Members Area

FCC Restrictions Further Relaxed

FCC Restrictions Further Relaxed
      
Dear Members:
The Hong Kong government starting Friday October 30 will further ease anti-virus restrictions. The club will comply with the new measures as follows:
               
Operating hours for all restaurants and bars will revert to their previous hours (see timetable below). Last orders for food can be made by 10:50 p.m. while last orders for drinks can be made 30 minutes before closing.
Venue Monday – Saturday Sunday Public Holidays
Bert’s Mon –Thu/Sat: 12:00–24:00
Fri: 12:00–01:00
closed closed
Main Bar Mon–Wed: 10:00–24:00
Thu–Sat: 10:00–02:00
10:00–24:00 Sun–Wed: 10:00–24:00
Thu–Sat: 10:00–02:00
Lounge Mon–Wed: 07:30–24:00
Thu–Sat: 07:30–01:00
10:00–24:00 Sun–Wed: 10:00–24:00
Thu–Sat: 10:00–01:00
Dining Room,
Verandah &
Chinese Restaurant
Luncheon: 12:00–14:30
Dinner: 18:30–24:00
12:00–21:00
(Dining Room)
closed
The takeaway menu is available from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., though last orders must be made by 9:00 p.m. The menu can be downloaded from our website at fcchk.org. Please place orders with the FCC Restaurant at 2844 2806 or [email protected]. Orders will be confirmed by a phone call.
Up to six people will be allowed at tables in all outlets and the number of guests per member will be extended to three.
All outlets will be extended to 75% capacity.
Live performances will resume in Bert’s on Friday nights.
In-person events can resume, though in keeping with all required measures such as mask wearing while not eating or drinking. We will soon plan speaker events, as well as food and beverage events.
Banqueting can resume as well. Please contact the banquet team at 2844 2838 or [email protected] to book.
The gym is open yet the sauna and steam room remain closed. No more than four people are allowed at a time. Wearing a mask while exercising is no longer required in the gym. Please pre-register with the gym attendant at 2844 2849.
The workroom will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wearing a mask is required.
In keeping with government requirements and best practices, all members, guests and staff must wear face masks except when eating or drinking. Hand sanitizer must be used. The FCC will continue the check-in, temperature-taking and declaration measures upon entry to the club, as well as the frequent cleaning protocols throughout the building.
Thank you for your continued support of the FCC.
28 October 2020

 

FCC Continues Anti-Virus Restrictions

FCC Continues Anti-Virus Restrictions
      
Dear Members:
The Hong Kong government is again tightening its anti-virus restrictions; a few changes affect the FCC. The club will comply with the measures as follows:
               
All restaurants will close at 11:59 p.m. every day. Last orders for food will be 10:50 p.m. while last orders for drinks will be 11:30 p.m.
The takeaway menu is available from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., though last orders must be made by 9:00 p.m. The menu can be downloaded from our website at fcchk.org. Please place orders with the FCC Restaurant at 2844 2806 or [email protected]. Orders will be confirmed by a phone call.
Up to four people are allowed at tables in all outlets and the number of guests per member remains at three.
All outlets are restricted to 50% capacity. Please book ahead.
Live performances are suspended.
In-person events will continue, though four-per-table limits, a limit to 40 in the room, distancing and mask-wearing requirements are strictly enforced.
Banqueting has resumed except for cocktail parties, and distancing and mask-wearing while not eating or drinking are being enforced. The number of participants per event is limited to 40. Please contact the banquet team at 2844 2838 or [email protected] to book.
The gym is open yet the sauna and steam room remain closed. No more than four people are allowed at a time. Wearing a mask while exercising is not required in the gym. Please pre-register with the gym attendant at 2844 2849.
The workroom is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wearing a mask is required.
As of Dec 2, it will be mandatory for the FCC to register a “LeaveHomeSafe” venue QR code from the government and display the QR code at the entrance of the club to facilitate check in by members and guests and keep a record of visits with their mobile phones.
In keeping with government requirements and best practices, all members, guests and staff must wear face masks except when eating or drinking. Hand sanitizer must be used. The FCC will continue the temperature-taking and declaration measures upon entry to the club, as well as the frequent cleaning protocols throughout the building.
People who have travelled overseas in the past 14 days are not allowed to visit the club, even once the “travel bubble” with Singapore begins.
Thank you for your continued support of the FCC.
25 November 2020

 

Response From Chinese Foreign Ministry to FCC Statement on New Police Accreditation Policy

On September 23, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong, published a statement opposing a restrictive new accreditation policy for journalists in the city as detailed in a 22 September letter from the Hong Kong Police. The same day, the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong released a response to that statement, which we publish here. 

Commissioner’s Office urges FCC Hong Kong to immediately stop meddling with Hong Kong affairs

The spokesperson of the Commissioner’s Office expressed strong disapproval of and firm opposition against the unwarranted remarks FCC Hong Kong made about the Hong Kong police force’s amendment of the definition of “media representatives” under the Police General Orders, and urged the organization to immediately stop meddling with Hong Kong affairs on the pretext of press freedom.

The spokesperson pointed out that some anti-China troublemakers in Hong Kong who proclaimed themselves as journalists deliberately obstructed the police from enforcing the law and even assaulted police officers during the anti-amendment protests last year, hampering the interviewing and reporting work of other journalists and seriously undermining law and order. The truth is not to be distorted. By anxiously whitewashing the fake journalists, FCC Hong Kong is attempting to endorse the rioters and condone their “burn with us” violence, thus sowing more trouble in the city.

The spokesperson emphasized that there is no such thing as absolute press freedom above the law. Hong Kong is part of China, and any media practitioner in the HKSAR shall strictly and voluntarily abide by national laws applied to Hong Kong and local laws. No organization or individual shall seek privileges above the law, impede the HKSAR Government’s law-based governance, or endanger China’s national security and Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability on the pretext of press freedom.

The spokesperson said that it is only right and proper for the relevant HKSAR authorities to strengthen the management of and services for the media, and amend the policy to address prevalent maladies and set things right, so as to better safeguard the legitimate rights of recognized media outlets and journalists and protect press freedom in Hong Kong. We urge FCC Hong Kong to observe national and local laws and regulations, stop provoking trouble on purpose, and refrain from meddling with Hong Kong affairs under any pretext.

FCC Opposes Hong Kong Police Accreditation Process for Journalists

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong, is firmly opposed to a restrictive new accreditation policy for journalists in the city as detailed in a 22 Sept. letter from the Hong Kong Police. This move is another step in the erosion of Hong Kong’s once cherished press freedom as it would give the police — rather than reporters and editors — the power to determine who covers the police.
 
The changes are not referred to as an accreditation system, but rather a redefinition of who is a journalist in the Police General Orders with the aim of “allowing frontline officers to efficiently and swiftly verify the identity of media representatives.” The letter says the police force will “amend the definition of ‘media representatives’ under the Police General Orders.” Yet the practical impact is the same as accreditation or licensing.

The new rule says police will only recognise as media those who have registered with the Government News and Media Information Service, or members of “internationally recognised and reputable” foreign media outlets.  The goal, according to police spokesmen, is to weed out so-called “fake reporters,” who they claim — without offering evidence — have obstructed police operations and even assaulted police officers on duty.
The FCC stands firmly against the system detailed in the Hong Kong Police Force’s letter for the following reasons:
 
* It undercuts the local journalist organisations whose membership cards have been routinely recognised and respected, the Hong Kong Journalists’ Association and the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association. These organisations conduct rigorous vetting of candidates before issuing membership cards, and this move by the police would take the power to determine who is a legitimate journalist out of the hands of journalists’ groups and place it in the hands of a government entity. That in itself is a serious erosion of press freedom and independence.
 

* The new scheme would give police officers the power to decide what foreign media outlets are “internationally recognised and reputable.” How would that be determined? With the proliferation of new media outlets around the world, how can the police on the ground determine which ones are “internationally recognised” and deserving to be treated as legitimate?  What about media that do not publish or broadcast in English, or that are not widely known outside of their home countries or immediate regions — are they not to be considered real journalists?

* The policy would be a serious blow for freelancers and student reporters — two groups of journalists who have provided some of the most compelling reporting from last year’s protests and police actions. Many journalists now operate as freelancers, some working regularly for specific organisations, and many others offering their stories and videos to multiple outlets “on spec”.  News outlets have come to rely on freelancers due to the changing economics of the industry.  But most of them cannot obtain registration because of their freelance status.

Student journalists, likewise, have been integral to the reporting on — and public understanding of — last year’s protest movement.  Student reporters have faced the same dangers as veteran journalists, and some have been injured.

But this is about more than access to events and invitations to the inside of the police cordon. Journalists who are not recognised under this new policy could face the real possibility of arrest for unlawful assembly or rioting.

Before this new policy, Hong Kong had already dropped to an ignominious 80th place on the Reporters Without Borders annual press freedom index of 180 countries, down from 48th place in 2009.  And that was before the 10 August police raid on the headquarters of Apple Daily and the arrest of its founder, Jimmy Lai.

The Hong Kong police in their letter say they “always respect press freedom and their rights of journalists.” If that is the case, they should welcome free and unfettered access to their operations, and should encourage open reporting instead of trying to restrict the number of journalists covering its operations. A force that is proud of its discipline and confident its officers follow established protocols and guidelines should have nothing to fear from the spotlight journalists shine on it.

 

23 September 2020

I

Indonesia’s struggle with COVID-19 due to Widodo’s ‘lack of leadership’

Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, has shown a lack of leadership in the fight against COVID-19, according to the author of a book on the former furniture maker who took office six years ago.

Ben Bland talks to Keith Richburg. Ben Bland talks to Keith Richburg.

Indonesia currently ranks 23rd of 217 countries in terms of the number of infections and deaths from coronavirus, with more than 250,000 infected and almost 10,000 dead at the time of writing.

Widodo, once considered the embodiment of hope and change, has shown himself in office to be a consummate pragmatist. But he is now being tested by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Benjamin Bland said that while many countries were experiencing second and third waves, Indonesia was similar to the United States in that it still in ‘an endless first wave’.

The author of Man of Contradictions: Joko Widodo and the Struggle to Remake Indonesia, described the effect on the country as ‘extremely concerning’, adding that the ‘majority of the workforce is employed informally’ – motorcycle taxi drivers, domestic helpers, for example – professions that cannot work from home. The result was increasing inequality as millions were pushed into poverty. Bland added that ‘very confused messaging’ from the government had aided the spread of COVID-19 and put pressure on a health system already deeply underfunded and stretched.

He said that the virus had increased Indonesia’s reliance on China, with the country now waiting for a vaccine from Beijing. Indonesia was already enjoying Chinese funding for various infrastructure projects, Bland said. On its relationship with China, Bland said Indonesia’s desire was to maintain strategic autonomy in the region ‘and keep out of trouble as much as possible’ which frustrates neighbouring Australia and Washington who see the country as potentially a ‘third force’ in Asia, pushing back against China.

In a wide ranging talk, he also touched on the threat of climate change to Indonesia. Its capital city, Jakarta, has sunk 2.5 metres in the last decade. Home to 10 million people, almost half the swampy city is below sea level. Widodo was, pre-COVID, instrumental in a plan to move the capital to Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. The plan is currently on hold.

On Widodo himself, Bland said the book had been difficult to write as he struggled to ‘get a handle on exactly what kind of leader he is’. Having only been in politics for nine years, and in power for six, Widodo has been given many labels – reformer, liberal, pragmatist, technocrat – with something in almost all.

Watch the video

Hong Kong police outlines new accreditation procedures in letter to the FCC

The FCC has received the following letter from the Hong Kong Police Force regarding new accreditation procedures. The club will be responding to the letter today.

FCC Continues its Restrictions

FCC Continues its Restrictions
      
Dear Members:
The Hong Kong government is continuing anti-virus restrictions; a few changes affect the FCC. The club will comply with the measures as follows:
               
All restaurants will close at 11:59 p.m. every day. Last orders for food will be 10:50 p.m. while last orders for drinks will be 11:30 p.m.
The takeaway menu is available from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., though last orders must be made by 9:00 p.m. The menu can be downloaded from our website at fcchk.org. Please place orders with the FCC Restaurant at 2844 2806 or [email protected]. Orders will be confirmed by a phone call.
Up to four people are allowed at tables in all outlets and the number of guests per member remains at three.
All outlets will be restricted to 50% capacity. Please book ahead.
Live performances will be suspended.
In-person events continue, though per-table limits, distancing and mask-wearing requirements are strictly enforced.
Banqueting has resumed except for cocktail parties, and distancing and mask-wearing while not eating or drinking are being enforced. Please contact the banquet team at 2844 2838 or [email protected] to book.
The gym is open yet the sauna and steam room remain closed. No more than four people are allowed at a time. Wearing a mask while exercising is not required in the gym. Please pre-register with the gym attendant at 2844 2849.
The workroom is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wearing a mask is required.
In keeping with government requirements and best practices, all members, guests and staff must wear face masks except when eating or drinking. Hand sanitizer must be used. The FCC will continue the check-in, temperature-taking and declaration measures upon entry to the club, as well as the frequent cleaning protocols throughout the building.
People who have travelled overseas in the past 14 days are not allowed to visit the club, even once the “travel bubble” with Singapore begins.
Thank you for your continued support of the FCC.
23 November 2020

 

FCC expresses solidarity with press organisations following Hong Kong Police revision of media definition reports

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong, expresses its deep concern over reports of the Police Department’s revision of its definition of media representatives. The FCC expresses its solidarity with the organisations signing this statement and with journalists in Hong Kong – including freelancers, photographers and student journalists – and is opposed to any actions by government authorities that would impinge on freedom to work without fear or intimidation. Here is the joint statement.

Joint-statement: Hong Kong press unions and associations sternly opposes the police’s unilateral revision of its definition of media representatives under the Police General Orders

The Hong Kong police today wrote to four media associations, announcing that it will revise the definition of media representatives under its General Police Order. Under the amendment, media workers holding the Hong Kong Journalists Association and Hong Kong Press Photographers Association press passes are no longer recognised as media representatives. Only those working for media outlets registered with the Hong Kong government, or “renowned and well-known” non-local outlets will be identified as media representatives.

We sternly oppose the police’s hasty decision. We must point out that the relevant guidelines have been in place for years, and that they were a product of detailed discussion between the police and media representatives.

Today, the police have broken this relationship by planning a significant amendment without first discussing and consulting our sector. We demand the police to scrap the relevant amendment, or we will respond by taking any possible and necessary measures.

In the letter, the police cited the discovery of “fake reporters”, whom they said obstructed and attacked officers, as a reason for the amendment. But the police had not provided concrete proof of these incidents, which, even if true, are unconnected to the HKJA and HKPPA. It is unreasonable for the police to make the amendment against the two associations.

Hong Kong Journalists Association has 604 full members, who are eligible to apply for a press pass from the association. Since January this year, only 99 such press passes had been issued under a strict vetting process in accordance with the association’s constitution. There has never been a scenario of “over-issuing” of such passes. The police had also failed to provide any proof to reflect problems in the HKJA’s issuing of press passes and recruitment of members.

The amendment allows authorities to decide who are reporters, which fundamentally changes the original system in Hong Kong. It will be no different to having a government accreditation system, which will seriously impede press freedom in Hong Kong, leading the city toward authoritarian rule.

In its letter, the police also claimed it had often exchange views with the media industry on improving reporting arrangements. In fact, the police chief had repeatedly turned down the HKJA’s invitation for meetings. We simply cannot understand the police’s statement that it has heard our views.

We must point out that Article 27 of the Basic Law states clear protections for press freedom in Hong Kong. For years, freelance reporters and media outlets not registered with the government have made truthful reports to serve the wider public. The police must not use administrative means to censor the media and in doing so, harm the rights of Hongkongers.

Hong Kong Journalists Association
Hong Kong Press Photographer Association
Independent Commentators Association
Journalism Educators for Press Freedom
Ming Pao Staff Association
RTHK Programme Staff Union
Citizen News Staff Union

September 22, 2020

Bishop Hill hospital plan curtailed following Town Planning Board decision

Plans for a large, looming hospital to be built on historic Bishop Hill, adjacent to the FCC, have been curtailed after the Town Planning Board officially supported height restrictions.

Plans for a new 25-storey hospital proposed by the Sheng Kung Hui (Anglican church) – occupants of the site since the 1840s – had prompted significant objections from those in the neighbouring area. In February, the Town Planning Board imposed an 80 metres height restriction on any newly-built structure on the northern part of the site. Then, in early September, the Town Planning Commission officially confirmed these height restrictions, which ensures that the historic atmosphere of Bishop Hill will not be overwhelmed by new developments.

Campaigner and FCC member, John Batten, said: “This is a good decision for Hong Kong. The Anglican Church should now take a good look at the wonderful history of Bishop Hill and give up any judicial review that it is considering to challenge the Town Planning Board’s decision.”

FCC Dining Hours Extended

FCC Dining Hours Extended
      
Dear FCC Members:
The Hong Kong government starting Friday September 18 will further extend hours for dine-in service.
               
Accordingly, the club will extend its hours until 11:59 p.m. every day. Last orders for food will be 10:50 p.m. while last orders for drinks will be 11:30 p.m.
All other restrictions — including the requirement of no more than four people to a table — will remain unchanged.
In keeping with government requirements and best practices, all members, guests and staff must wear face masks except when eating or drinking. This is a requirement in all areas of the building including the workroom. Hand sanitizer must be used. The FCC will continue the check-in, temperature-taking and declaration measures upon entry to the club, as well as the frequent cleaning protocols throughout the building.
Thank you for your continued support of the FCC.
16 September 2020

 

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