I don't know all the background to this strange story:
ASIAN AUTHOR Nury Vittachi, co-founder of the Hong Kong Literary Festival, is to be sacked by the organization’s board in a row about racial insensitivity and improper business links.
The novelist, probably Hong Kong’s biggest literary export, alleges that the board fired him after he complained about racism and urged that “questionable business practices” be reformed.
- That he campaigned for years to set up a literary prize, but once sponsorship was obtained, he was cut from the project because of a Westerners-only rule.
- That the festival board, ostensibly non-profit, limits membership to directors and authors of Paddyfield.com and Chameleon Press, companies run by board member Peter Gordon.
- That prime slots in the festival programme were given to Chameleon Press novelists even if they paid for their own publication.
However, the long and the short of it seems to be that Peter Gordon has fallen out with Nury Vittachi.
Those with long memories may recall that one of the more celebrated claims made by that mad bloke with the big yellow blog was that Peter Gordon owned IceRed and was supressing any criticism of Nury (mostly from dear mad old George himself) on the discussion forums. At that time Peter Gordon's Chameleon Press was indeed publishing Nury's books, but he certainly didn't own IceRed. Now Nury has moved on to bigger and better things.
I probably shouldn't jump in and make any judgements on this, but I think I'd agree with the conclusion of the anonymous journalist who wrote the article:
People close to the board of the Hong Kong literary festival claim that personalities are a likely element in the present dispute. “Both Peter Gordon and Nury Vittachi have massive egos,” said a regular festival attendee. “But to sack the founder of the festival over a single, vague blog entry seems way out of proportion. There’s got to be more to this than meets the eye.”
[..] Both principal players in this drama are deeply ambitious people. Gordon is a spiky character, admired for his acumen by some but not well-liked by other booksellers and publishers in Hong Kong. Vittachi is infamous as a self-absorbed, aloof, workaholic author, but is well-connected and widely liked.
Well, I have to confess that I took an instant dislike to Peter Gordon (it saves time, you see), and Nury is a lovely bloke but he does seem to over-fond of conspiracy theories - such as the one about why he was sacked by the SCMP (published by Peter Gordon), which is only slightly spoilt by the fact that he wasn't actually sacked at all.
Now he has been sacked, so that should be worth another book. I'm sure Chameleon Press will publish it...
[UPDATE: In case it's not clear, this appears on Nury's own blog - he appears to have arranged with a journalist to write this account, which he has then published. I don't think it has appeared elsewhere.]