Chairman – Russell M. JULSETH Poolplayers Society Chairman – Tony CHAN Cricket Society Chairman – Neil WESTERN

THE CORRESPONDENT


Q&A

‘THRILLED’ TO BE PRESIDENT Jodi Schneider is the 2019-20 President of the FCC after taking over the post uncontested in the May elections. She has worked at Bloomberg News since 2010 and is currently Senior International Editor. Sue Brattle caught up with her in the Main Bar How did the role of President remain uncontested? Well, it became clear that Florence (de Changy, last year’s President) was not running again, and that Jenn (Jennifer Jett, last year’s First Vice-President) was leaving Hong Kong. I went to Bloomberg and spoke to some editors in Hong Kong and New York. Every one of them said I should do it. I am thrilled, it really is a privilege. Eric Wishart is your uncontested First VicePresident. How was that choice made? I got involved in the 2017 Journalism Conference soon after I moved to Hong Kong. During that time, Eric and I became friends. We talk a lot; we WhatsApp and email, and because we are friends we can say things, be honest with each other, and we don’t have to defend our positions when we have different ideas about things. What do you think about the changes on the Board of Governors, with only four remaining from last year? We have a great Board; it has some stability from last year, but with plenty of new faces as well. How can the members support the Club better? I would like it if every member based in Hong Kong was active. I’d like many more people on the committees; because people here travel so much they often aren’t here for the meetings. I’m introducing a call-in option for committees, so if people are travelling but they’re in the region they can take part. I hope people come here and have a good time, like I always have.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

You were based in Washington, D.C., for many years. Why did you leave? My children (sons Charlie, 24, and Ben, 27) were grown up and I had always wanted to work overseas. In 2015 I told various people at Bloomberg (Jodi was team leader in the Washington, D.C., bureau leading coverage of the U.S. Congress and tax policy) that I wanted to go overseas. Five weeks later I was on my way to Japan to fill in for an economics editor at the Tokyo office taking a year’s paternity leave. I had a wonderful year in Japan but I knew that learning the language would be a hurdle to staying there. And Hong Kong was the next move? I visited Bloomberg’s Hong Kong office for a few days in the spring of 2016 and was excited by the energy and talent here. I left Japan in September 2016 and went back to the U.S. for a few months. I sold my house in Maryland, worked on election coverage and then moved to Hong Kong on the asdf Saturday after the presidential election.

THE CORRESPONDENT

And how did you get involved with the FCC? I joined the Club as soon as I arrived in Hong Kong. I was active in the National Press Club in Washington, and was President of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, so I’m not new to press clubs! What do you like doing away from work? I am a big reader; I always have a book in my purse. I read literary fiction as I have to read non-fiction all day as part of my job. I love to cycle but you can’t really do it outdoors in most of Hong Kong, so I cycle indoors at a studio. I live in Causeway Bay, and every Saturday I do a session with a personal trainer on the track at Happy Valley racecourse. I’ve been all over Asia from here; I enjoy long weekends away. I go back to the U.S., of course. My sons are there, and my mother. What changes would you like to see at the Club? When people visit Hong Kong, I want the FCC to be their first choice as a place to speak. More authors, film makers, more panels about the stories of the day. International figures, politicians, policy makers, world leaders… I’d like Carrie Lam to come back, of course. And I’d like workshops for members. It would be nice to see baseball on the screens sometimes, too. If the Washington Nationals are playing, that would be even better. n

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FAKE NEWS

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN GOVERNMENT MINISTERS GET TO DECIDE WHAT IS TRUE AND WHAT IS FALSE? The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act was passed in Singapore in May. Once signed into law, it will give government ministers sweeping powers to decide which statements are true and which false. Kirsten Han, an outspoken opponent of the act, explains her concerns

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action to deal with the scourge of misinformation. The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act, more commonly referred to as POFMA, is the PAP government’s newest weapon to, ostensibly, fight “fake news”. It’s the fruit of two years’ worth of chatter about introducing new legislation to combat “deliberate online falsehoods” — a move that K Shanmugam, Minister for both Law and Home Affairs, had said was a “no brainer” back in 2017. The idea that something needs to be done about disinformation going rapidly viral on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube isn’t particularly controversial in itself. The problem comes in when trying to figure out the details: who gets to decide what is “fake”, and what should be done about it? Under POFMA, any Singaporean government minister is given the

Kirsten Han is a freelance journalist in Singapore focused on social justice, human rights, politics and democracy. She is also editor-in-chief of New Naratif, a member-funded Southeast Asian platform. Last year she was a guest speaker at the FCC and she won this year’s Commentary Writing (English) Human Rights Press Award.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

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n November 2016, a photo began to circulate on social media. Taken in a public housing estate in the north of Singapore’s island, it drew attention to one of the public housing blocks, claiming that the roof had collapsed. But the roof hadn’t collapsed; it was merely an optical illusion caused by the building’s terraced design. When All Singapore Stuff, the Facebook page that had distributed the image, realised this, they swiftly removed the post, although not before it prompted a small flurry of worry and concern. Some people, it was reported, called the police. As “fake news” goes, this was pretty small potatoes compared to the disinformation crisis spreading across other countries, such as Myanmar, India and Sri Lanka. But that didn’t stop the People’s Action Party (PAP) government in Singapore from pouncing on it as an example of why the city-state needs to take

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PHOTO: AFP

power to issue correction notices, order takedowns, or direct internet service providers and intermediaries to block access to content. This exercise of executive power sidesteps the judiciary until the end — anyone inclined to challenge the minister’s order can only appeal to the High Court after the minister has rejected an application to review his or her own order. The law will apply to anyone in or out of the country, as long as the content is accessible by at least one end-user in Singapore. A clause at the end of the law also allows government ministers to exempt anyone they want from any provision of the act. Essentially, POFMA has, in the first and second instance at least, made Singaporean ministers the arbiters of truth. It’s problematic to give a government such sweeping powers over online speech, especially when it’s effectively a one-party state like Singapore. Predictably, civil society groups, journalists, academics and tech companies were concerned and unhappy about this state overreach. The academics were among the first to marshal a strong, coordinated response: “Under these circumstances, POFMA is likely to make many academics hesitant to conduct or supervise research that might unknowingly fall foul of POFMA, or refer colleagues or students to faculty positions in Singapore’s respected universities,” they wrote in a letter to the Education Minister. “This act discourages scholars from marshaling their expertise in precisely the areas where it is most needed — namely, pressing questions and challenges for which there are no

Singapore’s Minister of Law K Shanmugam (2nd L) and Charles Chong, deputy speaker of the parliament and chairman of the Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods, attend a press conference in Singapore on September 20, 2018

clear answers or easy solutions.” Journalists, including myself, followed with a statement: “By failing to distinguish between a malicious falsehood and a genuine mistake, the proposed legislation places an unnecessarily onerous burden on even journalists acting in good faith. Such a law will hinder rather than encourage the free flow of accurate information. News organisations might feel compelled to withhold important stories simply because certain facts cannot be fully ascertained. This is especially likely in Singapore where it is often not possible to get a response in time from the government.” This resistance came in a context where it wasn’t even clear if Singapore was facing a disinformation crisis serious enough to warrant such a sweeping bill. Both the Green Paper and Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods had brought up examples of racist, hateful, violent

speech found in other contexts, such as Myanmar, Indonesia and Germany, but were short on local examples. Despite the resistance, the PAP government stood firm, as expected. “The Government is confident that most Singaporeans understand the bill’s main thrust. The concerted attempts by a small group of persons to mislead have not got any traction among most Singaporeans. The small group of persons I have referred to, speak in a shrinking echo chamber, with increasing shrillness,” wrote Senior Minister of State for Law and Health, Edwin Tong, in The Straits Times. Parliament, dominated by the party, passed the law without amendments on 8 May 2019. But the Act has still yet to be signed into law — during the two-day debate, Shanmugam had promised that more details will be laid out in subsidiary legislation, which Singaporeans have not yet seen. It’s unclear when this “fake news” law will actually come into force. Yet the law doesn’t actually need to come into force to become a worry — the passage of this bill in itself, in a country with a positive international reputation, legitimises such state regulation of online spheres of discourse. There’s also the issue of copycat legislation: would other authoritarian states look to Singapore’s POFMA and get ideas? And if the tech companies comply with Singapore’s demands under this law, would it legitimise similar demands from other jurisdictions, such as Turkey or China? As Singaporeans wait and wonder who the first recipient of a POFMA directive will be, there are, unfortunately, no answers to these troubling questions. n JULY 2019

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SPEAKING FOR THE VOICELESS, REMEMBERING THE FORGOTTEN The Human Rights Press Awards are run by the FCC, Amnesty International Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Journalists Association. Now in its 23rd year, HRPA presents 52 awards recognising outstanding journalism in the area of human rights across Asia. This year saw a record 468 entries, 13 per cent up on last year. A total of 182 entries were submitted in Chinese-language, and 286 in English. The awards ceremony was held at the Club on the evening of May 16. Reporting by Sue Brattle & Vicky Kung

Photography (Single Image) Winner: Underground Church in China by Lam Yik Fei of The New York Times

Where a Taboo is Leading to the Deaths of Young Girls in Parts of Western Nepal by Tara Todras-Whitehill of The New York Times

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THE CORRESPONDENT


Photography (Series) Winner: The Looted Honor by Mohammad Rakibul Hasan of Ilta-Sanomat

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he Correspondent spoke to some of the winners about their work, and what winning a Human Rights Press Award means to them:

CREDIT: ALLISON SHELLEY/NPR

Breaking News Writing (English)

Emily Feng of the Financial Times won a Merit for Forced Labour in Xinjiang. Feng now works at NPR: “I’m honoured and humbled to have received this kind of recognition for my work on Xinjiang, especially since reporting on this topic has been a hard, uphill slog in difficult conditions. This investigation in particular came about as I began questioning the claims made by Chinese state bodies regarding ongoing detentions of Uighur Muslims. Since then, many other talented journalists have followed suit, producing an astonishing body of investigative journalism that collectively has contributed greatly to our understanding of the contours of this Emily Feng state campaign.”

Investigative Feature Writing (English)

Clare Hammond, Victoria Milko and Kyaw Lin Htoon of Frontier Myanmar won a Merit for Conflict, Conscription and a Cover-up: The Killing of Six TNLA Medics. Kyaw Lin said: “After seven years working as a journalist, this is a firstever award. Therefore, so much appreciation to all of

THE CORRESPONDENT

you. For this story, we were the only journalists who reached the scene of the incident. As we all know, it’s very important for journalists to be able to have access to the specific places where the stories are born. For a country like ours, most of the journalists and media outlets still have many more barriers than other countries. The very first barrier is the financial status of the media outlets. Another barrier is aggressive authorities, like the Burmese military, and outdated laws, such as the Unlawful Associations Act. There are a lot of human rights violations to be uncovered and discussed in-depth in Myanmar. Journalists in Myanmar, whether citizen or foreigner, are all struggling. I wish to say to everyone please kindly keep on supporting journalism in Myanmar so that it can continue to survive.”

Student Writing (English)

Supriya Chhetri, Gianna Aquino, Janina Rika and Karrie Lam of MSS Messenger, Marymount Secondary School, won a Merit for Periods: Addressing a Taboo and a Need of the Underprivileged. Teacher Kitty Leung said: “Students chose the topic of their article as part of their response to the theme of Female Empowerment which was the focus of the first issue of the school magazine last year. There are not a lot of awards around that acknowledge students’ work on reporting at secondary level so it is encouraging to receive the award and an honour to be listed with top professionals in the field. I hope students will be inspired to continue writing about issues that touch on human rights.”

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Investigative Feature Writing (Chinese)

The Investigative Section of Apple Daily Hong Kong won a Merit for Series: Scandal of the Shatin to Central Link In May 2018 reporter Anthony Leung began an investigation into construction scandals involving holes in concrete slabs at the Shatin-Central MTR link after receiving tip-offs from members of the public. He said: “When we first approached the MTR with evidence-supported questions regarding these problems, it took a very hard line, denied there were holes, and accused us back. Later reportage also revealed that the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre station has missing supporting structure and the Hung Hom station had its design altered without proper approval. Such safety problems point to a bigger issue – loopholes in the monitoring and governance structure within giant companies in Hong Kong like MTR. The way things are managed and checked is falling apart. We managed to finish this reportage because many citizens from different sectors gave us evidence. We want to encourage them to continue doing so, especially when they see something unfair.”

Student Writing (Chinese)

Liu Dicksa Isabelle, Lam Sum Yi, Shen Qing and Cheung Tung of U-Beat Magazine, CUHK won for Half a Century of Heavy Metal Pollution Gives Villagers Deformed Limbs Four students from Chinese University’s journalism school went to Changtun, Guangxi, to report on farmers’ health problems. Heavy metal poisoning from a mine has left people with blistered joints and severe disability, and their

crops die. Shen Qing, who did a follow-up story, said: “The mining started in the 1950s and farmers started to notice deformities about 30 years ago. We found this case through an NGO which works with victims on the mainland. People who suffer things like this often don’t have many channels to communicate their needs, especially when they don’t receive enough help from the government. Some get harassed because the authorities don’t want them to complain. But we in Hong Kong have freedom of speech and I think we have a responsibility to speak up for the voiceless there.”

Explanatory Feature Writing (Chinese)

Carson Qin Kuan of Initium Media won for Lawyers Dealing with Poisonous Milk Powder and Problematic Vaccines, What Are They Up To? Carson said: “It has been 10 years since the press covered poisonous milk powder and problematic vaccines on mainland China. Stories like this keep happening. The press covers it, people notice it for a while, then the victims get forgotten. Bringing up old incidents that are not solved forces people to think about the systematic problems that lie behind these cycles. It’s best to talk with human rights lawyers if you want to capture the root of problems. I am happy and surprised that my article was given an award because vaccine is an old topic. I am grateful that the award acknowledges the need for the industry to focus not just on the hot topics but also remember marginalised people who are forgotten.” n

People’s Choice Photo Award Winner: The Three Defendants by Tsang Hin Chung of Ming Pao

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THE CORRESPONDENT


Keynote speaker Maria Ressa of Rappler

CREDIT: HRPA & SAAH GRAHAM/FCC

‘We need to hold the line and show the best of human nature’ Maria Ressa, co-founder and CEO of the Philippinesbased news website, Rappler, was free on bail after her second arrest this year when she spoke at the awards ceremony. “Your reporting matters. Now more than ever. We need to hold the line and show the best of human nature. That is our hope for the future,” she told an audience that knew only too well what she meant. Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, freed from jail just a week before the ceremony, won the award for Best Investigative Feature Writing along with colleagues. They had spent 511 days behind bars for allegedly exposing “state secrets” in the course of reporting Myanmar Burning, a damning investigation into the massacre of 10 Rohingya men and boys by security forces and armed Buddhist civilians. Even though they were not at the ceremony, the spirit of their work and sacrifice was. Ressa said: “Even though it is difficult to work as a journalist now, there is no better time to be a journalist, because it matters.” Then FCC President Florence de Changy, introducing Ressa, said: “As Asia is experiencing less freedoms all round, and several governments do not uphold human rights, the reporting of human rights abuses is all the more important.”

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Simon Gardner of Reuters accepts the Investigative Feature Writing (English) Award on behalf of freed prisoners Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and their colleagues

‘A Press Freedom Fighter in the Philippines – A Conversation with Maria Ressa’, page 41

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23RD HUMAN RIGHTS PRESS AWARDS WINNERS Breaking News Writing (English)

Winner China’s Crackdown on Student Labour Activists Sue-Lin Wong and Christian Shepherd of Reuters Merit Forced Labour in Xinjiang Emily Feng of Financial Times On the Eve of Freedom, A Glimpse Inside Liu Xia’s Flat Becky Davis of AFP Investigative Feature Writing (English)

Winner Myanmar Burning Wa Lone, Kyaw Soe Oo and their colleagues of Reuters Merit A Chronicle of the Crime Fiction that is Adityanath’s Encounter Raj Neha Dixit of The Wire Conflict, Conscription and a Cover-up: The Killing of Six TNLA Medics Clare Hammond, Victoria Milko and Kyaw Lin Htoon of Frontier Myanmar Explanatory Feature Writing (English)

Winner Tracking China’s Muslim Gulag Philip Wen, Olzhas Auyezov, Thomas Peter, Christian Inton and Simon Scarr of Reuters Merit Template for Hate Rohini Mohan of Harper’s Magazine Sum of Her Parts: Why are the Majority of Living Organ Donors in India Women? Sohini Chattopadhyay of The Hindu (India) and The New York Times Commentary Writing (English)

Winner Why Singapore’s Moves to Curb ‘Fake News’ May Backfire Kirsten Han Merit Rakhine: Time for a New Approach Thomas Kean of Frontier Myanmar Short Video (English)

Winner Growing Up Too Fast in Afghanistan Andrew J Phillips and Preethi Nallu of Al Jazeera English

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Merit Unhappy Holidays John Sudworth, Kathy Long, Lily Lee and Wang Xiqing of BBC News Documentary Video (English)

Winner China’s Hidden Camps John Sudworth, Kathy Long, Lulu Luo and Wang Xiqing of BBC News Merit Student/Trafficked: The Final Chapter Elroi Yee, Shanjeev Reddy and Satpal Kaler of R.AGE Brides and Brothels: The Rohingya Trade Karishma Vyas of Al Jazeera English Multimedia (English)

Winner Series: Laos Dam Collapse Mike Ives, Ben C. Solomon, Richard C. Paddock, Julia Wallace, Choe Sang-Hun, Muktita Suhartono, Rick Gladstone, Len Leng, Maea Lenei Buhre, Ryn Jirenuwat and Tim Wallace of The New York Times Merit Too Many Men Annie Gowen, Simon Denyer and Jasu Hu of The Washington Post Sichuan Earthquake, 10 Years On: How a Tragedy Changed China Sarah Zheng, Choi Chi-yuk and Magdalene Fung of South China Morning Post Student Writing (English)

Merit Periods: Addressing a Taboo and a Need of the Underprivileged Supriya Chhetri, Gianna Aquino, Janina Rika and Karrie Lam of MSS Messenger, Marymount Secondary School Student Video & Audio (English)

Winner Lawyer Lin David Missal of Hong Kong Free Press Breaking News Writing (Chinese)

Winner Liu Xia Arrives in Germany for Treatment; Fulfilling Liu Xiaobo’s Last Wish; Freedom in the End China Section of Apple Daily Hong Kong

THE CORRESPONDENT


You can follow the Human Rights Press Awards at www.facebook.com/HumanRightsPA/

Merit 50 Arrested in Jasic’s 3 Month Labour Movement; Supporters Say State Media Faked News About Foreign Instigators Chen Yi Qin and Fong Sim Chu of Ming Pao Edward Leung and 6 Others Charged for Inciting Riots in Mong Kok’s Conflicts Tai Ching Hei of CitizenNews Investigative Feature Writing (Chinese)

Winner The Storm of Human Trafficking at Sea Lee Hsueh Li Sherry and Chiang I Ting of The Reporter Merit Series: Scandal of the Shatin to Central Link Investigation Section of Apple Daily Hong Kong “Save our Kids”: Examining Child Abuse Issues Yip Kit Ming of CitizenNews Explanatory Feature Writing (Chinese)

Winner Taiwan: Dangerous Island for Immigrant Workers Chien Yung Ta of The Reporter Merit Outcry Behind Bars Chan Ping Ting of The News Lens Lawyers Dealing with Poisonous Milk Powder and Problematic Vaccines, What Are They up To? Qin Kuan of Initium Media Commentary Writing (Chinese)

Winner Three Secretaries for Justice Sought External Advice on 10 Cases Unrelated to Staff; Grenville said Teresa Cheng Didn’t Understand the Policy of Briefing Out Ng Yuen Ying of CitizenNews Merit “We Are Not Here for Fun” – A Reporter’s Mission Tsai Ching Hua of Opinions@CommonWealth Merit When Fishing Ground Exploitation Meets International Labour Organisation: Has Taiwan Sensed the Alarm from Cape Town Sung Chen En Raymond of The Reporter Short Video (Chinese)

Winner District Councils’ Proxy Votes Yeung Leung Kit of CABLE News Merit Government Department Fails to Offer Interpreters in Accordance to Guidelines Leung Ho Ying of CABLE News Documentary Video (Chinese)

Winner The Book Merchant Cheng Sze Sze of RTHK Merit The Buried Truth Chan Wai Li Gary and Hui Siu Fun of NowTV The Melamine Scandal, Ten Years On Chui Man Kit and Jerran Lin of CABLE News

THE CORRESPONDENT

Audio (Chinese)

Winner The Confession of Rights Lawyer Wang Yu Chan Miu Ling of RTHK Merit The Vanished Liberal Think Tanks Chan Miu Ling of RTHK Series: Sichuan Earthquake, 10 Years On Chau Chi Wing of RTHK Multimedia (Chinese)

Winner MeToo in Taiwan: Stories of Three Migrant Workers Ho Po Chun, Hou Liang Ju, Lin Huan Cheng, Chen Wei Chou, Chen Ting Jen, Wu Yi Jing, Wang Shih Chuan, Hu Tsu Wei, Hsueh Ho Chi, Keng Shih Ting and Wang Wen Ting of Apple Daily Taiwan Merit Unavoidable Currents – Survey of China’s #MeToo Yang Zi Qi, Yang Yu, Jin Qiu Feng, Tseng Lee Yu and Rango Zhu of Initium Media Student Writing (Chinese)

Winner Half a Century of Heavy Metal Pollution Gives Villagers Deformed Limbs Liu Dicksa Isabelle, Lam Sum Yi, Shen Qing and Cheung Tung of U-Beat Magazine, CUHK Merit 40 Years After the Yau Ma Tei Boat People Resistance: The Chronicle of Unlawful Assembly Yu Ka Hin, Ng Wing and Yiu Wing Tung of U-Beat Magazine, CUHK Inheriting Domestic Violence – How to Escape the Grip of Fate Kan Hiu Wai, Ng Tsz Kiu and Ng Wing of U-Beat Magazine, CUHK 6 Student Video & Audio (Chinese)

Winner Autism – A Long Way to Integration Au Sin Yi, Chan Chun Yiu, Kwok Wing Yee and Ng Chun Chun of U-Beat Magazine, CUHK Photography (Single Image)

Winner Underground Church in China Lam Yik Fei of The New York Times Merit Rohingyas in No Man’s Land Ye Aung Thu of AFP Photography (Series)

Winner The Looted Honor Mohammad Rakibul Hasan of Ilta-Sanomat Merit Where a Taboo is Leading to the Deaths of Young Girls in Parts of Western Nepal Tara Todras-Whitehill of The New York Times People’s Choice Photo Award

Winner The Three Defendants Tsang Hin Chung of Ming Pao

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25


COCKTAILS

SMOKE, AIR AND CAVIAR The new cocktail menu has arrived at Bert’s. Morgan M. Davis selflessly went along for a tasting

hael ag er M ic al ge man B evera pa res his speci a n a n d re ter M org ette Ch a n p s for wri ess cock tail er G régoire B n h er pa rt

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Morgan M. Davis is a finance reporter at Euromoney’s GlobalCapital. The Illinoistransplant moved to Hong Kong two years ago by way of New York City, accompanied by her trusty sidekick Gizmo the Yorkie. Morgan has reported on multiple sectors of finance, and holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University.

THE CORRESPONDENT

PHOTOS: GRÉGOIRE BESSETTE

T

hings are changing behind the bar at Bert’s. Beginning this month, Bert’s is offering a new summer cocktail menu, exclusive to the basement bar. The six new cocktails, designed by FCC beverage manager Michael Chan and bartender Ryan Chong, will be available for a limited time. For Chan, the distinct drinks offer Bert’s an opportunity to cater to a younger demographic, and to offer more options beyond the wine and beer list that the FCC is known for. “We want to bring some new ideas to the FCC bar,” said Chan. The new list consists of three alcoholic cocktails and three mocktails, as twists on classic drinks and summer punches. The mocktails, while designed to be nonalcoholic, can have alcohol added upon request, said Chan. So here are the newcomers...


Kyoho Caviar Martini

Like all of Chan’s designs, this delicate take on the classic martini is intended to be Instagram-worthy. Starting at the top, the drink is crowned with a mountain of chamomile tea air, with bubbles that will last for more than an hour- although that seems unnecessary once you start sipping. The drink itself is a “millennial pink” colour, consisting of fresh gooseberry, vodka, orgeat syrup, lime and apple juice. And the bottom holds a layer of Japanese Kyoho molecular “caviar,” or tiny jelly-like pearls reminiscent of the popular bubble tea drinks. The result is certainly not your grandfather’s martini. The drink is a perfect pre-dinner beverage with its soft flavours. But don’t be deceived by the floral finishes. The drink still serves up a bite at the end of every sip, and it can pack a punch.

Black Pirates and Rum

This summer-worthy rum punch is all about the fruit. Nearly every cocktail on Chan’s new menu has a fruity base. Chan prides himself on using muddled fresh fruits to give the drinker more complexity in their cocktails, and something to chew on. Once you snag the fresh blackberries and raspberries off the top of this one, you’ll taste a perfectly chilled purple punch. With a rum base, the refreshing mixture includes fresh blackberries, cassis liqueur, sweet and sour mix and pineapple juice.

Smoked Negroni

This cocktail is the most traditional of Chan’s inventions, but, of course, it comes with a photo-op. The drink itself consists of Tanqueray gin, Campari and vermouth rosso, served straight with an orange twist. But when it’s served, Chan or one of his team will appear with a smoke-filled decanter. The smoke, which comes with aromatic vanilla sprays, is poured into the cocktail in a dramatic fashion. The result is not only theatrical, it also adds an interesting flavour combination, taking the classic negroni taste and making it less bitter. It’s a drink that fans of the original will love, as well as those that want something a bit easier to sip.

THE CORRESPONDENT

Berry Rosa

The first of the mocktail creations, the Berry Rosa has been dubbed a “lady’s drink” by Chan. It is bright pink in colour and is topped off with raspberries. While the drink looks a bit like a smoothie, chock-full of fruit, it’s still delicate, and visually elegant in a tall glass. The beverage mixes fresh raspberries, fresh strawberries, peach juice, Calpis and ginger ale. The flavour sticks to the tongue while also quenching your thirsty sweet tooth.

Ginger Sour Cooler

While the two other mocktails would pair perfectly with a splash of Prosecco, this drink truly needs no alcohol. The mixture of fresh ginger, mint, sweet and sour mix and soda, topped with lemongrass as a stirrer, is exactly what everyone needs on a hot summer day. The ginger flavour is subtle, while the sour mix packs a bit of a punch, but without an acidic overtone. The flavours balance perfectly, making this mocktail easy to drink.

Bert’s Punch

The final mocktail has been set up to be a signature for Bert’s bar, and consistent with Chan’s fruit theme, it doesn’t disappoint. The yellow, layered drink, served in a tall glass, includes fresh passionfruit, with orange and pineapple juice. This fruity mix is perfect for brunch. With a fruity aroma, helped along by the chunk of passionfruit garnishing the top, the flavours of this beverage will leave you wanting more. n

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ON THE WALL

YOUNG LENSES: HONG KONG STORIES Photographs by students of HKU, City University, Baptist University and SCAD

W

hat is a Hong Kong story? In the second of our annual series showcasing the work of Hong Kong’s student photographers, we bring you a snapshot of how they see the city. Each of these images tells a tale: from news reportage, to portraits of Hongkongers young and old, to encapsulations of the city’s odd, continually contradictory beauty. Katharine Li of Hong Kong Baptist University’s powerful Young Faces of Change captures school students boycotting class to protest insufficient climate change policy – doing their part for a global conversation. Mr. Tsang by Bonnie Wong of City University captures a tailor bent over a sewing machine, lit by his work – a paean to one of the city’s rapidly disappearing industries. The arresting composition by Lisa Kao of the University of Hong Kong captures New People’s Party

founder Regina Ip stumping for her candidate Judy Chan on the streets of the city. Madrid Cafe by Jess Caughron of SCAD Hong Kong seems to capture a time long past in the city: a time of neon signage, chic hair and the city a-go-go. This exhibition presents just a small sample of the photographic talent of the next generation: proof that the well of Hong Kong stories, and the people here to tell them, will never run dry. The FCC Wall Committee would like to thank Kees Metselaar of The University of Hong Kong, Birdy Chu of City University of Hong Kong, Robin Ewing of Hong Kong Baptist University and Adam Kuehl of SCAD Hong Kong for their assistance in selecting photographs by their students for submission to this exhibition. Adam White & Cammy Yiu, FCC Wall Committee

Mr. Tsang by Bonnie Wong, City University of Hong Kong

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THE CORRESPONDENT


Young Faces of Change by Katherine Li, Hong Kong Baptist University

Being Yourself, Once A Week by Karmen Cheung, City University of Hong Kong

Madrid Cafe by Jess Caughron, SCAD asdf

THE CORRESPONDENT

Hong Kong, 22 Feb 2018 by Lisa Kao, Miao Miao, JMSC student of The University of Hong Kong

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ON THE WALL

©1989 DAVID TURNLEY/CORBIS 2

IMAGES OF TIANANMEN AND BEYOND: TWELVE PHOTOJOURNALISTS TELL THE STORY

©1989 FORREST ANDERSON

©1989 DAVID TURNLEY/CORBIS 2

Early June 4: Student demonstrators carry a blood-soaked victim away from Tiananmen Square during the PLA’s violent crackdown

A pro-democracy protest on the Bund in Shanghai, Spring 1989

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Afternoon of June 3, 1989, the mother of a student protester begs PLA soldiers not to use violent force on the demonstration

THE CORRESPONDENT


©1989 ROBIN MOYER/TIME

©1989 FORREST AND DONNA ANDERSON

Demonstration in Hong Kong, one year after Tiananmen, June 3, 1990

©1989 JACQUES LANGEVIN

Unarmed troops surround protestors behind the Great Hall of the People off Tiananmen Square, May 1989

©1989 ROBIN MOYER/TIME

©1989 KEN JARECKE/CONTACT PRESS IMAGES

June 4, near Tiananmen Square, probably West Chang’An Avenue

June 7: Troops from the 39th Army fired on diplomatic apartments on JianGuomenwai Avenue, targeting military attachés from Kenya and Canada. Also targeted was the apartment of Sidney Rittenberg who asdf had lived in China since 1944 and served as Mao’s translator

THE CORRESPONDENT

The Rose: A single demonstrator sits in front of a line of seated soldiers guarding Zhongnanhai, Beijing’s seat of power just west of the Forbidden City. The characters behind the soldiers read “Serve The People”

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ON THE WALL

23RD HUMAN RIGHTS PRESS AWARDS 2019 For full coverage of the awards ceremony and winners, see pages 20-25

Photography (Single image) Single Merit: Rohingyas in No Man’s Land by Ye Aung Thu of AFP

Photography (Series) Merit: Where a Taboo is Leading to the Deaths of Young Girls in Parts of Western Nepal by Tara Todras-Whitehill of The New York Times

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THE CORRESPONDENT


BOOK

IT ALL BEGAN IN A ROOM WITH MIRRORS IN TSIM SHA TSUI From his time on pirate Radio Caroline to being the voice that launched Britain’s Classic FM radio station, Nick Bailey’s 50-year career in broadcasting included a decade in Hong Kong. Here he recounts those days with fondness

PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

M

y first brush with Hong Kong was in 1972 while travelling back from Australia to the UK. I had booked myself into the YMCA in Tsim Sha Tsui and gave myself five days to find a job at what was then known as Radio Hong Kong. I’d been given a list of names from a journalist friend in Brisbane and although the first one on the list had died, and the second had just retired, I struck lucky with the third. Geoffrey Weeks had recently been appointed head of English radio and asked me to attend an audition the following Monday. I couldn’t believe my luck, although later I found out auditions were held every Monday because of the transient nature of the staff. Through a fellow presenter, Bob Williams, an American who’d lost a leg in the Korean War, I found a place to live. It was called Palatine House which gave a discount to so-called “artistes”. It was only when I booked in and was shown a room with mirrors on the ceiling that I realised it was a brothel. Hong Kong at that time was very colonial. Women and Chinese were not allowed into the Hong Kong Club, and no one thought China would want

THE CORRESPONDENT

to reclaim the territory in 1997. This view was still popular when I returned in 1981 but this stint in the colony was in stark contrast to the “fleshpots” of Tsim Sha Tsui. I was based in Sek Kong in the New Territories and tasked with setting up the English section of the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS). There was already a Gurkha service broadcasting in Nepali, and I shared an office with a Gurkha Major. From humble beginnings we managed to pinch a lot of the audience from RTHK and by the time

I left three years later there was an operational studio in Tamar. I was posted on promotion to the London headquarters of BFBS but hated the job, so applied in secret to go back to Hong Kong with a job at RTHK. The truth was that I had really missed the buzz of Hong Kong and was happy to become a permanent expatriate. In 1985 I returned as a freelance, by which time my wife was expecting our second child, and we lived in a tiny flat in Causeway Bay. The Joint Declaration between Britain and China that set out the principles of “one country, two systems” had been signed the year before and there was definitely a shift in attitude. Soon we were told not to refer to Hong Kong as a colony on air. A year later I was given an expatriate contract and we moved to a large government flat in Buxey Lodge on Conduit Road overlooking the harbour. I was the original presenter, along with Nick Beacroft, of Hong Kong Today and remained with the programme for five years. I covered the events of Tiananmen Square with my new co-host, Kit Cummings, broadcasting non-stop for nine hours on June 4, 1989. We also reported on the subsequent massive protests, in support of the Chinese students, which culminated in a million Hong Kong residents taking to the streets. The following year my son Edward was born, which coincided with me taking over as head of Radio 3, and in 1992 we left Hong Kong when I took up the job of presenter at Classic FM in London. I still miss Hong Kong and felt very much at home when I returned for the first time in 2012. My eldest daughter Sally, who was 10 when she left, still feels homesick whenever the weather turns humid. And my youngest daughter Lucy, who is teaching in Shanghai, would return to Hong Kong in a heartbeat if the right job came up. And so would I if I was 30 years younger. n Nick Bailey’s autobiography Across the Waves – From Radio Caroline to Classic FM, is available from nickbaileyradio.com

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BOOK REVIEW

FINDING THE HUMAN FACE IN A SEA OF RED Hong Kong-born photojournalist Liu Heung Shing has been described as “The Cartier-Bresson of China” and his beautiful new book, A Life In a Sea of Red, chronicles turbulent points of history in China and Russia. Jonathan Sharp, who has known Liu since the 1980s, takes a look

Jonathan Sharp joined Reuters after studying Chinese at university. A 30-year career also took him to North America, Middle East and South Africa, but his favourite posting was Hong Kong, where he freelances. Liu with Beijing-based art curator Philip Tinari at the photojournalist’s FCC lunch on April 1

T

he late, great London Times correspondent David Bonavia wrote a typically entertaining book about his experiences of reporting in Russia (which expelled him) and China. Published in 1987, it is called Seeing Red. Now, another old China and Russia hand, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Liu Heung Shing, has produced a truly magnificent volume of his images recording pivotal periods in both nations’ recent history. It’s called A Life in a Sea of Red. I came to know Liu in the early 1980s when he was in Beijing working for the Associated Press and I was there for Reuters. Liu and his AP boss, Vicky Graham, were formidable competition professionally but also fine, generous company socially. I was lucky enough to be in Hong Kong in 1983 when Liu launched – at the FCC of course – his first book, China After Mao, chronicling how China was gradually coming out of its shell after the catastrophes of the

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1966-76 Cultural Revolution. Forward to 2008 and Liu presented at the Club his magisterial China: Portrait of a Country for which he spent four years trawling through images taken by 88 Chinese photographers covering the first decades of Communist rule. Now, the images in his latest book, sumptuously published by Steidl, are Liu’s work alone, bringing together his stunning record of the astonishingly rapid changes he has witnessed both in China and Russia. I am proud to have all three books on my shelves. At an FCC lunch on April 1, Liu spoke about his amazing journey. Born in Hong Kong but raised in Fuzhou in east China, Liu has stark memories of the famine resulting from the 1958-60 Great Leap Forward, seeing his neighbours with limbs and faces bloated by malnutrition. Tens of millions starved to death. Understandably that left an indelible impression. Liu told us that his first China

assignment for Time magazine, to cover the aftermath of Mao Zedong’s death in 1976, was a “miserable failure” because he couldn’t get to Beijing, where the Gang of Four led by Mao’s widow Jiang Qing were about to be arrested. But not a complete failure. While languishing in south China on the banks of the Pearl River, he said, “I saw the Chinese with an entirely new set of body languages. Soon after Mao’s death I noticed the faces of people seemed more relaxed, their eyes less scrutinising of visitors from abroad.” He knew then that, given the chance, he wanted to return to China as a photojournalist. And he has seized those chances, witnessing and recording how China has moved from a life of rigid collectivism into a more individualistic style, albeit under repressive Communist rule, with smashing success. The Cartier-Bresson comparison from Newsweek is just one of his many richly deserved garlands.

THE CORRESPONDENT


A young ballerina has a costume fitting in Moscow, 1993

Cadres’ Study Period during congress in Beijing, 1983, to mark centenary of Karl Marx’s death

photographer, the AP’s Jeff Widener, to an office where Liu could transmit it. The unwitting “pigeon” carrying the film was a pony-tailed American backpacker. Liu’s own image from that horrific episode, of a young loving couple with a bicycle beneath a bridge bearing tanks rolling by, also won world-spanning play. Most recently it was reprinted in the May 25 Financial Times marking the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown. Liu’s time in Moscow also coincided with an equally dramatic

PHOTOS: LIU HEUNG SHING

So he was in China for the Democracy Wall period in the late 1970s when millions of Chinese poured into Beijing to express their grievances and sufferings. And he was in Beijing in 1989 when China stamped out the student-led protests centred in Tiananmen Square. Liu did not take the famed “tank man” image of a lone protester facing down a line of PLA tanks. But he was instrumental in getting the precious roll of film, with that highly sensitive image on it, safely transferred across a city under martial law from the

Peasants at Evergreen Commune outside Beijing toss cabbages – the only vegetable available in winter – onto a slow-moving truck in 1980

THE CORRESPONDENT

Students on hunger strike in Tiananmen Square, 1989

turning-point in history, nothing less than the collapse of the Soviet Union. One of his better known images is of Mikhail Gorbachev putting down his resignation speech on a table. Liu took a calculated risk of using a slow shutter speed (1/30 second) to show the motion of the paper being placed down. The whole picture could have been a blurry mess but Gorbachev himself came out sharply. Liu told us about the startling changes occurring in photo-journalism – in 2017 more than 2.7 trillion images were dumped on Instagram – and that he himself no longer hurtles around to cover the world’s news hotspots. Instead he prefers the more gentle art of portraiture. He also looks after the ground-breaking, stylish Shanghai Centre of Photography, which he founded in 2015 as the city’s first museum dedicated to photography. One of my favourites among Liu’s images is of a Chinese woman having an “eye job” in Beijing in the early 1980s, a procedure that makes her look more Western. That played into a cosy narrative commonly accepted at the time that as China modernised and prospered, it would become more like the West, increasingly democratic and moving closer to embracing Western liberal ideals. That, as headlines now remind us on a daily basis, has not happened. n A Life in a Sea of Red by Liu Heung Shing ISBN 978-3-95829-545-2, Published by Steidl, http://www.steidl.de/

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AWARD

CONGRATULATIONS! FIRST CLARE HOLLINGWORTH FELLOWSHIP WINNERS ANNOUNCED

PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

The first two winners of the new Clare Hollingworth Fellowship have been announced as the Club pays homage to the memory of one of its most famous members. Morgan M. Davis reports

M ar y Hui:

M

“J ou rnalism

is a com m

unity ”

ary Hui and Jessica Pang have been named the winners of the FCC’s first Clare Hollingworth Fellowship. The fellowship, which is named in honour of the club’s late legendary member and renowned journalist, was created to acknowledge early-career journalists and current journalism school students in Hong Kong, giving them access to the city’s professional journalism community through the FCC. Candidates for the award must be a resident of Hong Kong, have at least two years of journalism experience, and be under the age of 30 at the time the fellowship begins. “The fellowship struck me as a brilliant

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Jessica Pang: “I

wa nt to safegu ard

press freedom”

initiative to bring in young members to the FCC and to foster deeper connections across different generations of journalists, and I wanted to be part of it,” said Hui, of her application to the programme. Hui, who is already an FCC member, has been working in Hong Kong since early 2018, after completing her college education at Princeton University and an internship with The Washington Post in the U.S. She attributes her success in starting her career in Hong Kong to the support and guidance other reporters and editors have given her as she has established herself in the city. “Journalism is a community and, I believe, the better the community, the better the journalism,” said Hui.

Morgan M. Davis is a finance reporter at Euromoney’s GlobalCapital. The Illinoistransplant moved to Hong Kong two years ago by way of New York City, accompanied by her trusty sidekick Gizmo the Yorkie. Morgan has reported on multiple sectors of finance, and holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University.

THE CORRESPONDENT


THE CORRESPONDENT

REMARKABLE CAREER OF AN EXTRAORDINARY CORRESPONDENT

C

lare Hollingworth, after whom the FCC’s new fellowship is named, died in 2017 aged 105 after a truly remarkable life and career. She joined the Daily Telegraph in London in 1939 as the newspaper’s first female defence correspondent, and soon bagged the scoop of the century when she reported on Germany’s invasion of Poland. Her career took her to the Balkans, Greece, North Africa, the Middle East, India, Pakistan, Vietnam and then to the China of Mao Zedong. She was also a treasured member of the FCC for more than 40 years, making significant contributions to the intellectual and professional life of the Club.

Clare on assignment in Palestine in the mid-1960s

Clare was a familiar figure at the Club for decades PHOTOS: ROBIN MOYER & FCC ARCHIVE

Hui began her Hong Kong career as a freelancer, reporting for The New York Times and others, and now works for Quartz, covering business and geopolitics in Asia. “My goal for the coming year is to soak up as much knowledge as I can about covering Asia so that I can report on it more deeply,” she said. “I also want to learn more about covering finance, economics and business, given how fascinating and fastchanging those areas are in Asia.” Pang, who is set to begin a job as a correspondent at Reuters in September, attributes her success and fellowship award to her journalism school teachers at the University of Hong Kong and her colleagues during her internship at Reuters. For Pang, her role as a journalist is deeply tied to her ambition to provide a voice to those that otherwise wouldn’t have one, and to report on issues, such as the extradition law protests in Hong Kong, so that others can understand. “Journalists in Hong Kong have been reporting the extradition law protests thoroughly, so that readers around the world now understand the serious consequences the extradition law amendment bill can bring, and the struggles Hong Kong people are facing,” said Pang. “Given the political circumstances, I want to safeguard press freedom and contribute to the journalism community in Hong Kong,” said Pang. “I believe the FCC is the ideal place for me to start, as the Club has a long track record of standing up and speaking up for our colleagues.” As part of their fellowship, which will run from September 1, 2019, to August 31, 2020, the winners will be given complimentary access to all FCC talks, official gatherings and conferences, as well as access to the FCC’s facilities, while having their membership fees and monthly dues waived. The women will also be mentored by a member of the FCC Board or committees. In exchange, the winners will produce and contribute a piece – written, photographic or video – for the FCC. They will also be committee members for the annual Journalism Conference, which takes place each spring, and contribute to the FCC community. “In its first year, we were pleased and gratified by the level of talent and potential of the applicants for the fellowship,” said Jodi Schneider, President of the FCC. “Mary and Jessie both exemplify the qualities we were seeking in fellows. “The fellowship is a key part of the FCC’s outreach efforts aimed at diversifying the membership base and bringing younger talent into the Club.” n

Clare and Tim Page in Saigon during the Vietnam War in the early 1970s

Clare with Sir Edward Heath at a Club function in 1987

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WORKING HOURS

‘NOBODY EVER CHANGED THE WORLD ON 40 HOURS A WEEK’ Hong Kong has one of the longest working weeks in the world, but what motivates people to work hard if their career path and pay don’t match expectations? Stephanie Lin reports

Stephanie Lin is a business consultant who also freelances as a journalist. Prior to her relocation to Hong Kong, she lived on both the west and east coasts in the United States where she had several stints in the public sector, including the United Nations and the White House.

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relations and investor relations industry after working four years in journalism. “It was my plan to be in the industry for three to five years and gradually explore other opportunities in business,” DD said. Austin Chiu, who worked at the South China Morning Post for five years as a reporter, left the industry to explore other career interests. “I love to write and that is why I chose journalism,” Chiu said. “It is a very rewarding job, though not in the financial sense.” Chiu used to work an average of 12 hours a day and occasionally half a day over the weekend to report on court cases when he was a journalist. So why put up

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

I

n March 2019, professionals in the technology industry across mainland China protested against the 996 working week – 9am-9pm shifts, six days a week. Even though labour laws limit their workers to 40 hours a week plus 36 hours per month overtime, the 996 schedule is common among the country’s tech giants. Overworking plagues many countries in Asia, and many professions – including journalism. Robin Ewing, director of international journalism at the Hong Kong Baptist University, estimates that although 15 to 50 per cent of fresh graduates from her programme join the industry, the number drops significantly after a couple of years working as journalist. Low pay, slow professional growth and long hours – even burnout – all contribute to the drain. Out of between 60-80 undergraduates from 10 years ago that she followed up, only four to five are still working in journalism, she said. However, Ewing considers the high turnover rate in the industry “normal”. “Many who study journalism do not necessarily know whether they want to be journalists,” Ewing said. Worried about the development of traditional media, DD, a former business reporter at the China Daily who wishes to remain anonymous, joined the public

Robin Ewing

THE CORRESPONDENT


with the intrusive working hours? The latest data by Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department estimate that 20 per cent of the city’s labour force worked an average 55-hour week last year. A survey by UBS in 2015 examined working hours in 15 occupations across 71 cities. Hong Kong came out top, with a 50.1hour working week, 38 per cent above the global average. Other local government studies have found that one in 10 employees work more than 60 hours a week and an estimated one per cent work more than 75 hours. Lee Shu Kam, associate head of the Department of Economics and Finance at Hong Kong Shue Yan University, attributed the city’s overwork problem to its labour shortage. “Due to high rent and expenses, it has become very difficult to provide compensation attractive enough to entice those not in the labour force back to work,” Lee said. The city’s Standard Working Hours Committee has advocated standardising working hours for low-income workers on a contract basis. Labour unions want to go further, pushing for a universal standard 44hour working week. Lee says: “What Hong Kong needs is a regulation that establishes a cap on maximum working hours. Standardised working hours would only motivate those with low incomes to work even longer hours.” Frances Yik Wa Law, associate

professor of the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong, said that the government should have a policy that supports work and life balance – although her research did not find any significant correlation between long hours alone and sudden death. “Family is the core of our values and work-life balance is essential to safeguard this pillar,” Law said. Hong Kong’s finance sector is prey to overwork, too. LC, who wishes to remain anonymous, had a short stint at an American consulting firm after he graduated, where he worked a regular 40-hour week but decided to move to one of the Big Four accounting firms for a long-term career goal. While at the accounting firm, LC worked an average 72 hours a week. His health and quality of life deteriorated, but LC said he is not against a 996 schedule. “It really depends on what I am expected to do during those hours and whether I will be compensated fairly either through career development or salary,” he said. On the other hand, Hairin Bahren left the financial industry after feeling unfulfilled and opened a franchised boutique barre studio in Hong Kong. “I think it is work-life integration – I love my work because it is very rewarding. I have direct access to the end result of our team’s efforts and see the impact we have made on our clients,” Bahren said. “Work has made my life great and it will continue to be my priority in the years to come.” n

Hairin Bahren

Low pay, slow professional growth and long hours – even burnout – all contribute to the drain.

PHOTOS: AFP

BATTLE OF THE GIANTS In response to a wave of protest against the 996 working week, Jack Ma, cofounder of Alibaba, issued a statement online in April, calling it a “blessing” for those who have the opportunity to work it. “In this world, everyone wants success… so I ask you all: if you don’t put in more time than everyone else, how are you going to achieve your success?” Ma said. Across the Pacific, Elon Musk, the CEO and co-founder of Tesla Inc., is also known for working notoriously long hours and getting very little sleep. In response to The Wall Street Journal’s report on the company’s hours and high-stress work environment, Musk tweeted that “there are way easier places to work, but nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week”.

THE CORRESPONDENT

JULY 2019

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SPEAKERS

WHAT THEY SAID... Featured highlights of event speakers at FCC

Hon. Dennis Kwok & Hon. Ronny Tong Extradition Laws: Closing a Loophole or Endangering Hong Kong’s Rule of Law?

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Ronny Tong

Dennis Kwok

The Main Dining Room was packed with guests and the media for what turned into a heated debate between senior counsel Ronny Tong, adviser to Carrie Lam on the Executive Council, and Dennis Kwok, LegCo member and vice-chair of the House Committee. The Club lunch came a few days after thousands of people had taken to the streets to protest proposed changes to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, allowing the transfer of people in HK suspected of “serious criminal offences” to jurisdictions including Taiwan, Macau and mainland China. Calling the topic “very sensitive and high temperature”, Tong said the UK Government, which has similar treaties with 108 countries – including some with worse human rights records than China – enacted the current version of Hong Kong’s Extradition Law in April 1997. The issue had some urgency, pivoting around the case of a HK citizen suspected of murder in Taiwan. However, Kwok said: “If the HK government is really responsible, it should do a proper consultation. This exception to not extradite people to mainland China is not a loophole. We don’t have trust in the legal system there. We trust our judiciary but there is only so much a judge can do.” You could hear a pin drop as the debate continued, and the then FCC President Florence de Changy, asked: “What are the risks [if the law is changed] to journalists?”

Tong said journalists were exempt because, as well as reporting they also hold opinions and “I disagree with exemptions, but opinions are exempt”. Kwok added: “You have nothing to worry about if you are a journalist…but the Chinese government can weaponise legislation, charge you with something else, like tax evasion.”

JULY 2019

PHOTOS: FCC

Lunch, May 2, Sue Brattle

From left, Doug Wong, Ronny Tong, Jodi Schneider, Florence de Changy, Dennis Kwok and Cliff Buddle at the lunch

THE CORRESPONDENT


See recordings of Speakers’ events in full: www.fcchk.org/events

A Press Freedom Fighter in the Philippines – A Conversation with Maria Ressa

‘We can’t buckle because if we do it’s your kids who will feel it’

Maria Ressa opened her conversation with then FCC President Florence de Changy while setting up her own live stream of the event to the Philippines. A self-confessed tech geek, Ressa’s use of social media as CEO and executive editor of online publication Rappler has jangled Philippines’ president Rodrigo Duterte and his government enough that she’s had 11 charges filed against her so far. “They have all gone to court, charges so ludicrous I’ve run out of synonyms for ludicrous,” she said at a Club lunch on May 17. She had been arraigned in two courts three days before coming to Hong Kong. “Worse case scenario, I could go to jail for a century.” She had to ask permission from the courts to travel, and paid a 500,000 pesos (US$9,650) travel bond. She has already paid six times that amount in bail, saying: “I pay more in bail than Imelda Marcos [former First Lady of the Philippines] ever did.” However, she added: “It’s so nice to be able to walk around without security [in HK]. You have your own problems, but it could be worse.” Ressa was speaking as mid-term election results were still coming in at home in the Philippines. “For the first time since 1938 no opposition member for senator has won a seat. The election is overwhelmingly in favour of Duterte, it

was a referendum on his leadership. Our best defence is to keep telling the story and you guys to keep shining the light on the Philippines and our descent into tyranny.” Ressa made the decision to go home when she was 40, after 20 years with CNN. “I was doing breaking news for CNN, I was telling other people’s stories, living on adrenaline.” After six years at ABS-CBN in the Philippines, she decided digital was the way to go. Rappler was born, with a team of 12 which grew to 75 within a year. News organisations, journalists, activists and lawyers are on a list, published in The Manila Times on April 22, called the Oust-Duterte Plot; Ressa is on the list. She also recently joined another list, the TIME 100 Most Influential People of 2019, but she said: “I would give all my awards back to have a fully functioning democracy.” Ressa is now building the tech platform she wanted in 2017, when legal fees ate up her money. “It’s death by 100 cuts in our democracy. Everything is a ‘new normal’ for President Duterte.” During the Q&A session, AFP’s Eric Wishart asked: “You seem to have a dual role: on one hand you are an icon, on the other hand you have a news network to run at home. How do you place yourself?” She said: “I grew up with reporting the news, I do not want to be the news. The handcuffs came off when my rights were violated … I didn’t want being a journalist to get in the way of my own voice.” Her voice breaking with emotion, she added: “We jumped off the cliff and it is a faith that a parachute will open and you guys provide that. Journalists, our only weapon is to shine a light; the only thing that makes me emotional is the next generation. We can’t buckle because if we do it’s your kids who will feel it.” De Changy, wrapping the session up, asked: “How does Duterte react to your international status?” “I think it’s the reason I’m not in prison. Part of me wants to duck, but in the Philippines we can win this fight.” (See also Human Rights Press Awards, page 18) Lunch, May 17, Sue Brattle

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PHOTOS: FCC

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Then President Florence de Changy puts questions to Rappler CEO Maria Ressa in the Main Dining Room

THE CORRESPONDENT

JULY 2019

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SPEAKERS

PHOTOS: FCC

A Conversation with Jimmy Lai, Founder and Chairman, Next Digital

Jimmy Lai, the Apple Daily owner relentless in his defiance of Communist rule in China and his disgust with the current administration in Hong Kong, was in incendiary, take-no-prisoners mode at an FCC lunch on May 20. His targets included Chief Executive Carrie Lam, whom he skewered as evil, and the fiercely contested fugitive bill, which was a “massacre of our freedom”. He also averred that because of the bill Hong Kong’s tycoons were “scared shitless”. And the consequences of the legislation will be dire: Hong Kong’s legal system will be “absolutely crippled” and many businesses will move their headquarters out of the city. Lai’s Club appearance, his first in 10 years, was formatted as a conversation with FCC President Florence de Changy, who was hosting her final event before handing over the presidency to Jodi Schneider. Introducing Lai, de Changy noted that during the 2014 Occupy Central movement, which Lai strongly backed, he had been named by an Apple Daily rival as one of Hong Kong’s “four evils”. Two of the other so-called “evils”, Cardinal Joseph Zen and lawyer Martin Lee, were at the lunch. Lai had his own nominee to join the evils list, although for polar opposite reasons than those for the first four. Asked by Keith Richburg how he thought Carrie Lam was doing, Lai replied: “I think the former Chief Executive (CY Leung) looks like an angel compared to Carrie Lam now. I never thought

Carrie Lam could be so evil. But now I know. Really she is evil.” On the fugitive bill, which he said was bound to become law, he said: “It is the last straw on the back of the camel of our ‘one country, two systems’. In one swoop it finishes Hong Kong. It is a massacre of our freedom, of our legal system, of the free press – everything.” Referring to the corruption which he said was simply a fact of life in doing business in China, Lai said the absence of a proper rule of law means that people conducting business in China had to seek protection from those who had power over them. “Those guys who protect won’t do it for free. If you have to pay people to protect you, that’s corruption.” And the records of such corrupt payments are emerging following the downfall of senior figures in China’s establishment. This has created alarm among those who might appear on lists of people making such payments. Lai added: “If the law passes you will see a lot of big shots leave (Hong Kong) immediately.” Among Lai’s targets was former pan-democratic lawmaker and current Executive Council member Ronny Tong, a recent FCC guest: “I hope he doesn’t have a mirror at home (and) has to face himself every day.” As for the Chinese President: “Xi Jinping cannot stand ‘one country, two systems’. Xi Jinping cannot stand a Hong Kong that is not subservient.” Asked if he ever tired of his struggle, Lai said it never crossed his mind. Being a leading opposition voice was a heavy responsibility but one that that made him very happy. “It makes the whole fight very meaningful for me.” Despite his pessimism, Lai said there was still hope for Hong Kong people if they were brave enough to come out in force in forthcoming rallies. “This is the last battle.” Even when the bill passes into law, Hong Kong people should never give up. “Maybe we will sink with the ship. But we have to fight while sinking.” Lunch, May 20, Jonathan Sharp

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THE CORRESPONDENT


See recordings of Speakers’ events in full: www.fcchk.org/events

James Bullard | A Successful Normalisation of Monetary Policy in the U.S.

James Bullard and Board members Jodi Schneider, Enda Curran, Florence de Changy and Jennifer Hughes at the lunch

PHOTOS: COLIN SIMPSON

The FCC is not normally one of the first places investors, fund managers and economists look to when seeking pointers about growth prospects and the likely future path of U.S. monetary policy. But that was the case on May 22 when James Bullard, a voting member of the Federal Reserve committee responsible for this area of policy, delivered a lunchtime talk in the dining room. Speeches by senior Fed officials are eagerly monitored by members of the financial community seeking hints about current thinking at the central bank, and sometimes they trigger moves in the markets. They are flagged up in calendars of forthcoming economic events, and the officials’ words are pored over. And since the performance of the world’s largest economy has knock-on effects around the globe, the scrutiny and interest extend way beyond the U.S. So it was quite a coup for the Club to host Bullard, the chairman and chief executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis and an influential economist. The event duly attracted the attention of the financial press – it was covered by The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNBC and others, and Bullard was interviewed by Bloomberg TV before his appearance. Of course, the fact that Fed officials know that their words are followed so closely makes them cautious – they

wouldn’t want an out-of-turn remark or ill-advised joke to trigger a run on the dollar or stock market meltdown. This can make the speeches rather dry for those not used to the nuances of Fed-speak. The title of the talk was not very promising, A Successful Normalisation of Monetary Policy in the U.S., and Bullard’s initial comments continued in this reassuring vein, accompanied by charts and graphs on screens. “The real side of the U.S. economy has actually surprised to the up side, not the down side, in 2017, 2018 and actually so far in 2019 as well,” he said. “Things are going swimmingly on the real side of the U.S. economy.” Jodi Schneider, who became Club President the next day, started the Q&A that followed by asking about President Trump’s critical attitude towards the Federal Reserve, which contrasts with the neutral approach of previous administrations. “He comes from the real estate markets in New York, interest rates are incredibly important if you’re in real estate,” said Bullard. “He’s going to be different than other presidents that did other things before they became president and didn’t worry so much about interest rate policy.” Bullard was inevitably asked about trade tensions between the U.S. and China. It was at this point that he made his only false step, saying: “China should essentially agree to everything that is being asked, because I think the Chinese economy will boom.” This didn’t seem to reflect how the negotiating process works, the idea that one side in any dispute would ever give way to all the other’s demands. It’s certainly difficult to imagine it happening with China. This was reported in a completely straight way in the U.S., with CNBC headlining its online report: “China would see ‘blue skies ahead’ if it accepts all U.S. demands, Fed’s Bullard says.” The response in Asia was more robust. One Twitter user posted: “Lol. And they call him an expert?”, while another offered to send Bullard a reading list. Hong Kong, of course, has an even greater interest than most in the Fed’s decisions as the Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the greenback. With this in mind, one questioner on the floor raised a laugh when, addressing Bullard, he said: “Thank you for also managing Hong Kong’s monetary policy.” Lunch, May 22, Colin Simpson

THE CORRESPONDENT

JULY 2019

43


OBITUARY

Marilyn (centre) with Annie Van Es and Andy Chorowsky at one of the legendary FCC Quiz Nights

A PRIVATE WOMAN WITH A NETWORK OF FRIENDS

M Closely associated with the Club for two decades, she is as much missed by the staff as members

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arilyn, the eldest of three children, was originally from Macclesfield in northwest England. She married in her early 20s and came to Hong Kong, via South Africa, with her husband in 1977. The marriage didn’t last, but her love affair with Hong Kong did. She worked in recruitment and went on to establish her own recruitment agency, Network. She joined the Club in 1986 and served on the Board as an Associate Governor from 2001 until late 2003, when she resigned from the Board in order to become the Club’s Marketing Manager. Marilyn was a central figure in the women-only lunch club, Red Lips, which was established in 1983 by her friend Dorothy Ryan. Marilyn was 33 at the time and Dorothy was pushing 40. It was a 20-something Australian Crown Counsel who inadvertently gave the group its name. He called them the “Red Lips”, referring to the Tsim Sha Tsui bar where the women who worked there were rumoured to be so old they remembered the Japanese Occupation. The women laughed at his attempted slight and took the name. The Red Lips group had fun with names.

At the Brigades Annual Gathering (a full BAG), any woman under 40 was referred to as a Baguette and anyone under 30 was a Miette du Pain (breadcrumb). Marilyn took over from Dorothy as the group’s leader, the Chief Bag, in 1997 and embraced the role, employing her excellent organisational skills and giving a rousing speech at the annual lunch at the FCC. The fun event always concluded with FCC staff presenting a Red Lips cake for dessert. Former RTHK political reporter and now absent member Francis Moriarty recalls her fondly. The first time he met her she was in the Club, flanked by Red Lips members, who were discussing something amongst themselves and glancing over at him. Eventually, one of them announced loudly, “All right, godammit, I’ll go find out.” She walked straight up to Francis and asked, sweetly, “Excuse me, I know we haven’t been introduced properly, but would you be kind enough to show me your teeth?” Francis obliged. After she’d inspected his teeth, she reported back to the group: “Yup, just what I thought. They’re all his.” Francis also recalls a heated debate on the Board in 2003 over whether or not the

THE CORRESPONDENT

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Marilyn Hood, the FCC’s Marketing Manager, organiser of the Quiz Night and long-time Club member, died on April 17 at Queen Mary Hospital after a struggle with cancer


Club would join the march against Article 23, the Government’s proposed national security legislation. The Board was split and Marilyn, an Associate Governor, had the deciding vote. She listened to the arguments on both sides and decided in favour of joining the July 1 march, aligning herself with the correspondents and journalists. Marilyn loved to travel and enjoyed doing it in style, preferably business class if possible. But she was just as happy living a simple life on Lamma Island, which she moved to in the mid-1990s. If she wasn’t at the FCC, she was likely to be found on Lamma, walking her dog, Lanto, or drinking red wine with friends and putting the world to rights. She had a sharp mind and was a big reader. In 2012, she resurrected the Club’s monthly Quiz Night and talked Andy Chorowsky into being the quiz master. She was knowledgeable on a wide range of topics and had a penchant for literature and all things to do with space. If there was an opportunity to trumpet the achievements of women in the quiz, Marilyn didn’t miss it. Closely associated with the Club for two decades, she is as much missed by the staff as members. Carmen Cheung, the Membership Secretary, who worked closely alongside her, says she introduced Marilyn to her children, now 11 and six. The kids had Marilyn on their WhatsApp and if they got stuck with their English homework, they would message her and she would help out. Marilyn’s dedication to her work and personal passions never wavered. She devised the questions for the Quiz Night from her hospital bed and continued to

work on membership issues in her final weeks. Perhaps most impressively, only a few days before she passed away, she handed me a manila envelope and asked me to deliver it to the FCC. It was a completed membership form – she’d recruited one of the doctors at Queen Mary Hospital. She was a fun, feisty and sincere woman. Quietly private, but with a wide network of friends. Her absence will be missed by all her friends – at the Club, on Lamma and beyond. n Kate Whitehead

Fun and feisty: Marilyn moved to her beloved Hong Kong in 1977

Then FCC President Florence de Changy speaks at Marilyn’s packed wake at the Club on April 29

THE CORRESPONDENT

JULY 2019

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OBITUARY

GARY LING Calm and friendly cameraman with a love of dim sum

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PHOTO: SUPPLIED

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ameraman and journalist Gary Ling Wah-kee, who dedicated his life to chronicling the modern story of Hong Kong, passed away on March 25 after a short illness. He was 67. I met him in January 2012, shortly after I had arrived in Hong Kong to work for BBC News. One of my colleagues had fixed a TV interview with British finance minister George Osborne, and I desperately needed a crew. I met Gary at the Convention and Exhibition Centre for the Osborne interview. It was filmed quickly and efficiently. That was the start of a happy and fruitful partnership that would last for six years, during some of the most exciting and tumultuous times in Hong Kong. I had actually heard about Gary back in 2005, when I spent a few months in Singapore working for Reuters TV. The producers were always talking about him and commenting on how good his stories were. By that time, he was already a legend. Born and raised in Diamond Hill, the eldest of nine, Gary started in the TV business in 1975, working for Commercial TV. A year later, he would join Visnews, the precursor to what is now Reuters TV, and stay until 2012. As a Reuters cameraman, Gary travelled across Asia covering stories for clients and making lifelong friends along the way. He was also known for his calm, his professionalism, his warm smile and his love of dim sum. One of those friends was Reuters correspondent James Pomfret, who called Gary “Mr Reuters”, with his camera always poised and ready. “As a trusted colleague, we embarked on numerous adventures together through the years, from factory strikes, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, to celebrity interviews and memorably, the Wukan ‘democracy village’ protests in 2011,” he said. “Gary and myself made our way to the village in a rather conspicuous yellow Honda Civic, but managed to give the authorities the slip to cover the tense standoff between the gutsy villagers and riot police. As always, Gary could be counted on to find the best local dai pai dong joints, where he would share his wealth of stories over a hearty meal and icy beers after a day in the field.” Gary was also known for being generous with his time and his knowledge. I vividly remember working with him on a story after he had retired from Reuters, only to have his former colleagues ask him for help on a tricky edit or camera setting. Venus Wu, a former Reuters colleague of Gary’s, was also one of his protégés. “Before I met Gary, my ambition was to become a print reporter. But that changed after I spent a summer with Gary as a Reuters intern in 2009. Nothing beat the thrill of jumping into Gary’s van and tagging along with him for a shoot. “Even when we filmed the most mundane assignments, like the stock market opening for the day, Gary was professional to a fault. Whenever we were in the field, I saw how he was friendly with everybody — from the

“Even when we filmed the most mundane assignments, like the stock market opening for the day, Gary was professional to a fault. Whenever we were in the field, I saw how he was friendly with everybody — from the security guards to other journalists who were supposed to be his competitors.” security guards to other journalists who were supposed to be his competitors.” With Gary’s encouragement, Venus landed another internship with Reuters TV the following summer, and eventually followed in his footsteps when he retired. Both the BBC and I were exceptionally lucky that he “retired” when he did. Gary was loyal and hardworking, and he kept fit doing archery, ping pong and other sports. But when there was breaking news, for example the Lamma ferry sinking or the start of Occupy Central, Gary was just a phone call away. My favourite moments with him were the times in between or after jobs, when we’d try to grab dim sum. I even convinced him to volunteer at the FCC, where he was the Club’s videographer. Gary is survived by his siblings, wife, son and daughter. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered, always. n Juliana Liu

THE CORRESPONDENT


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THE CORRESPONDENT

JULY 2019

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LAST WORD

WORDS ON A PAGE OR WORDS ON A SCREEN? IT’S A WEIGHTY ISSUE FOR EXPATS ON THE MOVE You browse on Amazon, or in a bookshop. You have shelves of books all over your home, or you have a slim device that carries your entire library. Which one are you? By Sian Powell

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nearby, intent on a small sliver of electronically-connected metal. But reading is surely more than just books? It’s the words, stupid, as the Bill Clinton election team might have said. However they are conveyed from the author’s mind to yours – it’s the ideas and the phrases that count, not their outer casing. “Real” book lovers don’t even bother countering this argument – they generally just shrug and turn to a much-loved book, wedged into a bookcase groaning with books already read and sooner or later to be read, muttering about soulless digital reading, and the real fear of library wipe-out due to electronic glitches and crashes. Back when I was an adventurous kid, roaming the world in the days of poste restante letters and queues for pay phones, I used to yearn for books. It was only practical to carry three or at the most four in my knapsack, and I used to swap them or replace them as much as possible. Often, though, I was reduced to reading the same few again, and again, and again. One friend used to take a weighty book and rip off the read chapters as he went, so steadily reducing the weight of the single novel in his baggage. These days, the sheer ease of reading on a device is seductive. I can hold a small paperback in one hand and, at a pinch, turn a page with my thumb. But a device is an easy onehand hold, and a swipe of the thumb turns the page. No need to switch on a bedside light, either, which reduces marital friction for those of us who don’t sleep so well. Device readers can roam electronic

libraries full of free books – authors’ copyright expires after a while, letting readers explore the wonders of Sherlock Holmes, or Jane and Lizzie Bennet, or David Copperfield for no charge. There are even some newbie authors who self-publish their books online, hoping to attract a following. Regarding the current angst over iPhone and iPad overuse, I don’t count reading on my device as screen time. There’s no interaction or frenzied clicking. I just turn the pages and read the words until I get to the end of the book – and that, after all, is what reading is all about. n

Sian Powell has been at various times a reporter, an editor, an opinion writer and a leader writer for titles including The Times, The Australian, The South China Morning Post and The Sydney Morning Herald. Recently returned to Hong Kong, she is now looking for work here.

THE CORRESPONDENT

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he contrast was stark. There was a small part of my husband’s library of beloved books, packed into four waist-high cardboard packing cases. Heavy. Unwieldy. Smelling a bit of mould and silverfish. A bore when moving, particularly between countries. Since we had moved from Sydney to Jakarta, back to Sydney, then to Bangkok to Hong Kong, and back to Sydney and finally back to Hong Kong, the packing case books were weighty evidence of his love for reading. There on the floor in front of the packing cases, (artfully placed by me to highlight the difference) was a small silver iPod Touch, with my library in it. In sheer reading terms my library was much bigger than my husband’s, running to many hundreds of books. And of course, it was light-years more convenient. It’s far easier to slip an iPod into a pocket or a handbag than it is to get books out of bookshelves, stack them in boxes, hassle around with shippers and movers and customs agents, haul them through houses and unpack them all over again. Weighing perhaps a few ounces, my iPod was a breeze, as is any other similar device, or even a smartphone with a reading app. Yes, a paper book has a certain romance. A well-thumbed hardback can have a historical patina, imbued with a musty reverence for times past, sometimes with inscriptions redolent of an earlier age – “Dearest Ethel, happy birthday from your mother, August 1934”. After all, there’s nothing very poetic about sitting in a bay window, while a piano tinkles


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