KUALA LUMPUR: Caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today announced that National Journalists Day (Hawana) would be celebrated on May 29, beginning next year. "The government has accepted the proposal to proclaim May 29 annually as National Journalists Day in commemoration of the publication of the first edition of Utusan Melayu on May 29, 1939," he said while launching Hawana here today. Earlier, Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) general manager Datuk Zulkefli Salleh, who is also Hawana main committee chairman read out the Hawana Declaration 2017/2018 which agreed among others to set May 29 as the annual celebration date. Also present at the event were caretaker communications and multimedia minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak, the ministry's secretary general Tan Sri Dr Sharifah Zarah Syed Ahmad, Bernama chairman Datuk Seri Azman Ujang and Bernama editor-in-chief Datuk Zakaria Abdul Wahab. About 1,000 Malaysian media practitioners as well as a number of their Asean counterparts also joined in the inaugural Hawana 2018 celebration. Themed, "Championing the People, Building the Nation", Hawana is aimed at gaining due recognition and appreciation for media practitioners in their contribution towards nation building and strengthening unity among the people. Meanwhile, Najib said the government also lauded Hawana’s declaration to fight against fake news and curb the spread of false information. The concept, “anyone can be a journalist” has become a trend as a result of the internet and information technology development explosion, he noted. “This issue has become a concern to society because these citizen journalists are without basic training. They are virtually cyberspace writers, and write about things based only on their perception and understanding without referring or getting confirmation on the authenticity of the news or issue.” — Bernama The following is the declaration issued in conjunction with the inaugural celebration of the National Journalists' Day (Hawana) 2017/2018 held today. The declaration was read by the National News Agency (Bernama) general manager cum chairman of the Main Committee of Hawana 2017/2018, Datuk Zulkefli Salleh at the event attended by caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak. It came about following discussions between the local media practitioners at a session held in conjunction with the award ceremony at the Exhibition and Convention Hall of the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade). Declaration National Journalists' Day 2017/2018 We, journalists who strongly uphold the principles of Rukun Negara and Journalism Ethics, realise that on our shoulders lie the responsibility as one of the pillars of the practice of Democracy based on Constitutional Monarchy which had been practised since Independence by this beloved nation, Malaysia. 2. We accept as our main responsibility to create awareness on the people regarding the noble practice of democracy, to drive the involvement of every level of society in the development process towards progress and tolerance in preserving national peace and prosperity. 3. For the sake of our beloved Malaysia, we hereby pledge to continue to shoulder the task and trust with full responsibility and integrity. We hereby pledge: i. We will implement the task of providing information to the people with purely truthful news based on crystal clear facts and data in full trust. ii. We will fight all out any fake news created that jeopardised national peace, prosperity and sovereignty. iii. We strongly uphold the Journalism Ethics, based on the Rukun Negara and Malaysian Constitution, uphold religious teachings and preserve social values and culture. 4. We are united and agreed to discuss the formation of the Malaysian Media Council to ensure that we constantly comply with and respect the rights of every Malaysian citizen as enshrined in the Federal Constitution throughout making news reports and coverage. 5. We are united and agreed to fix May 29 as the date for celebrating the National Journalists' Day each year. At the same time. this auspicious day will always remind us of the pledge that has been instilled in our hearts. "Journalists Champion the Race, Build the Nation"