Indonesian President Joko Widodo (centre) today launched the republic’s second most celebrated day, the Indonesian National Press Day (HPN) 2018. Courtesy pix

PADANG, West Sumatera: Indonesian President Joko Widodo today launched the republic’s second most celebrated day, the Indonesian National Press Day (HPN) 2018.

Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak, Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, and a journalist delegation from Malaysia led by Bernama general manager Datuk Zulkefli Salleh, who is also Malaysia-Indonesia Friendship Alliance (Iswami) chairman were at the event.

Other dignitaries at the HPN celebration, described as the second most significant after Aidilfitri in the republic, were Indonesian cabinet ministers, provincial governors and regents, foreign diplomats, corporate leaders, and more than 6,000 media practitioners.

HPN 2018 was organised jointly by the Indonesian Journalist Association (PWI), Indonesian Press Council, Newspaper Publishers Union (SPS), Indonesian Private Television Association (ATVSI), Indonesian Local Television Association (ATVLI), National Private Radio Association of Indonesia (PRSSNI), and Indonesian Association of Advertising Companies (PPPI).

The celebration kicked off on Feb 7 with various programmes such as exhibition, convention and entertainment activities which were also participated by the local community.

Iswami Indonesia head Asro Kamal Rokan said the HPN was significant in that it was fully supported by the government, media practitioners, private sector, corporate figures and academicians, foreign diplomats in Indonesia and residents.

"HPN is held on Feb 9 annually and provinces are ever eager to be chosen as host for the major event. Because as host the province stands to benefit handsomely.

“Firstly because no less than the President of Indonesia will launch the HPN, who will make a working visit to the province and surely announce many development plans for the residents.

"Secondly, corporate figures, media coverage and the HPN activities would inevitably spin a substantial sum of income for the province,” said Asro Kamal, who is also Indonesian Press Council honorary member.

He said residents, particularly hotel, food, and transport operators enjoyed a good harvest from the celebration, held in different cities every year.

The media industry in Indonesia began with the establishment of the ANTARA news agency on Dec 13, 1937, and continue to develop and become an instrument for the people to achieve their desire for independence.

Feb 9 was declared as National Press Day in recognition of the Indonesian media’s contributions, by then Indonesian president Soeharto in 1985. -- Bernama

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