IPOH, May 27 — After three years of celebrating National Journalists’ Day (Hawana) in Peninsular Malaysia, media practitioners from Sarawak expressed hope to bring the momentum of excitement to the state next year.
Kuching Division Journalists’ Association (KDJA) president, Ronnie Teo Teck Wei, said that the Hawana celebration was a platform for the media to exchange experiences and meet new faces in the field of journalism.
“We hope to host Hawana in East Malaysia so that everyone (media practitioners) can explore undiscovered stories there,” he said when met at the Hawana Mini Carnival at Mydin Mall in Meru here, today.
Hawana was first held on April 11, 2018, at the Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, with the theme ‘Membela Bangsa, Membina Nasional’ (Defending the Nation, Building the Country).
The second celebration was held in Melaka last year with the theme ‘Suara Jelata, Aspirasi Negara’ (People’s Voice, National Aspiration) while the third edition this year is celebrated here, with the theme ‘Media Bebas, Tunjang Demokrasi’ (Free Media, Pillar of Democracy).
Meanwhile, the Federation of Sarawak Journalists Association deputy president, Jacqueline R David @ Nur Atiqah Abdullah, also expressed support for the Hawana celebration to be held in Sarawak next year.
She said that the celebration could provide an opportunity for media practitioners from Peninsular Malaysia who have visited Sarawak on work matters to meet again, as well as show the community that journalists are also frontline workers.
In addition, Nur Atiqah said that there are about 300 journalists from 15 media organisations in Sarawak, maintaining the use of ethnic languages such as Iban in newspapers and broadcasting.
“Sarawakians like to use their language as they want to highlight to people outside Sarawak that we have this uniqueness, with the presence of about 200 ethnic groups from various races and religions,” she said.
The two-day mini carnival is held in conjunction with Hawana 2023, beginning today, from 10am to 6pm at Mydin Mall Meru, and sees the participation of 14 agencies, including Bernama, Malaysian Information Department, RTM, Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Tourism Perak.
Also involved are Sarawak Media, The Vibes.Com & Getaran.My, Cybersecurity Malaysia, Personal Data Protection Department, Darul Ridzuan Institute, Selama District Council, Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (Finas) and PerakFM.
The date May 29 was gazetted as National Journalists’ Day, in conjunction with the publication of the first edition of the Malay newspaper, Utusan Melayu, on May 29, 1939. — Bernama