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COVER STORY

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS’ CLUB

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HONG KONG

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JULY 2018

22nd Human Rights Press Awards Journalism Conference: From Rocket Man to the Rohingya Head Chef George Cheng says farewell

Tiger’s tales

General Manager Gilbert ‘Tiger’ Cheng retires

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CONTENTS COVER STORY

24 PHOTO: CARSTENSCHAEL.COM

TIGER’S TALES Gilbert “Tiger” Cheng, General Manager, is leaving the FCC after 46 years as retirement beckons. Members and staff pay tribute to the genial GM who for many personifies the very best of the club.

REGULARS

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Message from the President

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Editorial

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The new Board of Governors

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Membership

A list of new members and some of their profiles

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Club News

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On The Wall

Exiled to Nowhere; Yangon Studio Photography; Young Lenses

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Speakers

Who said what when they visited the club

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Obituaries

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Book Review

FEATURES

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Human Rights Press Awards

The ceremony and complete list of winners

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Journalism Conference

From Rocket Man to the Rohingya

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Brushing Up On The Law

How governments across Asia are dusting off old laws and writing new ones to muzzle the media

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A Point Of View

What’s going on with the application to build a 25-storey hospital over the road from the club?

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Far East Film Festival

An interview with Hong Kong’s prolific film director, Johnnie To

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History Comes Home

Walter Kent’s bequest to the club

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George Has Left The Kitchen

Head Chef George Cheng retires

Landed Japan by Christopher Dillon

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Classified

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Last Word

The important conversations that many of us get wrong

THE CORRESPONDENT

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FROM THE PRESIDENT Dear Fellow Members, A new board, renewed by one third, has been elected and was confirmed at the AGM on May 24.

Didier Saugy, 55, is a talented food and beverage manager with extensive experience in hotels and restaurants, including in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and mainland China. Saugy, who is Swiss, was due to start this month and will work alongside Gilbert for a transition period. We offer a warm welcome to Didier.

We want to remain a vibrant club where interesting and committed people gather and good conversations take place. As I said at the AGM, the club is at a crossroads: competition is tough and there is little room for complacency if we want to remain attractive and relevant, not just as a value-for-money F&B outlet, but more importantly for what we stand for. We want to remain a vibrant club where interesting and committed people gather and good conversations take place. The FCC is a meeting place for the media, a favourite watering hole for reporters and photographers, both aspiring and established. It’s the bar that globetrotting politicians want to check out and more importantly the place where press freedom, freedom of expression and freedom of thought are truly and sincerely upheld. We are a fantastic place with a mission, but none of this is a given. To keep our credibility, we must make sure that the next generation of journalists embraces the club as much as we do, and as much as the Vietnam War reporters and the

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China watchers did in their day. I write this with a double dose of admiration mixed with some nostalgia for a period that has been referred to as the golden age of journalism. But today journalism offers new and equally daunting challenges and the FCC is the place to address them. I find no better line of action to address our current situation at the club than the slightly puzzling comment from the protagonist in Giuseppe Tomasi’s novel, The Leopard: “If we want everything to stay the same, everything must change.” For our club one immediate change will be the departure of our GM, Gilbert. He has been an amazing pillar of the club as well as a face of the club. Both the board and Gilbert are fully committed to making this historical transition a smooth and successful one. Please join the farewellcum-birthday party on Saturday, August 4, to thank Gilbert and celebrate his years at the FCC. Lastly, it was with sincere sadness that I learned the news of Kevin Egan’s death, on Sunday 17 June. Kevin was one of those larger-than-life characters who would enter the Main Bar as he probably entered a court room, with both panache and focus, always ready for a good argument and/or a nice drink. He joined the FCC in 1980 and served on the Board of Governors for 21 terms. We were looking forward to working with him as Second Vice-President and Secretary of the Club. The FCC will miss him very much and will remember him fondly.

PHOTO: ROBERT MOYER

The most important and urgent mission of the previous board was to look for a replacement for our legendary General Manager, Gilbert Cheng, who will retire in August after 46 years of dedicated service. After an extensive search lasting several months I’m happy to share that we have an excellent candidate to lead the club’s operations in the coming years.

Florence de Changy President

THE CORRESPONDENT


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

The Board of Governors 2017-2018

EDITORIAL

President Florence de Changy First Vice President Victor Mallet Second Vice President Kevin Egan Correspondent Member Governors Enda Curran, Jennifer Jett, Daniel Ten Kate, Richard John Macauley, Andrew Marszal, George Russell, Alexandra Stevenson, Sarah Stewart

Hello everyone, and welcome back to your magazine. We’ve returned as a quarterly publication and with high hopes that you’ll like what you see and read. By “we”, I mean the new publisher, Noel de Guzman, and myself, the new editor. I trained as a reporter in England, and spent 25 years on national newspapers, mainly at The Mirror Group, but also on The Guardian, Daily Express, and Private Eye, among others. Seven years in the Middle East followed, then a stint in Beijing before I moved to Hong Kong three years ago. I have recently finished working on a second book. Noel is an award-winning art director who has worked in advertising, design and publishing for 25 years in Hong Kong and Manila. SCMP, Hong Kong Tatler, Time Out, and Haymarket Group are just a few of the clients he has worked with, and he founded and runs Artmazing!, a graphic design studio.

Journalist Member Governors Clifford Buddle, Adam White Associate Member Governors Magnus Renfrew, David Philip Roberts, Christopher Slaughter, Douglas Wong Club Treasurer Douglas Wong Professional Committee Co-Conveners: Enda Curran, Alexandra Stevenson, Victor Mallet Sub-committee: Journalism Conference Convenor: Enda Curran Finance Committee Co-Conveners: Douglas Wong (Treasurer), Jennifer Jett, Victor Mallet Constitutional Committee Co-Conveners: Clifford Buddle, Kevin Egan, David Philip Roberts

I’m keen to get as much input from Club members as possible. I want every member to feel they can send me their ideas and write or take photographs for the magazine – and that definitely includes Associate members, not just Journalist and Correspondent members. I know some of you have exclusivity clauses in your job contracts, but employers are generally happy to give their permission to write for The Correspondent, so please give it a go. If further enticement is needed, I pay in Club F&B vouchers! I’d also like to see more advertising on our pages, and would love someone to come forward as our advertising manager – payable by commission on every ad sold. Take a look at this issue and tell me what you think; you can contact me at sue. brattle@hotmail.co.uk or there’s an editor’s pigeonhole by the door of Bert’s Bar downstairs at the Club.

Membership Committee Co-Conveners: Sarah Stewart, Enda Curran, Magnus Renfrew House/Food and Beverage Committee Co-Conveners: Douglas Wong, Jennifer Jett, George Russell, Richard Macauley Building - Project and Maintenance Committee Co-Conveners: Christopher Slaughter, George Russell, David Philip Roberts Press Freedom Committee Co-Conveners: Clifford Buddle, Andrew Marszal, Sarah Stewart, Daniel Ten Kate Communications Committee Co-Conveners: Adam White, Andrew Marszal, Daniel Ten Kate

Sue Brattle

Wall Committee Co-Conveners: Christopher Slaughter, Adam White, Magnus Renfrew Charity Committee Co-Conveners: Jennifer Jett, George Russell, Daniel Ten Kate General Manager Gilbert Cheng Editor, The Correspondent Sue Brattle Publisher: Artmazing! Tel: 9128 8949 Email: artmazingcompany@gmail.com

Advertising Contact FCC Front Office: Tel: 2521 1511

The Correspondent ©2018 The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong The Correspondent is published four times a year. Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of the club.

THE CORRESPONDENT

PHOTO: CARSTENSCHAEL.COM

Printing Elite Printing, Tel: 2558 0119

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ANNOUNCEMENT

FCC BOARD OF GOVERNORS 2018-19 The new Board of Governors took office at the end of May. A third of the Board has changed, with fond farewells and thanks to outgoing members and a warm welcome to the new faces.

President

Florence de Changy Le Monde and French National Radio Florence was elected President by the Board last November and has long argued in favour of a higher degree of continuity on the Board, which is why she stood again. She trusts the Master Plan should help the Club identify new solutions to its functional and financial challenges in the year ahead and has proposed a promotion scheme to make the FCC more accessible to some Associate members. Florence has served on the Professional, Membership and Press Freedom committees. First Vice-President

Victor Mallet Financial Times Victor will continue to seek to strengthen the FCC’s relevance for journalists and correspondents, promote the cause of freedom of the press, and help to arrange useful meetings, events and exchanges of information, as he has done over the past year. He will also work with the President to ensure smooth operations of the Club and work for constant improvement of its facilities and food and beverage offering. He has served on the Professional Committee. Second Vice-President

Kevin Barry H. Egan Baskerville Chambers Kevin, an FCC member since 1980, has held this post several times in the past and is the longest-serving member of the Board. He firmly believes in transparency in the running of the Club. He has pledged to help the new General Manager to settle in and run the Club effectively, efficiently and profitably. He has served on the Constitutional Committee. The FCC was saddened to hear of Kevin’s death at the time of going to press. We will publish an obituary and tribute to him in the next issue of The Correspondent. Correspondent Member Governors

Enda Curran Bloomberg News Enda joined the Board last year and served on the Professional Committee. He was the Convenor of the 2018 Journalism Conference.

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He wants targeted events that will appeal to the Club’s core members, to develop initiatives focused on revenue building from new activities consistent with the FCC agenda to mitigate the rise in operational costs, and to promote relationships with overseas clubs. Jennifer Jett The New York Times Jennifer joined the Board last year and sat on the Finance and Charity Committees. Her top priority is making sure the Club is on a sound financial footing by cutting costs, maximizing its use of space and making sure the FCC is a place where members enjoy spending their time and money. She feels it is also important that members and their guests feel comfortable here, which is why she is working on a policy to prevent harassment. Richard John Macauley Bloomberg News A new face, Richard has an eye on the Club’s events, restaurants and bars. He wants a fresh line of events, in addition to the fantastic guests, films and panels the Club attracts already, to help bring more of contemporary Hong Kong in to the Club – as well as a few more ticket-paying non-member guests. In particular, he is keen on hands-on workshops with Hong Kong’s newest restaurants, craft brewers, tech companies, music festivals, media organisations, and more. Andrew Marszal AFP Another new face, Andrew is a newcomer to Hong Kong and sees the FCC as a vital institution for protecting press freedoms at a hugely difficult time for journalists, both in Hong Kong and beyond. He has found the FCC invaluable for making professional contacts, meeting interesting people and having several memorable nights out. Consequently, he is keen to encourage new members and create greater awareness of the Club through exciting events. George Russell Financial Times George joined the FCC 30 years ago, but this is his first role on the Board. He wants to focus on the FCC’s two core assets: firstly, cementing its desirability as a venue known for great F&B and service and, secondly, upholding its central tenet of being a place where foreign correspondents and their contacts exchange observations of the world around them. He brings an extensive network of business and professional people he knows after years of working in the trade media.

THE CORRESPONDENT


Alexandra Stevenson The New York Times New to the Board, Alexandra would like to start a series of workshops drawing on the expertise of local and international technology experts to help educate and equip reporters with the tools needed to keep their sources and notes safe. She also wants to expand the FCC’s list of speakers to include voices that are under-represented and to recruit younger members and a more diverse group of reporters. Sarah Stewart AFP New to the Board last year, Sarah served on the Professional and Press Freedom Committees and worked hard organizing the Human Rights Press Awards, which attracted a record number of entries this year. She says that the FCC may have the best bar in town, but its role as a press club remains the core of the institution. She wishes to build the club’s bold stance on free speech and amplify its voice as the global environment grows ever more hostile to these values. Daniel Ten Kate Bloomberg News Daniel, Asia Government managing editor at Bloomberg News, sees the FCC as a crucial base for journalists across Asia, and not just as a place to throw down drinks. It’s also a vehicle for journalists to stand together against threats to freedom of speech throughout the region, particularly in places where our colleagues are under duress. He wants to ensure the club continues to fight on behalf of working journalists throughout Asia, and retains its identity as the go-to place for correspondents to gather in Hong Kong. He would also look to strengthen the club’s ties with counterparts in the region, building on relationships developed during his time on the boards of the FCC Thailand and FCC South Asia. Journalist Member Governors

Clifford Buddle SCMP Clifford has been on the Board for three years and a co-convenor of the Press Freedom Committee and Constitutional Committee. While wanting the club to be a home-from-home for its members, he says high standards must be maintained. He believes journalists and journalism lie at the heart of the club; he wants to do more to create an appealing environment for young journalists and to make them aware of all that it offers. Adam White Freelance Adam has been on the Board for one year and co-convenor of the Wall and Communications Committees. In that time he has learned how

THE CORRESPONDENT

much hard work goes into running the Club, and believes that he values the Club more now than ever. He wants the FCC to attract more new members, which is an ongoing process. He hopes the task of putting together a policy to prevent sexual harassment for the Club will provide a deterrent to certain behaviour. In times when it’s tough to be a journalist – because of challenges ranging from dwindling word rates to threats to press freedoms – he knows that the FCC is in their corner: a standout supporter of journalists young, old and positively venerable. Associate Member Governors

Magnus Renfrew ARTHQ Ltd Magnus is a newcomer to the Board and is bursting with ideas to increase its revenue, such as online retail of FCC branded goods, and making the Club a go-to for members to entertain guests. He wants members to share their international networks more efficiently, and to leverage the flow of international visitors that passes through Hong Kong. He is also keen to attract discounts or privileged access for members to third party outlets to add value to FCC membership. David Philip Roberts DPR Consultants Ltd Another new face, David is an architect and businessman who has lived in Hong Kong for 30 years. He is keen to see the FCC improve its financial stability, and wants staff to benefit from appraisals that would reward them on merit. He wants stronger ties with FCCs in the region, and a review of how sports events are aired at the Club. He also feels the club’s building may be put to better use to bring more revenue into its funds. Christopher Slaughter Christopher is a broadcaster and journalist with more than three decades of experience in Asia. He was twice elected President of the FCC, and has been elected to the Board more than twenty times. He is a dedicated Co-Convenor of the Wall and House Building & Maintenance Committees, and is passionate about the Club’s history and legacy. Douglas Wong Bloomberg Intelligence Douglas is another familiar face, and was FCC President in 2012. He has recently served as treasurer on the Finance Committee. This is his sixth and final time running for the Board, and he firmly believes the FCC’s best years lie ahead. He says the most important job for the Board this year is to welcome the new General Manager and ensure he settles into the vital job of taking the FCC forward.

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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

Elzio Barreto, Asia Equity Capital Markets Correspondent, Thomson Reuters Alyssa Betts, Online Editor, The Wall Street Journal Tamsyn Burgmann, Staff Editor, The New York Times Joel Flynn, TV Presenter/Producer, Thomson Reuters Jennifer Hughes, Asia Finance Editor, Thomson Reuters Nicholas Killham, Managing Editor, Asia TV, Bloomberg News Benny Kung Man-chun, Staff Writer, Nikkei Newsrise Asia Michelle Lai Yin-yu, Freelancer Sharon Lam Yee-ching, Asia Editorial Assistant, Thomson Reuters Steven Russolillo, Special Writer, Dow Jones Publishing Richard Schmidt, Asia Billionaires Reporter, Bloomberg News Phoebe Seers, Reporter, Mlex Feliz Solomon, Desk Editor, Time Alexandra Stevenson, Reporter, The New York Times Alice Truong, Asia Deputy Growth Editor, Quartz Gregory Turk, Senior Editor, Bloomberg News Rafael Wober, Senior Video Journalist, Associated Press Television News Journalists

Clark Ainsworth, Homepage Editor, South China Morning Post Selina Cheng Kar-yue, Reporter, HK01 Chuck Pang Tsoek-fung, Online News Reporter, The Standard Yves Sieur, Photo Editor, South China Morning Post Associates

Priya Badlani, Associate, Jones Day Michael Bentley, Managing Director, Citylife International Realty John Berry, Director, Arcadis Design & Engineering Neil Beveridge, Managing Director, Sanford C Bernstein Laurent Bickert, Director - Project Development, Sita Waste Services Denis Brock, Partner, O’Melveny & Myers Joseph Chan Chi-sun, Consultant, Foo & Li Billy Cheng Kwok-pong, Manager, Magic Globe Travel Christopher Chu, Fund Manager, UBP Assot Management Douglas Clark, Barrister, Gilt Chambers Allyn Cockrell, Director, Pacific Tiger Group Ellen Coetzee, Wine Department Manager, The Dairy Farm Company Sally Course, Director, Weblink Corporation Emma De Ronde, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Victoria Elegant, Vice-President, Region Head, Amgen Asia Holdings Michael Fagan, General Counsel, PCCW Nicholas Garrett, Second Vice President, IDT Telecom Asia Pacific Harry Harding, Visiting Professor, University of Hong Kong Ho Paklee, Chinese Ink Artist & Calligrapher Sally Lam Wui-see, Associate, Kirkland & Ellis Christina Lau Kit-yee, Director, Laustrana Philip Law Yuk-woon, Managing Director, Union Apparel International Jungbong Lee, Self-employed Frank Lee Chi-kong, Self-employed Laurissa Lee Kit-yu, Founder & CEO, Bespoke Lee Tsz-kit, Investment Banking Analyst, Credit Suisse Jimmy Li Kwun-wai, Business Development Specialist, Techtronic Industries Nicholas Mayhew, Executive Director & Deputy Chief Executive, Dah Sing Bank Doris Pak Man-yee, Group Operating Officer, Hong Kong, UBS Pang Kai-tao, Adjutant - Administration Group, Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps Robert Rhoda, Partner, Bird & Bird Charles Rixon, Managing Director, The Laurus Group Ashok Sekar, Consultant, Vantage Capital Markets Michelle Tong, Managing Director, LBT Bank

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Frederick Wong Tak-cheung, Doctor, The Entific Centre Yang Guofeng, Executive Director, Orient China Investments Alan Yu, Chief Operating Officer, CK Life Science Company Cassi Zarzyka, Writer/Producer, China West Films Corporate

Vincent Chung Wai, Managing Director, VC Partners Group Limited Peter Tsang Cheung, Director, ITM Global Networks Limited Diplomatic

Nabila Alshamsi, Consul General, UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs Howard Fu Tsz-ho, Consul (Political), Consulate-General of the Republic of Singapore Lolita Hu Ching-fang, Director, Kwang Hwa Information & Culture Center Kuninori Matsuda, Consul-General, Consulate-General of Japan Constance Ngiam Kangting, Consul (Admin & Consular), ConsulateGeneral of the Republic of Singapore Diplomatic – Replacements

Lorna Jane Brough, Deputy Consul-General, British Consulate-General Corporate – Replacements

Shayaan Aga, Executive Director, UBS Simon Dodd, Country Executive Greater China, ABN AMRO Bank Thorbjorn Emanuelsson, Senior Underwriter, Gard (HK) Stephen Grant-Wilson, Managing Director, Zetland Corporate Services Mehmet Ibrisim, Regional Director, Philip Morris Asia Toko Ishigaki, Manager, Zetland Corporate Services Michael Keller, Deputy CEO, Macsteel International Far East Bernard Nissen, Head of Structured Lending North Asia, UBS Natalie Tang Tai-feng, VP, Merchandising, Pandora Jewelry Asia Pacific

On to Pastures New

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

Ramsey Al-Rikabi, Editor, Bloomberg Matthew Doyle, Editor, The New York Times Justin Heifetz, Freelancer Linda Jenkins, Freelance Writer Jill Kelsey, Editor, First Time Parent Magazine Paul Mozur, Reporter, The New York Times Angelo Paratico, Freelance Journalist & Writer R Jane Singer, Editor, Inside Fashion Craig Smith, Executive Editor, The New York Times Kelvin Soh Chun-ling, Correspondent, Thomson Reuters Miguel Toran Lain, Freelancer Journalists

Chong Tien-siong, Principal Executive Chief Editor, Ming Pao Anne Kruger, Freelance News Reader, RTHK Stephen McCarty, Books Editor, SCMP Philip Newsome, Freelance Writer Sze Wing-yuen, Assistant Director, RTHK Associates

John Appleby, Managing Director, Wood Hamill John Browning, Managing Director, Jefferies Hong Kong Harry Cockrell, Director, Pacific Tiger Group Philippe De Marcillac, Managing Director, International Advisors & Associates Mark Denton, Managing Director, Broadreach Media Nicholas Edwards, Regional Head of Communications, HSBC Bank Middle East Bryan Fok, Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills

THE CORRESPONDENT


Thomas Gallagher, Director, Citibank Alan Griffin, Managing Director, Digital Asia, Forbes Media Kylie Griffin, Owner, The Ark Veterinary Clinic Launer Jang Hai-young Selene Lo, Director, Corporate Communications, Oracle APAC Luc Moron, Executive Vice President Asia-Pacific, Marc Jacobs International Eleni Nassopoulou, Managing Director, Solar Plus (HK) Neil Runcieman, Chief Executive Officer, Lemon Doreen Steidle, Regional Head Group Government Affairs, HSBC Charles Tsai Chao-chung, Director & General Manager, Power Assets Investments Vijayalaxmi Underwood Gavin Walker, President & CEO, Singer Asia Sandra Walters, Director, Sandra Walters Consultancy

Farewell also to: Correspondent

Heba Moussa, Production Manager, CNN James Seymour Nangyal Tsering, Writer, MLex Market Insight Journalists

Catherine Gaynor, Freelancer Associates

Jonathan Anderson Chin Wai-ling, Head of PR & Corporate Relations, BT Hong Kong Michael Haynes Elaine Liu, Photographer, Elaine Liu Productions Paul Mounsey, Senior Consultant & Facilitator, Asia Corporate Training Brian Suzuki, Head of Structured Trade Finance, RaboBank International

Liu Heung-shing, Shanghai Center of Photography Tsui Yuen-shan, Freelancer Associates

Colum Bancroft, Managing Director, Kroll Associates William Barrar, Head of Consulting, Ericsson Robert Clarke, Chairman, 7bridge Capital Partners Richard Clement, Partner, Massie & Clement Gilbert Collins, Partner, Alan Lam, Yam & Pe Charles Dickson, Director, Eastern Cross Promotions Arthur Hargrave, Managing Director, Melbourne Buyers Advocate David Hughes, Munichre Service Sunder Kimatrai Adam King Monique Lee Anthony Matthews, Director, Acorn Vet Hospital Gerald Tucker

Change of Membership Category Journalist to Correspondent

Sijia Jiang, Correspondent, Reuters Correspondent to Silver Correspondent

Tom Gorman, Associate to Silver Associate Sarah Monks Jim Poon, Chairman, Gladmore International Stuart Stoker

Despatched

We are extremely sad to announce the deaths of: Journalists

Chan Sui-jeung, Journalist, Sunday Examiner

Resigning Correspondents

Kristie Lu Stout, Anchor/Correspondent, CNN Andreas Paleit, Asia World News Editor, Financial Times Timothy Sifert, Editor, Thomson Reuters Markus Steffen, Photographer, Freelance Michael Wilkinson, Editor on Asia-Pacific Desk, Agence France-Presse

Associates

John Hentz, Managing Director, Sanfranasia Mike Smith, Former IBM Hong Kong executive Honorary

Barbara Gerrard, Widow of footballer Walter Gerrard Diana Kaff née Fong Lee-chuan, Former journalist at Sing Tao Daily News Wendy Richardson, Former Quiz Maestro & widow of Jerry Richardson

Journalists

Paul Ryding, Sports Sub Editor, South China Morning Post Piotr Zembrowski, Editorial Analyst, Asset Publishing & Research Associates

Tania Fung Wai-yin, Director, A T Synergy Ketty Grossman, Director, Highbury Limited Greg Hartigan, General Manager, Kowloon Cricket Club Neil Harvey, Managing Director, Credit-Suisse Raffaele Jesu, Managing Director, Intercontinental Interactive Bjorn Larsen, Managing Director, Barsmark Energy Allan Leung Chun-yue, Senior Partner, Hogan Lovells Simon McConnell

Leaving Hong Kong? The question of whether to take out Absent Membership will arise. It’s not expensive at HK$2,000 but it will guarantee you an open door to the club if/when you visit Hong Kong (see conditions) and a super easy return as a full member if/when you come back to live in Hong Kong.

Corporate

Absent Members visiting Hong Kong can use the Club three times per year, up to a maximum of two weeks on each visit, without paying the monthly sub. Plus, if you ever come back to live in Hong Kong, your membership may be reactivated immediately. This scheme is even more beneficial to correspondents and journalists who may leave Hong Kong and choose a different career path before returning to the city as a non-journalist. If you’re eager to re-join the Club then, and have not taken up the Absent Membership option, you will have to apply again as an Associate, pay the joining fee and wait up to four years (the current wait-time for applicants in this membership category) to get full access to the FCC again.

Welcome Back To

Avoid this predicament by becoming an Absent Member so you can rejoin the Club right away.

Diplomatic

Rachael McGuckian, Trade Commissioner, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Hans-Dieter Buhl, General Manager, Moebel Buhl John Rowley, Managing Director, Lloyd’s Register Asia Ivy Yeung Mee-fung, Director of Sales & Marketing, Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers

Correspondents

Michael Clancy, Freelancer Jennifer Huang, Freelancer Donny Kwok King-wai, Correspondent, Thomson Reuters

THE CORRESPONDENT

PLEASE NOTE: The Absent Membership scheme applies only to people who actually leave Hong Kong; in other words you cannot reside in Hong Kong and be an Absent Member.

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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. Alan Yu A genuine jack of all trades, I have built a career in advertising, marketing and general management across several industries, including consumer finance, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. From humble beginnings as a student of philosophy and relief announcer for RTHK Radio 4, I progressed to become “king of napkins” as Asian head of women’s sanitary protection for a US multinational. I’ve come down to earth of late, managing, among other things, vineyards with total area equivalent to 80% of Hong Kong Island. In the last few years I have also been a concert reviewer for the website Bachtrack (www.bachtrack.com). My peripatetic occupation has taken me to concerts by famous orchestras at equally renowned concert halls around the world. Alice Truong I like to tell people that I moved to Hong Kong a few days after the US elections in 2016. My intention wasn’t to escape Trump’s America, but the timing just worked out that way. This is the second time around these parts for me, having worked as a reporter at the Wall Street Journal covering Hong Kong real estate from 2010 to 2011. In between, I was in San Francisco, reporting on technology before joining the Fast Company and then Quartz, where I still work. I’m a ham radio operator (licensed by the other FCC, the Federal Communications Commission), student of Morse, SCUBA enthusiast, and avid boat watcher. Christina Lau Made in HK, an ordinary Chinese girl, we migrated to Sweden when I was 10 as my parents wanted a better life and future. Equipped with Cantonese and English as my mother tongue, I learned Swedish and French, the former for mere survival and the latter for pure pleasure so by the time I had finished my studies, I embarked onto the school of life ready to communicate and connect with all sorts of walks of life. Having slipped onto a banana skin into the world of luxury retail and worked for more than 20 years for several leading European brands where my passion for art, entrepreneurship and team building flourished, I have recently added a new skill, Bio-resonance (complementary healthcare to traditional medicine), onto my profile. So, FCC is the obvious choice, a club where you can relax, meet, eat, aspire and be inspired. Thank you for welcoming me as a new member!

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Dr Victoria Elegant I was born and brought up in Hong Kong and remember visiting the FCC as a child when it was in the Hilton at the bottom of Garden Road. My father, a past president, and brother are both journalists and absent members. I followed a different path and studied medicine. I practised for many years, including in Hong Kong several times, before moving into research and development for the biotechnology industry. I moved back to Hong Kong, for the 8th time, last year. I have 3 adult children, 2 labradors, I ski, and have taken up sailing again recently. I am involved in a number of women’s leadership initiatives and charities to support women and children’s access to education and health. I am looking forward to contributing to the FCC. Harry Harding I began as a university professor, teaching mainly at Stanford, and then became a foreign policy analyst at the Brookings Institution in Washington. I’ve been a university administrator, holding two deanships. Now I’m a university professor again, most recently at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of Hong Kong.The common denominator in all this is my interest in China and U.S.-China relations. I’ve never been a journalist, but I’ve been a source for some and have admired the work of even more. Philip Law I was born in Hong Kong in the early days of the Baby Boomer period. I received my education in Hong Kong and then started my career in the “rag” trade in the 1970s and am still working in the same field now. I started my own business, Union Apparel International, 20 years ago and have customers from all over the world, which has opened my eyes a lot. I have travelled quite a bit for work and play to different places. However, I believe there’s no place like home – Hong Kong! Sharon Lam I am currently at Reuters Breakingviews as the Asia Editorial Assistant. Before choosing to pursue my (relatively short!) career in journalism, I worked for Mirae Asset in product development and marketing, as well as HSBC Private Bank. I’ve also had a brief stint working in the startup space and Forbes Asia. I graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s in

THE CORRESPONDENT


international relations and political science, where I wrote for The Tufts Daily and edited for Hemispheres, an international relations journal. I’ve lived in Vancouver, Boston, and Madrid, but ultimately consider Hong Kong to be my home.

for a number of multi-national organizations with either their regional or global headquarters based in Hong Kong. In addition, I am a Rotary Club member as well being an officer of the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps on a voluntary basis.

Ambassador Kuninori Matsuda When I was a child, I dreamt of being an anchorman. Time flies and as it turned out I entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and started my career. I was dispatched to work in America twice, Russia twice, Israel once, and had the experience of serving as a Specialist in the Soviet Union for Japan. Thus, I was given an opportunity to further improve my language proficiency in English and Russian. However, as both my grandfather and father were experts in China studies, I wondered if I could work in any areas of China. Since then, my dream has come true and I have been working as Ambassador and Consul-General of Japan in Hong Kong since 2015.

Alexandra Stevenson I’m a reporter for the New York Times and I’ve been in Hong Kong for eight months. I’m originally from Canada but this isn’t my first time in Asia. As a kid, I spent time in Bangkok, Thailand and as an adult I’ve lived in China (Dalian and Beijing) and Singapore. I guess you could say that I was inspired by my father’s experience in Asia. He was a foreign correspondent here in Hong Kong in the 1950s and 60s covering some of the most exciting moments in this region’s recent history. He was one of the first foreign correspondents into “Red China” in 1954, traveling across the country to chronicle, as he later described it, “the Communist battle for men’s minds.” Ask me about it if you see me in the club.

Chuck Pang I am an Online News Reporter at The Standard, covering local and business news. Prior to becoming a journalist, I was a private tutor. I have been a full-time reporter since January 2017, following an editorial internship at the Financial Times in Hong Kong. Outside of reporting, I love history, yoga, running, tennis and travelling. I also play and write music, was the lead singer in a rock band and have performed solo at open mic nights. Born in London and raised in Hong Kong, I graduated with a physics degree from The University of Manchester. Paklee Ho I’ve been creating art and painting with Chinese ink for almost 60 years. From being a student, to becoming a professional artist, from sketching, to 30 years of Christies’s auctions, I have seen how “creations” have inspired others and that “change” allows me to to keep artistic interests fresh among those who appreciate my art. I have created various series of artworks; my signature Fishing Boat series of Hong Kong; Colours of Canada during my 20-odd years in Ontario; Elegant Landscapes of mainland China and the latest Dawning of Hope series. At the turn of the century, I decided to reconnect with my roots in Hong Kong. I spend my time in Zizai Xian (自 在軒), my studio in Lan Kwei Fong, with my wife Brenda, or chatting with friends in Luk Yu Chinese Tea House, or having coffee in FCC, leading a retired yet working daily life as any 70 year-old man should. My philosophy: Art is for possessing, creation is for appreciating. Kai Tao Pang I was born and bred in Hong Kong but have been away in the United Kingdom for a significant period of time for my secondary and tertiary education. I am a solicitor by profession and am admitted as a solicitor in both Hong Kong and England & Wales. For the past 15 years or so, I have been the in-house lawyer

THE CORRESPONDENT

Feliz Solomon Just shy of two years ago, I moved to Hong Kong to join TIME, where I was auspiciously tasked with reporting on Southeast Asia. That’s where I had started my career, after all, sub-editing news reported by Burmese journalists exiled to northern Thailand. I moved to Yangon in 2014, not long after censorship was lifted in Myanmar, and since then I’ve written about a dramatic election, a civil war, and a humanitarian crisis. Needless to say, there have been lots of surprises on the path that somehow got me all the way from a cattle ranch in East Texas to a correspondents’ club on Lower Albert Road. I’m still a little stunned myself, but I do love a good plot twist. Clark Ainsworth I moved to Hong Kong from the UK just under two years ago after working as a digital journalist at the BBC in London and south east England for 16 years. I’d always wanted to live in this magnificent city, so when the South China Morning Post announced its digital expansion plans I knew exactly where I needed to be. When I’m not curating content as part of the Post’s digital team, I love exploring Hong Kong on my classic Vespa scooter, going to gigs and taking photos. I also spend quite a bit of time trying, and generally failing, to get to grips with Cantonese. Selina Cheng I’m an investigative reporter at HK01. I grew up here. Over the past 8 years I’ve lived in Paris, Abu Dhabi, and New York. My investigations have led me to corrupt Chinese officials who claim political asylum in the US, Harvey Weinstein’s movie partner in HK, and prominent Buddhist monks who embezzle charitable funds. It is a thrilling job. I’d say my rarest skill is to flip interviewees – having them call back, after hanging up on me the day before. Outside of work, I have a cat and a dog who live in peaceful mutual indifference. n

JULY 2018

9


CLUB NEWS

Sexual harassment report launched

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peakers Wei Tingting and Sophia Huang Xueqin conducted a recent survey in China which showed that around 83% of women journalists have encountered some form of sexual harassment at work. They chose a club breakfast to launch their report, Workplace Sexual Harassment of Chinese Female Journalists. Wei is Executive Director of the Guangzhou Gender and Sexuality Education Center, and Sophia has created a platform called ATSH (Anti-Sexual Harassment), helping victims of sexual harassment to share their stories.

Wei Tingting, Sophia Huang Xuequin and club member Nan Hie In at the breakfast

Strengthening links S

imon Coveney, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland, has lead responsibility in the Brexit negotiations for Ireland. At a club lunch, Mr Coveney shared his insights on Ireland’s membership of the European Union. The first direct flight between Hong Kong and Dublin has just begun, and this shaped his thoughts on Ireland’s developing relationship with Hong Kong and China, with particular focus on growing economic links.

Philip Dykes speaks at the club

Rule of law or man?

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t club lunch No Preferred Outcomes - Hong Kong and the Rule of Law, Philip Dykes, chair of the Hong Kong Bar Association, spoke on the substance of laws that are needed before a society can say that it is governed by the rule of law and not by rule of man. Dykes looked at the application of the rule of law in Hong Kong today and the danger of seeking “preferred outcomes”.

Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney

Clear road for Zhuhai trip

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n March 28, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised a field trip to Zhuhai for about 30 correspondents and journalists based in Hong Kong. The group had a rare chance to travel on the ZhuhaiMacao-Hong Kong bridge before it opened to traffic, and was later hosted for lunch by the Guangdong Province authority. Gao Xinglin, one of the trip organisers, said all the “hardware” was finished and the last obstacle before opening was to iron out the “software”, including customs.

Photographers snap the empty bridge

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Board members on the trip

THE CORRESPONDENT


Induction ceremony

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well-attended induction ceremony to welcome new members to the Club was held on the Verandah in March.

Insight School of Interior Design student visit

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tudents from Insight School of Interior Design, Chai Wan, visited the Club with a hypothetical brief from President Florence de Changy to revamp the restaurant and Verandah. The school’s marketing manager, Karen Abdallah, said: “We have done visits like this with lots of companies, like Ritz Carlton, H&M and Shanghai Tang.” The students held a two-hour brainstorm and lots of design ideas were developed as well as new concepts and design sketches. Among suggestions were a larger opening between the two spaces, use of more unified materials, using the Verandah as a “media café” serving tea to nonmembers in the afternoon, and a “library-corner” filled with journalist and travel books. Abdallah added: “The presentations were well received by de Changy, who felt the proposed designs were very much in line with the spirit of the FCC.”

(Left to right): Douglas Wong (then second vice-president) with Wyng Chow and new members Dorothy Cheng and Peter Tsang

(Left to right): Lucy Craymer with new members Shelley Banjo and Steven Russolillo

Students with President Florence de Changy

Annual meeting T

Florence de Changy at the AGM with Gilbert Cheng and board members

THE CORRESPONDENT

he AGM was held on May 24, with Florence de Changy starting her second term as President after stepping in seven months earlier partway through the year. She announced departures and new faces joining the Board of Governors, and thanked those who had chosen not to stand again for election for their tireless work. Florence said the most striking change coming up will be saying goodbye to the General Manager, Gilbert Cheng, as he retires. “We are a fantastic place with a mission. But none of this is a given,” she said as she reported some of the challenges the Club will face this year. JULY 2018

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CLUB NEWS

Adventurous life of a writer and film maker

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aula DiPerna spoke at a club lunch about how her work as a writer and film producer led her around the world, not only to various unique adventures and experiences, such as facing down gold miners in the Amazon and forming an unlikely trio with Jacques Cousteau and Fidel Castro to arrange the release of 50 political prisoners from Cuba, but also to her current interest in environmental finance. Jodi Schneider with Director Nora Lam

Paula DiPerna Lost in the Fumes was shown at the club

Director’s tale of a young HK activist

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Paula with President Florence de Changy and Victor Mallet

t a club screening, Director Nora Lam’s 97-minute documentary Lost in the Fumes covered the experience of a young localist activist, now jailed, Edward Leung. He was an average student before he unexpectedly found himself at the focal point of two Legislative Council elections.

Cocktail hour T

he exhibition Yangon Studio Photography 1960-1980 was unveiled with a welcoming cocktail party in the Main Bar. Guest of honour was Austrian artist Lukas Birk, who compiled the photos from the Myanmar Photo Archive.

Wall Committee members Chris Slaughter and Carsten Schael with (second left) Austrian Consul General Monika Mueller-Fembeck and (second right) artist Lukas Birk

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THE CORRESPONDENT


Publisher’s Choice wine social

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he Publisher’s Choice wine social was hosted by the Beverage Committee in the Hughes Room on April 18. It gave members and their guests a chance to selflessly taste wines on behalf of the Club’s diners and drinkers for inclusion in the next selections for the Publisher’s Choice wines on Club menus.

Lucy Jenkins and Divya Rao

THE CORRESPONDENT

Member Marcel Thurau (second left) with friends

JULY 2018

13


HUMAN RIGHTS

BRINGING LIGHT TO THE DARKEST OF DARK STORIES The Human Rights Press Awards are run by the FCC, Amnesty International Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Journalists Association. The 22nd annual awards attracted a record 414 entries and the awards ceremony was held at the Club on May 12. Reporting by Sue Brattle & Vicky Kung

Winner: Staring at death by Indranil Mukherjee

“I went through different shades of emotions, saw deaths and signs of inhumane brutality” – Sam Jahan, winner

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he Correspondent spoke to six winners about their work and what winning a Human Rights Press Award means to them: Text & Print – Spot News (English) Sam Jahan, a correspondent at Agence France Presse, is a member of the team

that won for Unwanted in Myanmar, Unwelcome in Bangladesh: “Every recognition is pleasant. I’m feeling simultaneously excited and emotional. I own the Rohingya crisis as a reporter following my years of intensified work on it. I was ill when violence erupted in Rakhine but I knew it was my call. I

THE CORRESPONDENT


can’t thank my wife Jasmin and friend Emrul enough for watching my back in the danger zone. I went through different shades of emotions, saw deaths and signs of inhumane brutality. I truly want to believe that my works have brought at least some meaningful changes to the lives of the unfortunate and stateless human beings.” Text & Print, Commentary (English) Julia Wallace, a freelancer, won for her piece Cambodia’s Crackdown: What happens when an autocrat shutters a newspaper. “Often, discussions of press freedom focus on journalists and their travails, but far more important are our sources. One of the most striking things about working in Cambodia is how willing people are to talk to the media and tell their stories. So far this still exists to an almost amazing extent, but the ongoing crackdown on political dissent and free expression has shown no signs of abating, and it’s unclear whether the gains of the past 25 years will be partially preserved or lost forever. For this reason, I’m very grateful for the Human Rights Press Awards for helping give this story wider exposure.” Multimedia (English) Clément Bürge, a member of the Wall Street Journal team that won for Twelve Days in Xinjiang: How China’s surveillance state overwhelms daily life: “We wanted to see what it was like to live in a place where surveillance equipment was being widely deployed. What we discovered was so much more extensive than we’d imagined. Facial scanners and phone scanners were everywhere. The government and Chinese artificialintelligence companies have turned the region into a laboratory. This award is special. Telling a strong story using photos, video and text is technically challenging, even more when you’re navigating armies of police and security cameras. We’ve heard the surveillance system continues to expand and be refined, and that the number of Uighurs being sent to so-called reeducation camps has exploded. We’ve also heard the Chinese government is making it even harder for foreign media to work in Xinjiang since our story was published.” Radio & Audio (Chinese) Emily Chan Miu-ling of RTHK, a Hong Kong radio journalist based in Beijing, won for Mainland to tighten grip on Protestant churches: “I arrived one full hour before my interview with an elder of a family church in Beijing,” said Chan. “And the entrance was already surrounded by more than a dozen policemen, together with undercover agents

THE CORRESPONDENT

Winner: Rohingya crisis by Tomas Munita

and two police cars. I really didn’t expect this level of security.” Chan intends to continue reporting from mainland China.“Hong Kong journalists have less visa and reporting restrictions compared to our international

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HUMAN RIGHTS

Merit: Jade Mining in Myanmar by Adam Dean

and mainland counterparts,” she said. “If we step back when the authorities crack down on press freedom, who else can cover human rights issues on mainland China? I am really grateful that we have the Human Rights Press Awards to recognise what journalists are doing on the frontline. It encourages us and it keeps us going.” Text & Print – Features (Chinese) Olivia Cheng Tsz-yu, a Ming Pao Weekly reporter, won for The invisible wall: Hong Kong’s refugees. Cheng first came into contact with an immigration detainee – Mr. K – while working on a news assignment about refugees and torture claimants in Hong

Kong. “There were two things I remember. First was Mr. K’s expression. He spoke with such intensity of emotion that I could see the blood vessels in his eyes. Second was how detainees started bellowing when they saw our drone hovering above the windows of their detention centre. They desperately want people from the outside to notice them.” She thanked the Human Rights Press Awards for giving her a pat on the back. “We have to step on other people’s suffering to give light to these stories. Hong Kong needs to look beyond people’s complexion to perceive their wounds.” Text & Print – Spot News (Chinese) Annie Zhang Jieping, Initium Media’s

Keynote speaker Sonny Swe

Sonny Swe’s passion for the media industry and his belief in freedom of the press has come at a high price. As keynote speaker at the Human Rights Press Awards he spoke of his years as a “prison tourist”, moved between five prisons in the eight-and-a-half years he spent behind bars, mostly in solitary confinement, for work on the newspaper he co-founded, The Myanmar Times. Sonny was released in 2013, and two years later founded Frontier Myanmar magazine. Of that time, he said: “We had high hopes for press freedom. But in 2017, 20 journalists in Myanmar were charged with defamation, which carries a three-year jail sentence. Press freedom is starting to look like it did 10 years ago. The NLD [ruling party] and Aung San Suu Kyi [State Counsellor and NLD President] are not talking enough to the local media. We have an invisible ceiling; we don’t know how high we can go. “This is a tough time for press freedom across South East Asia. Journalists are facing threats just for doing their jobs. Our fight has always been an uphill battle and will continue to be so. I am always proud to be a newspaper publisher. I am standing behind the truth, and standing for the truth.”

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THE CORRESPONDENT

PHOTO: JAYNE RUSSELL

‘Prison tourist’ who won’t give up his fight


Merit: Inside and outside the police car by 林若勤 (Kyle Lam)

me soon after Liu passed away and told me the full story to that letter.” What touched Zhang most about the letter was that Liu wrote it in his capacity of a “poet”, not a political figure. “It’s full of love. The letter was filled with emotions for a beloved.” Zhang thinks the letter reinstated Liu as a human. “It makes me angry that authorities would reduce him to mere flesh and bones. He’s not just a body.” n

“It’s full of love. The letter was filled with emotions for a beloved” – Annie Zhang, winner

PHOTO: JAYNE RUSSELL

former editor-in-chief, won for Exclusive: Liu Xiabo’s final gift to wife Liu Xia – his last manuscript fully revealed. “My feelings were mixed when I learnt that I was given the Human Rights Press Award,” said Annie Zhang, who broke the story about the last handwritten letter that Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo wrote to his wife Liu Xia on his deathbed.“I was just a middleman. This friend of Liu Xiaobo called

Winning lineup: Reporters and photographers who won awards, and the judges who reviewed their work Turn page for full list of winners ➤

THE CORRESPONDENT

JULY 2018

17


HUMAN RIGHTS PRESS AWARDS

22ND HUMAN RIGHTS PRESS AWARDS WINNERS Text & Print – Spot News (English)

Winner Unwanted in Myanmar, unwelcome in Bangladesh Sam Jahan, Nick Perry, Redwan Ahmed and Claire Cozens of AFP Merit Chinese billionaire abducted from Hong Kong Ben Bland, Jamil Anderlini, Gloria Cheung and Lucy Hornby of Financial Times Blood flowed in the streets: Refugees from one Rohingya hamlet recount days of horror & Everyone has parents but us Annie Gowen of The Washington Post Text & Print - Features (English)

Winner This is what a 21st century surveillance state looks like Megha Rajagopalan of BuzzFeed News Merit China’s Uighurs Gerry Shih of The Associated Press Myanmar’s army is tormenting Muslims with a brutal rape campaign Patrick Winn and Muktadir Rashid of Public Radio International Text & Print - Commentary (English)

Winner Cambodia’s Crackdown: What happens when an autocrat shutters a newspaper Julia Wallace of The Nation

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Merit A deepening crisis The value of a life & Repatriation not enough Oliver Slow and Thomas Kean of Frontier Myanmar

Jonah Fisher of BBC News

Thailand’s monarchy: where does love end and dread begin? Michael Peel of Financial Times

Merit Inside and outside the police car Kyle Lam of HK01

Multimedia (English)

Winner Twelve Days in Xinjiang: How China’s surveillance state overwhelms daily life Josh Chin, Clément Bürge and Giulia Marchi of The Wall Street Journal Merit Confiscation crusaders try to save Philippine paradise Karl Malakunas of AFP Television & Video (English)

Winner Murder on campus Secunder Kermani of BBC News, “Our World” Merit 101 East: The Rohingya exodus Drew Ambrose of Al Jazeera English The Kill List Aurora Almendral and Ed Ou of NBC Left Field Radio & Audio (English)

Winner How the United Nations in Myanmar failed the Rohingya

Photography - Spot News

Winner Staring at Death Indranil Mukherjee of AFP

Photography - Features

Winner Rohingya Crisis Tomas Munita of The New York Times Merit Mining in Myanmar Adam Dean of TIME Magazine Exchange health for economic miracle: Story of Samsung workers with cancer Li Chak Tung of HK01 Tertiary - Text (English)

Merit Out of Sight, Out of Mind Fiona Chan, Angela Siu, Kristy Tong, Doris Yu, Crystal Wu, Elaine Ng, Marilyn Ma, Grace Liyang and Chloe Kwan of Varsity, CUHK Text & Print – Spot News (Chinese) 文字及印刷組 - 新聞報道 ( 中文 )

Winner 大獎 Exclusive: Liu Xiaobo’s final gift to wife Liu Xia – his last manuscript fully revealed Annie Zhang of Initium Media

獨家:劉曉波7月5日最後手稿全文披露,送給劉 霞的最後禮物

THE CORRESPONDENT


張潔平 – 端傳媒

Merit 優異 [HK01 survey] Scholars shocked to find 33% primary school SEN students victims of bullying Liu Kit Yin of HK01

【01問卷調查(上)】33%小學SEN生遇欺凌等 不公 學者:好驚人 廖潔然 – 香港01

Li Wangling speaks out five years after activist Li Wangyang’s death Lin Ying of Ming Pao 李旺玲冒險受訪﹕替哥哥見證民主中國 絕不 自殺 林迎 – 明報 Text & Print - Features (Chinese) 文字及印刷組 - 特寫 ( 中文 )

Winner 大獎 The invisible wall: Hong Kong’s refugees Cheng Tsz Yu of Ming Pao Weekly 香港難民 看不見的牆 鄭祉愉 – 明周

Merit 優異 Lamentations of the homeless: The people without a place to be Kim Chan Ping Ting of The News Lens 無家者之哀歌:找不到歸途的人 陳娉婷 – 關鍵評論網

Covered wounds: Youth face sexual abuse in resettlement homes Chien Yung Ta of The Reporter 遮掩的傷口:安置機構裡被性侵的少年們 簡永達 – 報導者

Text & Print - Commentary (Chinese) 文字及印刷組 - 評論 ( 中文 )

Winner 大獎 In the name of national security To Yiu Ming of Ming Pao 因國家安全之名 杜耀明 – 明報

Merit 優異 European Journalist of the Year Can Dündar: A lifelong pursuit for truth Chinghua Tsai of Opinions@ CommonWealth 終生為真理──年度歐洲記者敦達爾 蔡慶樺 – 獨立評論@天下

Joint checkpoints: How they are done under British and French law Alvin Lum of CitizenNews 一地兩檢立法-英法立法經驗系列 林勵 – 眾新聞 Multimedia (Chinese) 多媒體組 ( 中文 )

Winner 大獎 Legal Records of Civil Disobedience

THE CORRESPONDENT

Ng Yuen Ying of CitizenNews 社運抗爭資料庫 吳婉英 – 眾新聞

Tertiary - Text (Chinese) 大學及大專組別 - 文字及印刷媒介 ( 中文 )

Merit 優異 Data visualized: The impact of Beijing’s eviction of the ‘low-end population’ Danielle Wang, Victoria Jin and Xu Xiaotong of Initium Media

Winner 大獎 Elegy of the iPhone: Unions and management conspire against workers He Ji Shu, Ko Chung Lai and Lo Wai Ting of U-Beat Magazine, CUHK

One year into the Philippines’ war on drugs Gary Lo of HK01

Merit 優異 28th Anniversary series for the June 4 Tiananmen Square massacre Chong Hiu Tung of CitizenNews

數據動畫帶你看:北京清退「低端人口」,影響 多大?未來如何? 王丹妮、金秋楓、徐小童 - 端傳媒

菲國掃毒戰一年 魯嘉裕 – 香港01

Television & Video (Chinese) 電視與錄像組 ( 中文 )

Winner 大獎 Winner Report: Liu Xiaobo Choi Chin Hung, Kris, Chiu Chun Ting and Diana Lin of Television Broadcasts Limited 星期日檔案﹕劉曉波 蔡千紅、趙俊霆、林達瑩 – 電視廣播有限公司

Merit 優異 The Redress Wong Wai Yu, Jovy of Hong Kong i-CABLE News, China Desk 平反背後 黃慧茹 – 香港有線電視中國組

The investment of sweat and blood Cheng Sze Sze of Hong Kong Connection, RTHK 鏗鏘集︰工傷之後 鄭思思 – 香港電台

Radio & Audio (Chinese) 電台廣播和錄音組 ( 中文 )

Winner 大獎 Mainland to tighten grip on protestant churches Emily Chan Miu Ling of RTHK

內地修改宗教事務條例控制家庭教會發展 陳妙玲 – 香港電台

Merit 優異 Keeping the faith – Xu Zhiyong’s first interview after his release from prison Lam Hon Shan of RTHK

iPhoneX背後悲歌 工會資方疑一伙 何吉數、高仲禮、羅煒婷 –香港中文大學 大 學線

六四28周年系列 莊曉彤 – 眾新聞

Popularising teaching in sign language: Let deaf students understand Mok Wing Tung and Lui Wing Yiu of U-Beat Magazine, CUHK 普及手語教學 讓聾生聽得見 莫泳浵、呂穎瑤 –香港中文大學 大學線

Tertiary – Radio, Television & Video (Chinese) 大學及大專組別 - 電台、電視及錄像 ( 中文 )

Winner 大獎 Students stand in solidarity with the workers Lam Sum Yi, Hui Lee Ha, Chan Tsz Ki and Liu Dicksa Isabelle of U-Beat Magazine, CUHK 工學一線 林心怡、許莉霞、陳芷琪、廖廸莎 –香港中文 大學 大學線

Merit 優異 Growing up with homosexual parents LEE Tsz Ying and Lau Tsz Lam of Broadcast News Network, HKBU

同志・成家 李梓瑩、劉芷琳 – 香港浸會大學廣播新聞網

The plight of the cleaners Chan On Ki, Lam Oi Yee, Leung Yuk Man, Mak Tsun Ho and Mok Wing Tung of U-Beat Magazine, CUHK

清者自清 陳安琪、林靄怡、梁鈺雯、麥浚豪、莫泳浵 – 香港中文大學 大學線

《念念不忘必有回響》 -- 許志永出獄後首次 接受訪問 林漢山 – 香港電台

“Miss You”— the second anniversary of the 709 incident Lam Hon Shan of RTHK

《你何時回家?我和孩子很想念你》 -- 709事 件兩周年 林漢山 – 香港電台

Find out more about the winners at: http://humanrightspressawards. org/1663.html

JULY 2018

19


JOURNALISM CONFERENCE

ANDREAS VON BUDDENBROCK

FROM ROCKET MAN TO THE ROHINGYA By Enda Curran, Conference Convenor, Sue Brattle and Morgan M. Davis

Meet the Editors

In sharp contrast to the panel on women in journalism, the “Meet the Editors” panel was dominated by white men, all wearing white shirts and blue jackets, joined by a single female editor, Gillian Wong, Greater China head for Associated Press. That lack of diversity ended up being much of the panel’s focus. “It’s uncomfortable to be one of five guys in blue jackets up here,” said Kevin Krolicki, Asia Editor at Reuters. The editors agreed that diversity in hiring needs to encompass broader skills and backgrounds, be it gender or socioeconomic, to better round out reporting teams. “The more nationalism is rising in the world, the more we need diversity in the newsroom,” said Philippe Massonnet, AsiaPacific director of Agence France Presse. But as the panel turned to audience questions, the conversation became more pointed. While the editors were quick to say they’re all looking for the most driven, creative hires in the industry, there were very few tangibles given as to how diversity is being encouraged. Audience members expressed disappointment in what seemed to be flippant responses about the ability of anyone with a passion and skill to report and write to be hired as journalists, regardless of their background.

Investigative Reporting

Investigative reporting comes in many shapes and sizes, as the panelists on the investigative panel confirmed. For some reporters it’s a deep dive into data and number crunching. For others it’s an accumulation of hours of personal conversations. But for both, reporters need the time and backing of their publications to submerge themselves in the depths of a story. For reporters hoping to do their own investigative reporting, organisation is key, the panelists agreed. Stories come from conversations, names in documents, and data 20

JULY 2018

investigative reporting, fight fake news and we had a rare gathering of some of Asia’s top editors on one panel. Above all the event was a gathering of the FCC community in Hong Kong and beyond, of journalists and those who value the industry in these challenging times. We’ll never claim it was a perfect event but the FCC remains committed to hosting the biggest speakers on the biggest issues in journalism and has already begun to plan for next year’s conference. We sincerely appreciated the support of the very large crowd on the day. Here are short summaries of each of the day’s panels:

As each editor listed off the numbers or anecdotal evidence of gender gaps at their publications, it was clear that nearly every newsroom was lacking women in leadership positions. AFP was a rare exception, as Massonnet highlighted the company’s policy of having an even gender split on its board, as well as the nearly equal number of women running AFP bureaux globally. “There should be more flexibility built into newsrooms,” acknowledged Wong. “It’s not always the loudest person in the room that has the best ideas.”

Gillian Wong, Associated Press; Philippe Massonnet, AFP; Kevin Krolicki, Reuters; Drew Dowell, The Wall Street Journal; Otis Bilodeau, Bloomberg News; Jamil Anderlini, Financial Times; moderator Natasha Khan, The Wall Street Journal

points that may have appeared months or weeks back. Like other sensitive topics, investigative pieces may be targeted by local officials as a threat. “It always comes in the form of a whisper, what you can and can’t do,” said Selina Cheng, reporter at HK01. Cheng said the HK01 team has been told to back off of stories, or even had articles deleted from the website without notice. In that vein, Wenxin Fan, a reporter at the Wall Street Journal, assumes that phones are tapped when he coordinates for an article. Likewise, encryption is essential for sending messages and emails. THE CORRESPONDENT

PHOTO: ANGELA CHEUNG

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his year’s journalism conference brought together some of the region’s leading correspondents and editors with a deliberate emphasis on gender diversity and a push to involve a broader sweep of news organisations. Speakers tackled key issues facing our industry from challenges for female journalists and how to avoid stereotypical reporting to dealing with authoritarian regimes. A highlight was the keynote speakers Jean Lee and Maria Ressa, who addressed the conference via Skype. Both spoke with authority on North Korea and the Philippines and provided expert context and content. Other panels included how to write a book, shoot video, deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, conduct


Shooting Video: Creating an Image-led Story under Pressure How do you shoot something you’re not supposed to? Paolo Bosonin, Head of Video Apac for The Wall Street Journal, said: “You need to prepare as much as possible beforehand.” Filming in Xinjiang, China, and North Korea last year, he said: “In North Korea you don’t have freedom of movement, you go by their rules and put yourself in someone else’s hands. Do you pretend you’re in normal conditions? We made video and also ran a piece with no audio and almost no editing.” Rebecca Wright, Field Producer, CNN International, said: “A lot of the challenges are logistical – make sure everyone is fed, you’ve got petrol, equipment etc. But how do you show a plane that is missing? The Grenfell Tower fire in London was easier; you film the tower, although it was hard having weeping relatives around us. Technology has made things easier; you can film on your iPhone and go live on Skype.” Paolo agreed: “Ten years ago we worked with 12 cameras in trucks. Things have moved on quickly.” How about pressures of making a subject attractive visually or filling in time waiting for something to happen?

Keynote Speaker – A conversation with Maria Ressa, CEO of Rappler Via video link, Maria opened her talk with a short film of her journalists talking about the many ways they had been threatened with death and rape because of their work for Rappler in the Philippines. “We combine investigative journalism with technology to build communities for action,” she said. Maria was targeted by President Duterte in his State of the Nation speech in July 2017. “The government doesn’t like us because we are truly independent. We accepted the mission of journalism. So we ask the difficult questions. Duterte was the first president to be elected using social media; after his election in May 2016, that became weaponised. If people questioned killings on Facebook, they got clobbered; the attacks were very personal. By October 2016, we exposed these attacks on social media. After that we got 90 hate messages per hour.” In a social media-obsessed country where the median age is 23, Rappler is more popular than most traditional news

PHOTO: AFP, ANGELA CHEUNG & SARAH GRAHAM/FCC

Reporting Under Authoritarian Regimes

The panel highlighted the struggles of journalists reporting in countries where they, their colleagues and their sources face daily threats. Expatriate journalists often find roadblocks to getting into an authoritarian-led country in the first place, as journalist visas are used as a tool to keep people out. But local journalists and sources face regular threats to the lives of their families, as well as themselves. “The real threat of getting sources arrested is something we think about every day,” said Emily Rauhala, China Correspondent at the Washington Post. Rauhala said that people who used to speak with her now won’t answer her calls. She said that she has to ask herself if a story is worth sending someone to jail. Ben Bland, South China Correspondent at the Financial Times, spoke about his work in Vietnam, where he was required to have a local translator. The local assistants were required to report their work to the local police. As a reporter, such relationships take a lot of internal debates and negotiations, realizing what local help should or should not be included on. At the same time, foreign journalists need to respect the local people they work with, and acknowledge THE CORRESPONDENT

Pamela Ambler, Digital Reporter for Forbes, said: “You need a plan ahead of time if you’re waiting for a court verdict to come in. There are less restraints in digital, but how do you illustrate stories about crypto-currencies, which get spikes in reading figures?” Digital offers exciting possibilities, said Mat Booth, Head of Video at the South China Morning Post. “It is a myth that people’s attention spans are so short. It is nice to let the story run up to 8, 9, 10 minutes. You can make an emotional connection more obviously than with a text article.”

From left, Paolo Bosonin, Mat Booth, Pamela Ambler, Yvonne Man, Rebecca Wright

outlets. In March this year, Duterte banned its journalists from the presidential palace in Manila. Next he banned them from any event outside the palace. Maria said: “Is he afraid of questions? I think it is alarming. Trump as leader of the U.S. has helped people who want to quash the media.” “Power has moved onto the platforms, journalists are no longer the gatekeepers,” Maria said in answer to a question from Eric Wishart about Press freedom in Southeast Asia.

Maria Ressa, Rappler

that they are also doing work they are passionate about, regardless of the risks, the panelists said. While some may expect countries like North Korea to pose the biggest threat to journalists, it’s actually countries like the Philippines, Cambodia or the Maldives where things are more frightening, the panelists said. Somewhere like North Korea, while restricted, has clear rules of engagement. The other countries don’t, leaving journalists to navigate a minefield of changing regulations.

Megha Rajagopalan, China Bureau Chief & Asia Correspondent, Buzzfeed News; and Emily Rauhala, China Correspondent, The Washington Post

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JOURNALISM CONFERENCE

Moderator Eric Wishart, AFP Global News Management, said post-traumatic stress disorder is a big deal among people dealing with graphic photographs, for example, going through a beheading frame by frame. Patrick Baz, AFP photographer, suffered PTSD after 30 years of “photographing death”. “Now I want to photograph life and beauty,” he said in a video in which he described vividly the day his feet “turned to concrete” and he sat on his sofa for eight hours, unable to move. Dr Tess Browne, a Clinical Psychologist specializing in trauma, said: “PTSD doesn’t have to be from a firsthand experience. Symptoms include nightmares, intrusive memories, flashbacks, avoiding anything that reminds a person of their experience, avoiding anything that led up to the trauma, a change in the way of thinking, poor sleep, no concentration, becoming more irritable or aggressive…” Douglas Schorzman, Deputy Asia Editor at The New York Times, said: “After 9/11, then war in Afghanistan and Syria, we started to take PTSD seriously. Reporters now have to build a schedule before going to a problem area. They confront questions such as their risk of being kidnapped, will they see bodies, and so on. They must check in at a certain time; this is important because a first sign of stress can be a reporter missing this. The Rohingya camps are a one-stop shop for PTSD, the most senior reporters have come back shaken to the core. Editors have to be available to reporters in the field, and they must listen to them. You can make an

Women in Journalism

The only female dominated panel of the day, “Women in Journalism,” agreed experiences are varied, but sexism is very real. “In India, I’ve realised they don’t see journalists, they just see women,” said Agnès Bun, video coordinator for South Asia at AFP. In addition to the patronising comments of people doubting Bun’s abilities to carry her own equipment, Bun shared horror stories of being sexualized and groped while doing her job. “To me this is more traumatic than covering the war in Ukraine,” she said. While women in the field face blatant examples of gender disparity, the women in the newsroom face a more subtle fight against the glass ceiling. In recent years there have been huge changes, with more women working in journalism in Asia and leading bureaus. But the gaps in newsrooms are often at the top, where white men still dominate. “You need people to identify women, and you need women willing to step up and take those positions,” said Serena Ng, Asia

How to Write a Book

Three authors, all journalists, and one publisher made up the panel, with FCC President Florence de Changy kicking off with this observation from her experience of writing Flight MH370 Did Not Disappear: “A book is not just a series of chapters, it has to build. It is easy to keep people’s attention for a short story, but long formats are a real challenge.” Ways of writing varied, from Victor Mallet (River of Life, River of Death: The Ganges and India’s Future) who likes an early-morning start to Tripti Lahiri (Maid in India) who said: “I had to trick myself into writing most days. I’d tell myself I would write for 5 minutes, then hours would pass.” On research, Lahiri said: “People didn’t know what my role was in the villages I needed to visit. Things that you don’t expect will happen.” Mallet, on the other hand, said: “People in India are fantastically helpful and happy to talk. 22

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outrageous situation seem normal enough that they can cope, just by talking to them. You have to make time.” Wishart described the old macho culture of reporters “having a few drinks” to cloak their stress, and Douglas said: “Reporters are as afraid of editors as bullets.” However, Dr Browne said there are effective talking therapies available, and hostile environment training has been proven to protect people in the field from feeling helpless. Wishart added: “Freelancers must not go into areas that AFP, Reuters etc don’t send their staff into, and a coalition of media has stopped taking their copy.” As to interviewing someone for a story who has gone through a trauma, Dr Browne’s advice was: “Get detail, but not too much; and don’t insist on knowing how someone thinks or feels. Stick to the facts.”

From left, Dr Tess Browne, Eric Wishart, Douglas Schorzman

finance editor at The Wall Street Journal. “Women need to aspire to do bigger things, better things,” agreed Anne Marie Roantree, Hong Kong bureau chief for Reuters. “Women don’t aspire to senior positions and they need to.” The next steps for the industry will need to come from all fronts, as both men and women need to encourage women at all stages of their career.

From left, Agnès Bun, Jodi Schneider, Ann Marie Roantree

But, it was difficult to get data, and often it was made up.” De Changy caught a once-a-week ferry to get to an atoll in the Maldives where people said they saw Flight MH370 flying low before it disappeared. “I closed that story line off, but research was so complicated. It was hard work.” Can you make money from writing a book? Lahiri: “I didn’t expect to make money but my book has been a worthwhile project. Very rewarding.” Mallet: “Perhaps 1% makes money, but it costs me money because I fly to book fairs and so on.” De Changy: “A typical contract gives the author 8-10% of the sales price, so it all becomes about numbers. Compared with freelance money, it’s not bad.” The last word goes to publisher Pete Spurrier of Blacksmith Books, Hong Kong: “People don’t buy local fiction writers. I want the author to have a platform for promotional work. And don’t be shy about what you have written.” THE CORRESPONDENT

PHOTO: SARAH GRAHAM/FCC & ANGELA CHEUNG

Dealing with PTSD


Dateline Pyongyang, Insights & Anecdotes from 10 years of Reporting in North Korea Jean H Lee described her almost 10 years as the Associated Press bureau chief for the Korean Peninsula as “the best assignment in the world” via video link from Italy, where it was 3.30am. She opened the Pyongyang bureau for AP and said “it takes many, many trips to North Korea and to be on the ground for a long time to see North Korea as a whole”. “I had to learn to protect myself in an environment where I was under surveillance. I suffered a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. In the West we have no idea what it is like to work under duress and where you may be accused of espionage at any moment.” Lee, a second-generation Korean-American, said: “A deep hatred of America comes with the ideology of the country. Living day in, day out with my North Korean colleagues has helped me to see past the propaganda. North Korea is still actively engaged in war; its outlook is that they are still at war with the United States.” South and North Korea have been under threat of war for decades, and although South Korea is not the target of the North’s missile testing, it is in harm’s way. “But journalism is a business and the story of North Korea as a threat plays well.”

Confronting Stereotypes

Kristie Lu Stout, CNN International anchor, opened the panel with this observation: “We have to be really careful about the stories that we chose to put on air because of the power of journalism. It’s a cliché, but it is true.” Stereotypes discussed ranged from the political to gender, race, age, social issues and visual triggers. Kris Cheng, a reporter with Hong Kong Free Press, said: “People in Hong Kong feel we have too much Joshua [Wong, student activist]. Can you name one of the 13 New Territories’ land protestors? We need to get to what common people are thinking, rather than just what the leaders are thinking. Caged homes are an issue but they are an extreme case; brownfield lands once used for industry that could be used for housing is an ignored issue. But of course, caged homes are photogenic.” So when issues are important but not appealing, how do we illustrate them? Elaine To, photo editor at Bloomberg News, said: “This year, for the National People’s Congress in China, we used a male and a female photographer. We need to complement rather than just illustrate what the words are saying.”

PHOTO: SARAH GRAHAM/FCC

Fighting Fake News in Asia

“Fake news” is a phrase we hear all too often, but actual “fake news” exists and it is a threat to the integrity of journalism, as well as the people it targets. “[Fake news] gives an excuse to the government to tamp down on information flow,” said Masato Kajimoto, assistant professor at the journalism and media studies centre at the University of Hong Kong. The challenge of fake news isn’t new, but the digitalization of news has changed things. Programs like Photoshop can quickly alter images, others can even change videos to put new words in people’s mouths. But there’s no silver bullet to stopping fake news, the panelists agreed. The public needs a combination of media literacy, third party fact checking and technology to spot the lies. “People already don’t trust journalists,” said Iain Martin, Asia Pacific editor at Storyful. Consumers assume that journalists have agendas, and despite proof otherwise will put their faith in the wrong places. Part of the issue facing journalism is the lack of definition of “real media”, argued THE CORRESPONDENT

She went on: “One of my objectives in opening the Pyongyang bureau was to be on the ground without relying on the government’s invitation. And where I pick and choose the people I interview. We are not seeing much coverage outside that which is controlled by the government.” Of the future, Lee said: “I put my journalism above patriotism, and North Koreans can never do that. The younger South Korean generation doesn’t want unification. They don’t accept having to pay for unification. They’ve been separated for 70 years so this becomes harder and harder.”

Jean H Lee on her 3.30am video link from Italy

Stereotyping attracts criticism, and Zheping Huang, a reporter with Quartz, said: “Working as a Chinese-speaking reporter on a Western publication, I get criticism in both languages.” To which Austin Ramzy of The New York Times retorted: “The only way not to be criticized is not to report anything.” So how to achieve balanced journalism? Elaine To said: “I struggle to find women photographers in Hong Kong. I am not comfortable with balancing the numbers for the sake of it, and there is a lot of work to be done.”

Austin Ramzy and Zheping Huang confront stereotypes

Cedric Alviani, East Asia representative of Reporters Without Borders. Without an international standard for the industry, it’s easier for governments to challenge media companies and publications. Having an industry whitelist of acceptable and trustworthy media sources can go a long way. “As professionals we cannot avoid our own responsibility,” said Alviani.

From left, Masato Kajimoto, University of Hong Kong; moderator Eric Wishart, AFP; George Chen, Facebook’s Head of Public Policy, Hong Kong & Taiwan; and Cedric Alviani, Reporters Without Borders.

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23


GENERAL MANAGER

GOODBYE

GILBERT

General Manager Gilbert Cheng is retiring next month and for many the club will never be quite the same. Sue Brattle went along for a chat.

T

he FCC will lose its memory this summer as it says goodbye to General Manager Gilbert “Tiger” Cheng, who is retiring after working at the club for 46 years. For a man whose recall of names, faces, places and even membership numbers is legendary, getting information out of Gilbert isn’t easy. The blend of modesty and discretion that has made him such a great asset at the club all these years means he is uncomfortable when the spotlight is turned on him. However, his trademark broad grin and explosive laugh soon shone through as he chatted about his childhood in Kowloon Tong and I innocently asked him whether

Gilbert gets talking about work “The FCC team was one of the best in town, hardworking, loyal, friendly and willing to learn. However, the labour market is changing and shifting. People don’t mind quitting their job now. They are not wrong; the world has changed and young people can’t pay their rent on the wages they earn. This is a social problem and it creates the current jobhopping and labour shortages. You can see ‘job vacancy’ stickers everywhere. However, at the FCC we still have members of staff who have a good spirit and good sense of teamwork; they are sincere and accept challenges. If you work at a club like the FCC you have to learn its culture. I was so lucky to have had the chance to work with them and learn from them.”

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he was a born-and-bred Hongkonger. “I am absolutely a Hong Kong boy,” he said. “School in Oxford Road, Kowloon Tong, a Boy Scout leader and influenced by my teacher, Tiger Wong.” The young Gilbert aspired to be a policeman until someone pointed out that perhaps his personality wouldn’t suit the job. He tried his hand at several jobs before a neighbourhood friend, Mr Teddy Lai, introduced him to the FCC in 1972. “Mr Lai had become the floor manager at the FCC in 1969. I started as a busboy as a summer job and never thought I would stay for decades. It was difficult to get a good job; everyone wanted to work in European hotels, but there weren’t so many of them then. My first bar manager and trainer was Papa Liao who made sure that I was taught housekeeping, stock control, purchasing, and so on. I also spent hours in a local supermarket to learn what things like tomato ketchup were – and to know that ketchup is different from sauce! “My first 10 years were a happy time. It was a happy atmosphere, more like a big family. Senior staff and club members taught me everything. I also spent two years studying at night school, one year full-time at Caritas College of Careers, and four years part-time at Poly U.” Gilbert moved from busboy to waiter, bartender, restaurant manager and kept moving upwards “just working hard” as presidents came and went. In fact, climbing the career ladder to become General Manager in 2000 rates as one of his best memories. A simple question – Who gave you the best career advice ever? – triggered a long list of colleagues, friends and FCC

THE CORRESPONDENT


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THE CORRESPONDENT

PHOTO: CARSTENSCHAEL.COM

There were wild Friday nights at the FCC, when the default was to call 999 to break up a fight

members. “They all brightened my career goals and broadened my mind.” Going back to his phenomenal memory, Gilbert said: “That came from the years when I was serving people in person; I knew their names and membership numbers because I was interacting with them. In recent years, I have spent most of my time in the back rooms.” Also the club has grown, with membership doubling since 2000 and a workforce now of 96 full-time and 10 casual staff. He recalled wild Friday nights at the FCC, when the default was to call 999 to break up a fight. “When I was a bartender there could be 200 men around the bar, four or five deep. Members used to drink more.” However, if you like gossip, Gilbert is not the man for you. “I never ask members personal questions, I don’t ask what they do or where they live,” he said. As for his favourite moment looking back, Gilbert listed “the extraordinary excitement and emotions of the 1997 Handover Party led by [then club manager] Bob Sanders”. He added: “That week, journalists from practically all over the world descended upon the FCC.” And his worst moment? “The thought of having to leave my job at the FCC, which has been my life for the last 46 years.” However, this summer sees the start of a new chapter in Gilbert’s life. He is contemplating going back to “school” – “just to keep the brain working”. What would he say to his successor? “Trust the Board to make the right decisions as they only want what is best for the club and, most of all, treat and respect the FCC as your home. Every day is a new day; enjoy and have fun while giving your best.”

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25


GENERAL MANAGER

TIGER THROUGH THE YEARS

1970s

Gilbert and Papa Liao in the old bar at Sutherland House

1997

Gilbert receives his honorary lifetime membership for 25 years’ service from then President Keith Richburg

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2000

Gilbert is appointed General Manager

1999

Tiger gets promoted to Deputy General Manager

2001

Gilbert oversaw the ceremony when there was a change of Club office managers. Carol Yiu (left), the new manager, took over from Racquel Cheung. Membership secretary Canny Wong (second from right) left at the same time

2002

Gilbert receives hearty congratulations from incoming President Thomas Crampton on the occasion of his 30 years of service at the FCC. The Board presented Tiger with a gold tiger and ingot

THE CORRESPONDENT


Tiger poses with staff on his birthday

2006

Gilbert attended the annual staff party at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre as Fred Flintstone

B DA VIS

2009

From busboy to general manager

2018

Tiger says goodbye

PHOTO: BOB DAVIS

Sorting the Board of Governor votes into categorยกes. From left: Gilbert, Rosalia Ho, Michael Ho

2009

PH OT O: BO

2003

THE CORRESPONDENT

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27


GENERAL MANAGER

TIGER TRIBUTES When The Correspondent asked for tributes to Gilbert Cheng, they came pouring in. So here are a few quotes, and you can read the full versions on the Club website, www.fcchk.org

Over the more than 50 years I have been a

Gilbert has been an essential part of the Club for decades, pre- and post-handover. His bonhomie and his talent as a team leader will be equally missed by members and staff.

member, we have recruited a large number of people to attend to various operations of the

FCC President Florence de Changy

Club. Among them, only Gilbert can claim the distinction of reaching the pinnacle of his career— starting as a junior waiter and finishing as general

Gilbert will forever guide our way as he has all the years at the Club. We have ensured it. His voice, after all, is enshrined in an audio file link on the “Contact Us” page on our FCC website, where he tells Hong Kong taxi drivers where the correspondent expat sitting in their backseat is trying to tell them to go. It was the one brilliant thing we did updating the FCC website. One click of the blue box “Click here to hear location in Chinese” — and the dulcet tones of Gilbert Cheng will lead one and all to FCC. Forever.

Angie Lau, member since 2011

manager. That is something which both he and the Club can be proud of. There is an adage in my native tongue, Malayalam: “A performer should retire after the best performance”. Gilbert has long been the best performer as our manager. Gilbert, like his mentor Mr Liao, is a Club legend, too good to let go easily.

Viswa Nathan

When things got tough, the Tiger side of Gilbert’s personality came through. One of the most memorable times was the controversial decision taken by the board while I was president: Redo the main bar. Gilbert felt that the bar should run across the width of the room rather than its location along the left wall. A small but vocal portion of the membership threatened to “come with baseball bats” to defend their bar staying put. That is when Tiger showed his stripes: Renovation works started a week earlier than announced, with the old bar gone one Sunday before anyone could protest. To ease the pain, Gilbert diplomatically distributed souvenir slices of wood from the old bar.

Former President Tom Crampton

I first met Gilbert on his third night at Sutherland House where the Club had set up after moving out of the Hilton Hotel. He had a mass of jet-black hair and a broad ready smile as he worked under the watchful eye of Papa Liao, the FCC’s bar manager from Chongqing days. Liao Chien-Ping, famed for his phenomenal memory of members’ names, likes and dislikes, was not to be disappointed. Gilbert proved a worthy protégé and had apparently done his research on members. Unasked, he poured me a glass of my favourite ginger beer. My respect for him has increased over the years and not too many are aware of the Good Samaritan in our midst: Gilbert is known to have helped out not a few who found themselves in difficult straits. CP Ho (Member 00025)

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Tiger quickly became Gilbert as he stepped into the shoes of the General Manager in 2000. He was the first local GM of the Club. The Club was experiencing a downturn and difficult decisions had to be made – increasing the subscription – as well as a successful membership drive was launched. With the improved finances, Gilbert then had the foresight to propose and complete a plan to purchase the Club’s Accounts Office in Universal Trade Centre – a sorely needed office space that turned out to be a tremendous investment! His tireless work in managing the Club, accepting the sometimes-questionable decisions of governors stoically, and improving the quality of the F&B outlets have now led to a demand for membership with a waiting list of over 3 years. We will miss Tiger’s smiles and laughter, as well as his growls.

Steve Ushiyama

THE CORRESPONDENT


In the next issue, we meet Gilbert’s successor, Didier Saugy. If you have a question you’d like to ask him, send it to the Editor at sue.brattle@hotmail.co.uk

As treasurer of the FCC for five years there were a number of occasions on which I found myself biting my nails about some decision I had made, realising that I had probably got it wrong, that there was no obvious way out of my dilemma and no way to avoid looking a fool or worse. But there was a remedy. I would go to Gilbert’s office, close the door, and say, “Gilbert, I’ve got a problem. Help!” And he always did. Invariably he came up with a way out. Thank you, Gilbert. I shall miss his presence in the Club, his cheery greetings to me at the Club table in the morning, his great knowledge of the Club’s affairs, his thorough organisation of its operations, his wide acquaintance with the members, his ways of diffusing tensions and his evident joy in his work. Jake van der Kamp

The late Hugh Van Es and I were at the bar at the FCC on Gilbert’s first day of work, 46 years ago, and we watched him grow with the Club and advance up the FCC management ladder. Hugh was one of several Board members who recommended Gilbert as GM. The regulars were his family and there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for them. Gilbert instilled through example a great sense of care and loyalty among the staff. A feeble member needed assistance to get home? You needed something fixed at home? You needed assistance in some other personal matter? Ask Gilbert, and he will find something or someone to help. When Hugh was in a coma, Gilbert visited him every night and the day he died, I saw him tearfully and reverently hanging up his portrait at the Main Bar. Annie Van Es

I had the privilege to work with Mr Cheng for 15 years. He is no ordinary general manger, in a way that he gave not only guidelines to achieve tasks at work, but also tutorials on becoming a responsible person in the family, as well as a better person as a whole. In the 1990s, while handwriting chits were commonly used in the F&B industry, he saw the trend of data digitization hence introduced computerized Point of Sales (POS) system to the FCC. It made the FCC the first private club in HK adopting POS. I witnessed numerous occasions when he took the lead to care about the members. He offered comfort when it was required; he cheered up members when they were at downturns; he quietly encouraged members by preparing their favourite dishes or drinks in advance. Mr Cheng, no one will argue that your retirement marks a loss of a dear friend and a remarkable leader. I wish you happy retirement and all the best when you turn your book of life to another chapter.

One Saturday in 1997 I was enjoying a liquid lunch at a somewhat quiet main bar when an elderly couple came into the Club. I saw Gilbert checking out the couple, and you could tell he was thinking to himself he might know them. After a few minutes, he walked over and said, “Ah, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, it’s been a long time, how are you?” The couple looked somewhat stunned; as I overheard in their conversation, it had been something like 20 years since they had been at the club. Gilbert promptly ordered the couple’s favourite drinks that he had remembered for 20 years. The Club will never be the same without him.

Hoi Lo Chan, ex-Office Manager

Rosalia Ho, ex-Office Manager

Matt Driskill, 2004-2005 President

All of us know Gilbert is a tough and smart guy, who has high expectations of daily operations and service standards. Every morning when he arrived at the office, he had already checked up various markets from Kowloon, Central and Wanchai. One of his habits was to walk around the Club a dozen times daily, from the roof to the members’ facilities, kitchens and linen room. Even though some say he has a quick temper, Gilbert is the most considerate person I have ever known. He could remember the birthdays of most staff including every little detail of our family circumstances. He always went extra mile to help out, never asked for anything in return. I am still impressed that he attended the funerals of my grandparents within his busy schedule. Not one boss has ever cared about my family like that. This does mark the end of an era. I sincerely wish Gilbert a happy retirement and do always come back to the FCC. We will miss you lots!

When fresh out of Vietnam, I joined the FCC at Sutherland House in the 1970s, and Gilbert was already there. A quiet presence, just setting out on his path to make the Club a better place: an essential home for hundreds of reporters either covering war or Mao across the border. With the move to Ice House Street, it seemed to me, the biggest challenge of an FCC general manager was dealing with the many over-the-top personalities that either drank at the Club, served on the board, or both. I won’t embarrass any of my esteemed colleagues by naming names, but Gilbert was always effective in diffusing the most cantankerous among us. Although a relative old timer, I never called Gilbert “Tiger” – but that nickname certainly made clear the tenacity and dedication that Gilbert devoted to the Club over 46 years. I have not returned to the Club often in recent years as I am usually travelling. But when I have, Gilbert was always there with the kind of greeting that always made me feel very much at home. So General Manager Cheng – wherever your next adventure takes you, you must know that we will miss you and your dedicated service. We wish you well.

Jim Laurie, President 2001-2002

THE CORRESPONDENT

JULY 2018

29


LAW UPDATE

BRUSHING UP ON THE LAW Across Asia, governments are turning to their statute books to silence journalists. By Jane Moir

G

overnments in Asia are increasingly turning to the law to stifle bothersome journalists. New laws that critics decry as impeding free speech are making their way to the statute books in record time. Prosecutors in the region meanwhile are flexing their legal muscle in more innovative ways. In Malaysia and Singapore, “fake news” laws have been enacted or are close to fruition. While the laws appear to have social media in their sights, journalists are wary. In Singapore, where the media already faces significant government control, an impending fake news law is viewed as potentially curbing the final frontier of free speech. “The internet is where the government has the least control compared to the mainstream media,’’ explains Singapore journalist Kirsten Han. Han was invited to attend a select committee on deliberate online falsehoods in March this year. During five hours of testimony, she noted, not once did lawmakers define what a deliberate online falsehood would be. Regardless, the law is expected to receive legislative assent this summer. In Malaysia, the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 has a very wide definition of “any news or information which is wholly or partly false”. Punishable with up to 6 years in jail and timed to coincide with the recent election, it took just three weeks for prosecutors to make use of the law. This came after it had taken only two weeks from its first reading for the bill to receive royal assent and be gazetted, much to the concern of the Malaysian Bar Council. Journalists in the Philippines saw libel laws reconfigured in September to include a provision on false news, although again it is a grey area as to what actually constitutes such a falsehood. In Indonesia, the controversial 2014 Legislative Law, known as the MD3 law, was revised in March and puts journalists at risk for any comments which “disrespect the dignity of the House (of Parliament) and its members”. Indonesia’s National Press Council has called for a reversal of the law. The Philippine government meanwhile has been making novel use of its constitution to rein in critical journalists. The popular Rappler website was found to have flouted a clause in the constitution

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“The internet is where the government has the least control compared to the mainstream media”

Kirsten Han, Singapore journalist, at the FCC

Jane Moir was admitted as a barrister in 2012. She previously worked as a news and business journalist in the UK and Hong Kong, including 11 years at the South China Morning Post

which limits media ownership to Philippine nationals. Rappler, which has been openly critical of President Rodrigo Duterte, was shut down earlier this year after the Securities and Exchange Commission found it to have two US investors. It is still operating, despite other attempts to close it down, including allegations of tax evasion. An antiquated secrecy law in Myanmar put two journalists in the dock in January: Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been charged under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly possessing secret government papers. The Act, which dates to 1923, carries a maximum jail term of 14 years. It may not bode well for journalists in Hong Kong that its legislation carries provisions long deleted from the statute books in other jurisdictions: criminal defamation, seditious libel and blasphemous libel remain potential tools for prosecutors. Criminal libel laws were repealed in the UK in 2009. In Thailand, journalists faced with already-strict media laws are seeing enhanced legal efforts to regulate the industry. The Bill on the Protection and Promotion of Media Rights, Freedom, Ethics and Professional Standards has drawn ire from more than 30 media groups in the country as a move by the government to further curtail journalists’ reporting. A government-appointed panel will require licensing of journalists, with nonadherence liable to put culprits in jail for up to three years. The law comes against the backdrop of a 2017 warning by the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) that legal means had become the “main mechanism to suppress the media” in Thailand. n

THE CORRESPONDENT


china myanmar

vietnam laos

TAIWAN

hong kong macau Hong Kong Legislation carries provisions long deleted from the statute books in other jurisdictions

thailand PHILIPPINES Myanmar Antiquated secrecy law landed two reporters in prison

cambodia Philippines Government uses constitution to rein in critical journalists

Thailand Journalists to be licensed or face 3 years’ jail

brunei

MALAYSIA SINGAPORE Malaysia Fake news punishable with up to 6 years’ jail

INDONESIA Singapore Government failed to define “deliberate online falsehood”

Indonesia Journalists face MD3 law if they “disrespect” politicians

HOW THE RULES ARE CHANGING THE CORRESPONDENT

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31


URBAN PLANNING

A POINT OF VIEW

Artist’s impression of proposed 25-storey hospital at the SKH site

“The proposed hospital is out of proportion to the site’s other low-rise heritage buildings and adjacent heritage buildings, including the Chief Executive’s House and the FCC”

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A

cross the road from The Foreign Correspondent’s Club is the Bishop’s House, a heritage landmark with a distinctive octagonal tower. Dating from 1843, it is one of Hong Kong’s oldest colonial buildings and housed the original St Paul’s College. Despite its bona fide heritage credentials, it has only been accorded a Grade 1 heritage grading by the Antiquities Advisory Board, rather than the higher ‘Monument’ status – a heritage grading ensuring its full preservation and protection from demolition. A long land lease for this site was granted to the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (SKH or Anglican Church) in the first year of British rule in Hong Kong. This lease allows the SKH to operate a theological college, a school, St Paul’s Church, a hospital and provide staff accommodation. For over 160 years, Bishop Hill has been home and office of the Bishop of Hong Kong, the most senior Anglican cleric in

the city. The Bishop’s home is sited middistance between the former Government House, now-Chief Executive’s House, and St John’s Cathedral. It occupied a traditionally strategic and symbolically important position in the colonial pecking order: Government Hill with its (former) Central Government Offices and government decision-makers were just across the road. In addition to the Bishop’s House, there are three other graded heritage buildings on the site and a beautiful grassy open space runs up the hillside parallel with Glenealy. In Hong Kong, with the exception of the justrenovated and opened Tai Kwun/Central Police Station, Bishop Hill has the highest concentration of graded heritage buildings in one dedicated area. Following the controversial demolition of the ‘Star’ Ferry building in Central in 2006 and the success of the Central & Western Concern Group’s advocacy to preserve the

THE CORRESPONDENT

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The battle is on to stop a 25-storey hospital casting a shadow over the FCC. By John Batten


PHOTO: JOHN BATTEN

modernist PMQ buildings, the government was pressed to formulate a heritage policy for the city’s Central district. In 2009 the Development Bureau announced its Conserving Central policy of “eight initiatives to preserve many of the important cultural, historical and architectural features in Central while adding new life and vibrancy to the area”. The SKH site was one of those initiatives. In 2011 it was announced that Bishop Hill would include a redeveloped 18-storey community centre (on the site of the former Central Hospital) and relocation of the church’s theological college and kindergarten, now operating inside St Paul’s Church, to a property owned by the SKH on Mt Butler. However, this plan was stymied by strong opposition from the well-heeled residents of Mt Butler. They argued, among other considerations, that there would be greater traffic congestion if the kindergarten were relocated. In 2017, documents were tabled to the Central & Western District Council outlining a new initiative for the site by the SKH. A few months later, illustrated plans for a 25-storey “non-profit-making private hospital” were unveiled with the new hospital closely wedged between the site’s historic buildings and covering the site’s grassed areas. This huge building would straddle the entire Bishop Hill, running uphill between Lower Albert and Upper Albert Roads. The SKH’s proposal includes car parking facilities and a new run-in/run-out entrance on Lower Albert Road, with little consideration for pedestrians and current traffic congestion. This plan was presented with no prior discussion with the public. The proposed hospital is out of proportion to the site’s other low-rise heritage buildings and adjacent heritage buildings, including the Chief Executive’s House and the FCC. This development will have a detrimental visual impact on a unique heritage corridor that begins at the low-rise FCC building and ends at St John’s Cathedral and the former Court of Final Appeal – both heritage buildings accorded Monument status. Heritage and conservancy groups have again come together to object to the SKH’s Bishop Hill redevelopment. Under the umbrella of the Government Hill Concern Group, which previously successfully campaigned for the retention of the West Wing of the former Central Government Offices when it was threatened with demolition, a pre-emptive planning application has been filed with the Town Planning Board. The application has a simple proposal: that any redeveloped hospital be of the

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current hospital’s 6-storey height and footprint and that the entire Bishop Hill site and its four heritage buildings are preserved and treated with respect within a new statutory heritage zoning encompassing a heritage corridor that also includes the former Central Government Offices and St John’s Cathedral. Determined public support for this proposal will ensure that ‘Conserving Central’ lives up to its promise! n

Top: Legislative Councillors inspecting Bishop Hill in response to a complaint to the Legislative Council’s Complaints Committee Above: Signage for St Paul’s College on Bishop Hill’s Lower Albert Road exterior wall

➤ This is still current with the Town Planning Board and there may be future opportunities to comment on the application, which can be read at: www.info.gov.hk, the government’s website

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33


FILM

JOHNNIE TO

CREDIT: DIANA CHAN

THE QUIET GIANT OF HONG KONG CINEMA By Diana Chan

I

n a sleek grey suit, polished brown loafers and carrying with him all manner of coolness, Hong Kong director Johnnie To Kei-fung cut a calm figure within the mad rush and clamour of the interview room. Here was a man at ease, leaning back into his seat as packs of journalists crowded around, shoving at him lights, recorders, phones and, in one instance, DVD covers of his films. To is no stranger to media attention. Over 45 years in the film industry there have been more than 100 films he has either directed or produced. In also establishing Milkyway Image, one of Hong Kong’s most successful independent production companies, To has become a household name, and synonymous with innovation and style. As To sat calmly answering questions during April’s 20th edition of the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, his humour and composure revealed a man not only humble about his work – and his successes - but also honest about his roots. “Back when I entered the industry, I was doing it for money. I never thought I would be what I am today,” he said. “Forty or so years later, I am now doing it for the pursuit. Because now I understand movies, so I want to make something that I can be very proud of, that will influence future generations of filmmakers.” Widely known for his support of young storytellers, To is the driving force behind the Fresh Wave Short Film Festival, which provides grants for aspiring Hong Kong filmmakers so they can create their first movie. Fresh Wave is currently in its 12th year and has supported dozens of young directors, to whom To refers as “the most precious resource”. “Hong Kong people are good at forward

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“Hong Kong people are good at forward thinking”

Diana Chan is a video journalist based in Hong Kong, working for AFP. Her interests include politics, the environment and film. The FCC sponsored her flight to the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, where Diana took part in the FEFF Campus programme for aspiring journalists

thinking,” To said. “They’re always changing and interacting. Different generations will bring about different people who will create something new.” To, 63, is known for his ability to insert his distinctive style into a wide variety of genres he’s worked in – from the dark, thrilling triad-themed Election series to his musical comedy Office, he has proven that versatility and individuality can come hand-in-hand. They are qualities that To hopes young filmmakers can pick up. “I think everyone can make films that have their individual style,” he said. “But it’s how you put your thoughts, your life and your culture into it that makes it different. Don’t try to copy someone else.” While FEFF relived To’s past – a remastered version of his martial arts action film Throw Down (2004) brought the festival to an end – for some fans, the big question was of course when To planned to release his next film. Or if he planned to shoot Election 3, and bring closure to the multi-award winning and politicallycharged epic. “In my mind I’ve already shot Election 3 several times.” To revealed. “But if I really made it, I may not be allowed back into China.” To’s comment reflected the fact that local and international films have to navigate mainland regulations and censorship restrictions with caution if they are to make it onto the big screens of the world’s second largest movie market. When pressed again about his future plans, To didn’t hesitate. It’s all about making more movies. “I hope after turning 65, I’ll let go of a lot of day-to-day operations at Milkyway Image,” he said. “I want to focus more time on being a director.” n

THE CORRESPONDENT


BEQUEST

HISTORY COMES HOME Walter Kent’s final gift When longtime FCC member Walter Kent saw a selection of illustrations, cartoons and posters of his long-time friend and FCC combatant the late Arthur Hacker hanging to be sold on the FCC Wall in 2015 he was apoplectic. Walter repeatedly muttered, “These shouldn’t be sold, they are part of FCC history.” He duly bought some of the items, protecting them from the hands of non-believers and any hopeful speculators of Arthur’s work. After Walter died in 2016, his executors decided his large collection of vintage maps and travel and military posters would be donated to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, complementing the university library’s map collection and as a memorial to Walter. Walter’s estate donated some of Arthur’s posters to the design collection holdings of the West Kowloon Cultural District’s new M+ Museum. Two of Arthur Hacker’s graphic designs, previously featured in The Correspondent, will be donated to the FCC. Arthur’s rendition of the chaos of “zoo night”, the FCC’s weekly Friday drinks night, shows an assortment of raconteurs, bellicose fly-ins and bar-hugger members slowing sliding off their Main Bar stools. Walter was rarely one of them: he usually arrived later in the night

to more-quietly chat with the (ma)lingerers. Unseen by some members, as it is prominently hung above the FCC male urinals, is a film still from the movie version of John le Carré’s The Honourable Schoolboy, filmed in the club’s former Sutherland House premises with its famous waterfront view. Arthur Hacker’s version may soon feature in the more public areas of the club, although the final position is still being discussed. As his friends and FCC staff knew, Walter was a stickler for good time-keeping. Appropriately, Walter’s Jaeger-LeCoultre clock, a 25th anniversary gift for working at Chase Manhattan Bank, will be displayed near Walter’s Ice House Street-end Main Bar drinking spot. Unlike Walter, this perpetual time-piece will never require winding-up – nor need anything more liquid than the surrounding atmosphere in which to run. It is a fitting memorial for one of the FCC’s most loyal recent members. n John Batten

Of Arthur Hacker’s work, Walter repeatedly muttered, “These shouldn’t be sold, they are part of FCC history.”

THE CORRESPONDENT

JULY 2018

35


ON THE WALL

EXILED TO NOWHERE: BURMA’S ROHINGYA Images by Greg Constantine

O

ver the past year, the Rohingya community in Burma (Myanmar) have been subjected to what UN officials have called a ‘text book case of ethnic cleansing’, while others have claimed it is just one more step in a genocidal process that has spanned decades. This recent ‘scorched earth’ campaign by the Burmese authorities and members of the local Rakhine Buddhist community has destroyed hundreds of Rohingya villages, has resulted in the murder of thousands and has essentially eradicated the Rakhine State of the Rohingya by forcing 700,000 Rohingya out of the country and into neighbouring Bangladesh. It is the fastest and largest humanitarian crisis in the world today. While this wave of violence toward the Rohingya under the civilianled government of the NLD and Aung San Suu Kyi follows decades of discriminatory policies targeted toward the Rohingya by successive military governments, little if anything is being done to hold anyone to account for the atrocities. Photojournalist Greg Constantine has been documenting the persecution of the stateless Rohingya for more than 12 years. Since the publication of his acclaimed book, Exiled To Nowhere: Burma’s Rohingya in 2012, he has travelled inside Burma four times to continue documenting the plight of the Rohingya. The photographs on display at the FCC featured work created in Bangladesh in September 2017. Constantine dedicated this exhibition at the FCC to fellow journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.

A Rohingya man carries a load of bamboo which he will use to build his family’s hut

A Rohingya mother and child wait with other Rohingya to receive assistance at a makeshift medical clinic near the Kutupalong refugee camp

Sixty-year-old Hussein lay in a bed at the Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital. Shrapnel from helicopters attacking his village damaged both legs

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THE CORRESPONDENT


Hundreds of Rohingya men stand in line at a food distribution site and wait for humanitarian assistance. Rather than delivering relief, the trucks often served more as a magnet of desperation

A group of Rohingya women wait for food assistance in the town of Shamlapur

asdf

THE CORRESPONDENT

JULY 2018

37


ON THE WALL

YANGON STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY 1960-1980 Images by Lukas Birk

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he Myanmar Photo Archive (MPA) is a collection of work by local photographers that has been amassed in the last four years and is still growing. This exhibition showed studio images taken between 1962 and 1985 in Yangon, many at Bellay Photo Studio in Chinatown. The studio, founded by Har Si Yone in 1969, has been family-run ever since and is still active today. Find out more at www.myanmarphotoarchive.org Lukas Birk is an artist, storyteller and conservator whose books such as Afghan Box Camera and Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom reflect his interest in preservation. His work with the Myanmar Photo Archive is an endeavour to re-interpret and tell the story of Myanmar through collected photographs taken over the last century. The collection now holds 10,000 images. www.lukasbirk.com

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THE CORRESPONDENT


YOUNG LENSES Photographs by students of HKU, City University, Baptist University and SCAD

H

ow do the youth of Hong Kong view their world? In the FCC’s Young Lenses exhibition, students presented photos of Hong Kong as they see it. With their images, these budding photographers and photojournalists capture poignant moments of Hong Kong in the news, Hong Kong on the streets and Hong Kong life as it happens. In this first exhibition by student photographers, the FCC presented works by our future colleagues and contributors to the world of media and journalism. 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

Krupenina Katerina, City University: Caroline was one of the first people I met in Hong Kong. It is her undying love for this city and its people that makes her so special.

Engh Cara, SCAD: Tung Wan Beach, Cheung Chau

Loho Petra, University of Hong Kong: Male dog owner walks past a dog spa on High Street, Sai Ying Pun, 2016, with his Pomeranian

Lee Yui Chit Eugene, Hong Kong Baptist University: Avery Ng Manyuen, chairman of the League of Social Democrats, is grabbed byasdf police at a protest on March 26, 2017 outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre during the chief executive election

Magoo Sahil, University of Hong Kong: A poor woman pushes her four-wheeler loaded with cardboard on one of the streets in Central, Hong Kong, 2016. The different lifestyle of the rich and poor people can be seen as she waits at the red light in front of a shopping mall

THE CORRESPONDENT

JULY 2018

39


FOOD & BEVERAGE

GEORGE HAS LEFT THE KITCHEN

Executive chef retires after 11 years at FCC. By Morgan M. Davis

C

George attributes much of his success to his team of 26 that pack themselves into the FCC basement, whipping up everything from the FCC’s famous curries to the necessary local dishes to the special event pairings and thematic meals

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THE CORRESPONDENT

PHOTO: CARSTENSCHAEL.COM

hanges are afoot in the FCC kitchen. After 11 years presiding over his culinary kingdom, George Cheng retired as executive chef of the FCC in mid-May. George’s retirement to Australia comes after years of cooking in kitchens around the city and the region, from beginning as a kitchen apprentice at 15 years old in Kowloon to creating gourmet dishes at top-tier Western hotels. George, who was trained in Western cooking, came to the FCC in 2007 after working as second chef at the Hong Kong Football Club for six years. The FCC, he says, has been a “very stimulating” experience as he and his team worked to constantly update the menu to meet the requests of the club’s members and catered to special events, while also maintaining the quality of the dishes the members love so much. Keeping up with the dynamic tastes of the FCC’s diverse members was no easy feat. George attributes much of his success to his team of 26 that pack themselves into the FCC basement, whipping up everything from the FCC’s famous curries to the necessary local dishes to the special event pairings and thematic meals. “Some days I was like a chicken without a head in the kitchen,” he laughs. During busy days, the kitchen staff makes 300 lunches, while also planning for evening banquets with dishes to be perfectly timed in their presentation between speeches. Adding to the challenge is the relatively small size of the FCC’s kitchen, pushing staff nearly on top of each other as they balance different flavour combinations. And once the food is ready,


PHOTO: CARSTENSCHAEL.COM

George with his hard-working team in the club’s newly refurbished kitchen

the team has to rely on an old-fashioned dumbwaiter lift to deliver the food at what may seem like a glacial pace. The challenge of the FCC’s constantly updated menu kept George on his toes. “As you’re growing up, you have to keep your eyes open,” he says of his ever-developing skills. “On days off, I would go out with my wife to taste Chinese food and see what they were cooking, and then give some comments to my Chinese chefs.” George’s own tastes are eclectic. He favours local food like roast duck and Chinese soups, as well as pho and other Vietnamese dishes. With his son, who works in a hospital lab in Hong Kong, pizza is their go-to meal. But when he cooks, George harps back to his training, tending toward Italian pastas, beef bourguignon, and hearty stews. While the FCC will certainly miss the innovative foods and pairings George has helped bring to the Club, the chef is optimistic that the time is right for a successor and new blood to mix things up further. “My energy is gone,” George says. “I tell myself, you’re getting old, you’re getting slow.” George is ready to take a pause from the long, late hours required to run top-notch kitchens. “Working in hospitality is working day and night,” he says. “When you’ve worked more than 50 years in hospitality, it’s physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting.” After spending so much time working away from his family, George is ready for his sons, now 27 and 28 years old, to see more of him. “Sometimes I feel guilty,” he says. “When my boys were asdf younger I did not have the time to see them

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grow up.” But George doesn’t regret the opportunities he was afforded working his way up in Hong Kong’s kitchens. When he started as a pot washer to help support his family in the late 1960s, George couldn’t speak English or peel a potato. “Then a Chinese chef pulled me over and said, OK, learn something, try to peel a potato, try to peel an onion,” he recalls. The eager George was a quick learner, filling his brief breaks from the kitchen with English lessons, while progressing in his cooking skills. “That kind of knowledge, once you learn it, no one can take away,” he says. Even in retirement, the 65-year-old doesn’t plan to stop. He is hoping to find volunteer work to keep him busy in Sydney. But, he laughs, “I don’t think I’ll be going back to a hot kitchen!” n

Morgan M. Davis is a finance reporter at Euromoney’s GlobalCapital. The Illinois-transplant 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.

George with club President Florence at his farewell party

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SPEAKERS

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

Kurt Tong: Trade and Investment in China, and the role of the U.S. Borrowing a metaphor from his favourite sport, soccer, U.S. Consul General Kurt Tong said the United States had issued a “yellow card” to China. He had chosen the forum of an FCC lunch to say in no uncertain terms that China had been anything but sporting in its trade policies – not just in its current dispute with the U.S, but for the past decades. Unusually for a diplomat whose duties technically extend only to Hong Kong and Macau, Tong used the fully-booked FCC occasion to weigh in on U.S.-China trade frictions. He accused China of pursuing market-distorting policies and said Beijing had breached World Trade Organisation commitments and that the U.S. was justified in claiming damages. There were also “worrisome” signs that China’s economic reforms had stalled or were going backwards. “Some analysts have said that China is now too big to be challenged. I would submit that in fact the opposite is true. I think that the China problem is too big to ignore.” Washington’s pressures on Beijing to reform were wellgrounded and perhaps even overdue. Tong stressed that the U.S. did not want the Chinese economy to fail. “That would be terrible for the United States.”

Consul General Kurt Tong

Going back to his soccer metaphor, what Tong did not say was: What would happen if China ignored the yellow card and the U.S. referee cried foul again? As every sports fan knows, a second caution bars the player from the game. A red card for the world’s second largest economy? Lunch, April 24, Jonathan Sharp

Markus Shaw: People Not Vehicles: Planning Hong Kong’s Future Markus Shaw is a lifelong resident of Hong Kong, an environmental campaigner and chair of a campaign to pedestrianise Des Voeux Road Central, called Walk DVRC. His campaign is about how Hong Kong people want their city to look. City planners, he said, should reflect the aspirations of the community. So what do people, and specifically young people, want? A city should be planned for citizens; create that, and tourists will come. Were Venice or Florence designed for tourists? A developed country is not one where the poor have cars; it is one where the rich use public transport. Our country parks are unique in the world, and the envy of many cities. So do we want an increasing number of vehicles on our roads? Will we let this growth go unchecked? In Hong Kong there is a policy of deriving maximum revenue from land sales. Our transport department is too focused on cars and not subject to planning control. The transport department has access to HK’s biggest honeypot; all money from land sales goes exclusively to infrastructure, not healthcare or care for the elderly. A car-focused transport policy leads to bad planning, uglier developments, and higher pollution. People-centred design encourages interaction. The idea to pedestrianise Des Voeux Road Central started in 2000, driven by architects and city planners,

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Proposed Cultural & Heritage Route

and HK$7 million has already been spent on it. It is a 1.4 kilometre stretch, through the heart of HK’s historic CBD, and the most polluted place on the island. It was once the shoreline of Hong Kong and trams have run along there forever. It has four lanes of traffic, 77 bus routes, and high buildings – creating the only red section of high pollution in Hong Kong. The campaign is about neighbourhood revival. Markus appealed to members to spread the word – such a project needs the support of Chief Executive Carrie Lam to pull it together, he concluded. Lunch, March 20

THE CORRESPONDENT


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

‘Men Only’ and ‘Beautiful Girls’: Gender Discrimination in Job Ads in President Xi’s China Kenneth Roth launched the Human Rights Watch report, Only Men Need Apply, based on 36,000 job ads placed between 2013-16, in the private and public sectors. “Why am I as a man presenting this?” he asked. “For security reasons, we are not putting forward the women who worked on this report.” Chinese law prohibits gender discrimination, but it’s not enforced. This is not just for lower-prestige jobs; it is a problem that in many ways seems to be getting worse. In Civil Service listings in 2013, 13% of jobs ads were for men only. That figure has since risen to 19%, so it’s getting worse. Private companies are not doing much better, particularly the tech giants. In the last decade, China has dropped in the World Economic Forum’s gender parity list from 57th to 100th place; it’s going down and down and down. “Companies mention the beautiful girls who work for them, to entice men into jobs. We see this as an invitation to sexual harassment,” Roth said. “HRW wrote to the government saying these are our findings and what are you doing about it? No reply, but we hope that at least behind closed doors something will be acknowledged. Also wrote to companies, and one replied. “Support needs to go beyond lip service. As for Chinese companies, they have a duty to end, not to perpetuate, this kind of discrimination. “The most effective thing is for CEOs to talk about this. Leadership means pursuing these issues, not just publishing a nice line in your annual report.” Gwyneth Ho, BBC, asked: “Do you think the two-child policy has worsened the situation?” Roth said: “One of the

Kenneth Roth

duties of an employer is to treat people equally. Personal circumstances cannot become a rationalisation for discrimination. “In recent years, everything in China is aimed at suppressing any kind of organised discontent, and that includes women’s rights. If you’re afraid of your people, you’re not going to learn about their problems.” HRW might find common ground with the Chinese government on this issue. “We don’t know exactly why they’re not talking to us at the moment. China has a surplus male problem, so there’s clearly a desire to get more women married. The other is the ageing population, so they need women to have more babies.” April 23, Kenneth Roth launches Human Rights Watch Report

Rosa Montero: From Newspapers to Novels: Journalism as a Literary Genre Award-winning journalist and novelist, columnist for El Pais and teacher Rosa Montero reckons she has written 15 books she feels have been important for her career. She became famous within a few years of starting work at the Spanish newspaper El Pais, all the time also writing fiction and putting her manuscripts in a drawer. “I wanted to be better,” she explained. Then a publishing house asked her to create an anthology of interviews with women, which she found boring. After a few months, she offered the publisher his money back, or a fictional book about a woman. He accepted the latter and she wrote a book she thought was “awful” – but it was a huge success, and led to another novel, and her fiction writing career took off book by book. “I consider myself a writer and journalist who writes fiction as well. You have to know the rules for different genres. A novel that is journalistic would be a bad novel. If your journalism is too fictional, it will be bad journalism because it is not exact. Fiction and journalism are so different; in journalism, clarity is very important. You write about what you know, after interviews and so on. In fiction, you write about what you don’t know you know, you write from your subconscious. “To be a novelist you have to be disciplined, have tenacity and have the passion to continue this hard work day after day,” she said. “I have taken three years each book, but in the last years I have tried to do them in two years. I have a lot of books I want to write and less time to

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Rosa Montero

do them. Novelists have imaginations that are like children. Then something you imagine, an image, moves you so much, you have to share it. It’s a very beautiful thing. It is like a dream with your eyes open. I always have notebooks with me and write down everything, and begin to develop my story in small notebooks. That takes a year or 18 months. Then I map the chapters, the characters, and the story. Then I sit at my computer and this takes a year or 18 months. You sit 10 hours a day for a week, and then throw it all away. It’s horrible.” An evening of Spanish food and wine, March 12

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43


OBITUARY

MORGAN CHUA

CREDIT: SUPPLIED

Born Singapore May 3, 1949; died Bintan, Indonesia, March 22, 2018

Morgan Chua as a young man

I

n outward appearance he could seem like an electrified imp. But no one was more seriously committed to his craft than Morgan. He joined the Far Eastern Economic Review in the same year as I did and for a while, immediately after his October 1974 marriage to his Taiwanese wife Lynie Lee, we shared a flat in Conduit Road, an experience which showed that under an occasionally volatile exterior was a very polite, principled and considerate individual. Morgan, born Chua Heng Soon (蔡興順), was already well-known when he arrived at the FEER. While on national service in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in 1967, his drawings were published by the SAF magazine, The Pioneeer. His remarkable talents soon had him working for the newlyestablished daily in 1970, the Singapore Herald, as the chief editorial artist. But that career was to be cut short. In 1971, Mr Lee Kuan Yew closed the paper concocting allegations of foreign financed “Black Operations”. The reality was that the paper was critical of the prime minister, who was additionally offended by Morgan’s cartoons of him. So he moved to Hong Kong, to the new weekly, The Asian. But that too had a brief life for economic reasons. So after travelling around Europe, in late 1972 he began to do cartoons for the FEER. Very soon these led to him becoming it first art director on December 1, 1972, immediately putting

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Morgan’s famous Super Li FEER cover, 1981

Final issue of the Singapore Herald, 1971

FEER covers on the map with his striking images of leaders such as Prince Sihanouk, Tun Razak, Indira Gandhi and Lee Kuan Yew. The FEER became perhaps the most widely known English language publication in Asia. Morgan’s covers and cartoons were a major contributor to this success, but Morgan himself was untouched by his fame which saw iconic covers such as his still famous image of Li Ka-shing as Superman, and Margaret Thatcher leading the surrender, Singapore style, of Hong Kong to Deng Xiaoping. Morgan took a sabbatical from the FEER in 1988-89 to travel the Silk Road and other parts of China. That happened to coincide with June 4, 1989, and Morgan was so shocked by this event and by what he saw as Deng Xiaoping’s betrayal of the progress achieved since the death of Mao, that he drew more than 100 cartoons which were published in his book, Tiananmen. Returning to FEER, he remained with it till changing circumstances at the publication combined with a desire to return closer to his Singaporean roots. He had mellowed, though it was less certain that Singapore had too. Most of the next 20 years were spent between Singapore and Bintan, the island just across the straits from Singapore. It was close enough to the city, but Morgan was now happier with the quieter life in the kampong with his partner and adopted daughters. In addition to commercial work, he accepted the limitations of cartooning in Singapore and became acceptable to the leaders, including doing a book of cartoons of Lee Kuan Yew which was, he said, to “show the human side” of the leader. He became an inspiration for young illustrators. But he never lost his commitment to political cartooning and accused local editors of self-censorship, noting that as a result “local cartoonists love to draw caricatures of other leaders except our own”. Morgan was hard at work right up to the time he had a pleural effusion and went into a coma from which he never recovered. His body was returned to Singapore for cremation on March 23, 2018. This premature death was doubly tragic for his many friends, and family in Hong Kong. His resting place at Mandai Columbarium, Singapore, is engraved with his signature mascot, a Taurus bull, and his words: “History is not just text and old photographs. Cartoons light up the pages and one cartoon speaks a thousand words. For many, word is power. For me, power lies in my brush.” He is survived by his Hong Kong-based son, Zen, and grandson Leroy. n Philip Bowring

THE CORRESPONDENT


GARRY MARCHANT Globetrotting Gaz, a wise man with a taste for what’s good in life

CREDIT: PHILIP BOWRING

H

is address when I first met him was Far East Farm, Stanley, Hong Kong, the rather grand name for the (very comfortable) squatter settlement where he lived with first wife, Janet. It was an open house for anyone wanting to drop by for a beer and a chat. That was in about 1974. Last time we met was last June, staying at the delightful old apartment in the historic centre of Vence, south of France, where he and second wife Marnie lived. Despite an advancing cancer, he was as cheerful and welcoming as ever and came to Nice airport to say goodbye. He died at home on December 23. For someone I saw only rarely Garry Marchant, known to his closest friends as Gaz, made a deep impression on me by being true to his own personality. Not for him wars or financial crises, political disputes or gory murders. His approach to life as to journalism was summed up by the title of his book The Peace Correspondent, an anthology of his Asian travel stories. He preferred untroubled places and themes that brought smiles, not tears, just as he

THE CORRESPONDENT

enjoyed wine and good food. Born in Pembroke, Ontario, on October 2, 1941 he grew up in Winnipeg. Four years of youthful wanderlust found him installing fire alarms in Sydney, as a malaria control officer in Papua New Guinea and a movie extra in Tokyo. Then back to Canada using a story about malaria control to get his first job in journalism – on the Powell River News, followed by the Comox District Free Press and the Nanaimo Free Press. The travel bug then took him to Rio de Janeiro where he became editor of the Brazil Herald, the nation’s only Englishlanguage daily. Then Hong Kong where Garry quickly found a reporting job on the South China Morning Post and then as a desk editor at the Far Eastern Economic Review. But sitting at a desk was not his idea of life. He returned to Canada as travel editor of Vancouver magazine from 1977 to 1989, producing what many believed the magazine’s best work. During this time he met Marnie Mitchell who became his second wife and companion till his death. The two moved back to Hong Kong in 1999 where Garry continued to show ferocious energy to travel and write while Marnie edited for various publications and the HK Tourist Association. Next came a move to Paris, in 1999, and then their final move in 2011 to Vence. Garry stayed active and travel-eager, writing guidebooks to Paris to add to another on Canada. The last two years were dogged by his painful fight against a new cancer, of the bile duct. But to the last Garry never ceased to be as optimistic and cheerful as his writing. Philip Bowring

Les Wiseman, a fellow Canadian writer and friend, adds: It is hard to write about Gaz in the past tense. He might have been in Hong Kong or France, but he was always there, a guiding light and an anchoring rock in my life. He was cut of a stronger bolt of cloth than I. Travel is an exhausting business, but professional travel where you have to come back with the story is a much harder task than simple sightseeing. He seemed to thrive on a schedule that would have exhausted a lesser man. And nobody brought back the stories better than Garry Marchant. His Faraway Places column in Vancouver magazine was often the only story worth reading in the magazine. And his photos were astonishing. He was one of the dearest and wisest men that I have had the pleasure of knowing. n

JULY 2018

45


BOOK REVIEW

HOW TO BUY A HOUSE, OR A LOVE HOTEL, IN JAPAN Landed Japan by Christopher Dillon

A

Landed Japan by Christopher Dillon ISBN 978-14790-0-6 ebook editions are on Amazon, Kobo and www.landedbook.com

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mong the real estate agency branches dotted around the Hong Kong neighbourhood where I live, there is one that advertises Japanese properties. Nothing else. And, if one can judge from the number of “Sold” stickers on the properties displayed in the front window, business isn’t bad. And one reason for that could be that the prices shown look eminently reasonable, at least compared with the mad, skyscraper-high ones in Hong Kong. What’s the reality behind this tempting façade? Are there really bargains to be had in the land of the rising sun, which also happens to be the land of the sinking population, a rising number of whom are into their sunset years? Anyone interested in taking a plunge, a punt, or at least dipping a toe, in the Japanese property market had best read a just-published book by FCC regular and all-round property guru Chris Dillon. It’s called Landed Japan, and it’s a fresh edition of a book on the same subject that Canadian Chris published in 2010. But this is much more than a warmed-over update. This time Chris has tapped the expertise and experiences of architects, builders, agents and, crucially, foreigners – including himself – who have successfully bought, built or invested in homes in Japan. This is not a quickie, how-to book. Its 348 pages delve into every aspect of such investments in every region of Japan – the procedures, problems, and pitfalls as well as the prizes. It’s a regular A-Z on the subject, dealing with everything from asbestos to zoning, in fact. There’s a great deal of practical advice. For example if you inspect a property in Japan, take along a spirit level so you can check that everything is as level as it should be, a reminder that Japan is chronically earthquake-prone. A marble or ball bearing will help you identify sloping floors. And it’s not just the physical structures

that are sometimes less than level. Belying the country’s arrow-straight image, there are less than honourable practices lurking to beware of in Japan, much as anywhere else. Inevitably, any study of a country’s real estate market reveals much about its social environment. For example, among the more improbable Japanese investment opportunities that Chris describes there are about 10,000 love hotels “where amorous couples can escape for a few hours of privacy”. We learn about the tempting revenues to be earned from such “wellmanaged” properties. But anyone interested should hurry. The number of love hotels has fast declined as demand diminishes from “an ageing, less frisky population”. Chris does not shrink from revealing the complexities of investing in Japanese property. But his fascinating account of his own experience of buying an apartment in a Tokyo suburb shows how manageable it can be. At one point the negotiations over his purchase descended into comedy when the property’s agent said the sitting tenant, a retired civil servant, “had a problem with his waist”. After much circuitous to-ing and fro-ing it transpired the tenant had a severe case of haemorrhoids, which was why he had retired. Whether the retiree, who is still the sitting tenant, is now sitting more comfortably, Chris doesn’t tell us. But he does say how much he himself is earning from his Japan punt. Want to know how much? Buy the book and find out. There have already been buyers ahead of you – including from Japan, eloquently testifying to Chris’s expertise and judgment. The Nikkei Real Estate Market Report has licensed six chapters from the book for use on its website, and a large Japanese bank and the Japanese franchisee of a global real estate agency have ordered bulk copies. n Jonathan Sharp

THE CORRESPONDENT


PROFESSIONAL CONTACT

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LAST WORD

FINDING THE RIGHT THING TO SAY IS NEVER EASY...

K

evin Sinclair, journalist and raconteur, battled cancer for more than 30 years. I first came across him in 1994 when we met as work colleagues, so the fight raged for longer than I knew him. Kevin was somewhat curt. He had the sort of disdain that you need to be really skilled at to pull off. He suffered fools the way the Queen may endure a boy-band concert. Perhaps one of the reasons behind his occasional short fuse was that he had a tracheotomy more than 30 years before his final illness. Every sentence was uttered through a missing voice-box. Speaking at all was a physical strain. I can imagine how quickly this sort of affront

Robby Nimmo has freelanced for over 10 years for SCMP, as well as various other publications in the region. She was formerly an awardwinning advertising writer and creative group head. She has a passion for writing about people, humour and the left field – often off the field – in sport.

to one’s lifestyle must pare entire paragraphs down to witty, pithy encapsulations. Kevin’s love for his intelligent and incredible wife, Kit, and his family, together with a powerful dose of pragmatism and determination gave him the strength of 12 All Black teams. It was through his lobbying and his belief in my ability to string a few words together that I achieved my first by-line in The South China Morning Post. This cleverly cussing Kiwi was a local at my local. In fact, he was a shareholder in it, and always surrounded by his cohorts in the bar. I remember one night when we were discussing a fellow journo mate. He penned me a quick note on the back of an envelope (the easiest way for him to speak at times was to write): “I must be drunk, she’s looking alright tonight.” I shot back at him, “I was thinking the same thing. Maybe I am too?” As she headed over to challenge our laughter, which she knew was jokingly at her expense, he picked up the note… and ate it. If only eating one’s words were always so easy. But what do you do when someone is really ill? What do you say? How do you conduct yourself? As the number of people with cancer increases and we are all touched by their circumstances, how come we’ve still not figured out what to do or what to say? Some people with cancer say the worst thing for them is when people leave them alone and they end up feeling lonely, shunned and isolated. Others say they can’t stand everyone in their faces all the time. No matter how well-meaning people may be, they just want to close ranks and be with their closest family members. There is no right or wrong, but I confess; I’m completely clueless on every occasion. Kevin liked books, and so do I, but I’ve still not received any real enlightenment from them on this subject. As my search for that perfect book continues, I’m sure Kevin would agree with James Joyce’s favourite Groucho Marx quote: “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” * A note from Kevin’s widow, Kit Sinclair: Kevin’s memoirs, Tell me a Story, were launched at the FCC two days before he died in December 2007. Most of his mates were there to see him off as they knew he was not long for this world! The book is available from sinclairkit@gmail.com HKD220 (inc postage in Hong Kong). All proceeds to HK Cancer Foundation.

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THE CORRESPONDENT

PHOTO: KYLIE WATERSTROM, PRUDENCE LUI/KSA

Journalist Kevin Sinclair MBE, RTHK’s Man of the Year 2007, died 10 years ago. The anniversary prompted a friend of his to reflect on how we struggle to know what to say to someone as they near the end of their life. By Robby Nimmo


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The Correspondent, July - September 2018  

The official magazine of The Foreign Correspondents' Club, Hong Kong.

The Correspondent, July - September 2018  

The official magazine of The Foreign Correspondents' Club, Hong Kong.

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