28/05/2024 01:05 PM

By Hamdan Ismail

KUCHING, May 28 (Bernama) – The National Journalists' Day (HAWANA 2024) concluded another successful chapter with its fourth edition, which took place for three days in this city, drawing its curtain yesterday.

The largest gathering of Malaysian journalists, organised by the Ministry of Communications in collaboration with the Sarawak Government and Bernama as the implementing agency, was opened by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

This year's fourth edition,  involving the participation of approximately 1,000 media practitioners from 11 countries, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Brunei, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, China, South Korea and Qatar, also achieved several new milestones.

Among them was being the first HAWANA to be held across the South China Sea, as the three previous celebrations were held in Peninsular Malaysia.

With the event organised by the Ministry of Communications and Bernama as the implementing agency, it tested the level of cooperation among the federal and state agencies, as well as non-governmental and private organisations.

The cooperation proved successful and promised further collaborations in the future.

Despite facing many challenges, Bernama, Radio Television Malaysia, the Information Department, and several other federal agencies worked closely with state agencies such as the Sarawak Public Communications Unit (UKAS), the State Protocol and Event Management Unit (UPPAN), as well as the private sector and non-governmental organisations to ensure the success of HAWANA 2024.

For the first time, HAWANA 2024 featured the “Jelajah HAWANA bersama Siswa” with its inaugural event jointly organised by Bernama and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) at the Sarawak State Library on May 25.

More than 250 students from several local institutions of higher learning participated in the tour, during which they also had a dialogue session with the Minister of Communications, Fahmi Fadzil.  Also present was Deputy Minister in the Sarawak Premier's Department (Corporate Affairs, Information and UKAS), Datuk Abdullah Saidol.

The celebration became merrier with the opening of the 2024 HAWANA Exhibition by the Communications Minister at Plaza Merdeka here. It involved the participation of 20 exhibitors comprising media organisations, the private sector, and government agencies.

UKAS, the Kuching Division Journalists Association (KDJA), and the Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) also contributed to the warmth of the reception by organizing the Sarawak Media Conference (SMeC) 2024, which successfully attracted approximately 600 participants.

The Sarawak Media Conference (SMeC) 2024 was also organised by UKAS, the Kuching Divisional Journalists Association (KDJA) and Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM). The programme attracted about 600 participants.‘Media Evolution in the Digital Era’ 

The conference, with the theme ‘Media Evolution in the Digital Era’, was opened by Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg. Eleven topics were discussed at the conference.

A dinner with the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Sarawak, Tun Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, was held later in the evening. The event was regarded as the biggest “Media Night” in Sarawak with the attendance of many well-known journalists in the country.

Another achievement at the 2024 HAWANA 2024  is Bernama and RTM having their morning talk shows, Apa Khabar Malaysia (AKM) and Selamat Pagi Malaysia (SPM), respectively, jointly for the first time and broadcast live simultaneously.

The last day of the 2024 HAWANA yesterday was the highlight of the celebration with the presence of Anwar who announced several good news for media practitioners in the country.

They include an allocation of RM1 million to the Bernama Center of Excellence to organise courses and training related to artificial intelligence (AI) for media practitioners and an additional allocation of RM1 million to Tabung Kasih@HAWANA next year.

There was also good news announced by Fahmi, who said that part-time media practitioners in the country will receive Social Security Organisation (Socso) contribution for one year starting July 1.

He also said that the ministry will also continue the RAHMAH Rebate Incentive for Media Practitioners.

Yesterday, Sarawak's veteran journalist James Ritchie and KDJA were named the recipients of the 2024 HAWANA  Award, while seven other journalists received the Premier Special Award.

Meanwhile, Fahmi said that although the planning for the 2024 HAWANA was carried out during a limited time, the event was a success and attributed it to the efforts and dedication of the task force involved.

"I can see the seriousness and efforts of the task force in working tirelessly to ensure the success of this event," he added.


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