HISTORY OF PUBLIC RELATION IN MALAYSIA Information Agency of the Malay States is a governmental agency, was established in 1926 which

perform the functions of public relations. Starting on April 1, 1946 this agency was restructured to adapt to the civil administration and the name given at that time was Department of Public Relations. At the same time, in September 1945, Department of Publicity and Printing was established. In 1950, the name was changed to Department of Information with more expanded duties and responsibilities. This department was placed under Ministry of Information which was established in 1961.

HISTORY OF DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION [Previously known as Department of Publicity and Printing] This department was established on September 1945 based on monthly report for September 1945 found at National Archive. Department of Publicity and Printing was represented by Colonel Dumersque [Director Department of Publicity and Printing, British Military Administration, Singapore] and Major Walker [representative from Department of Publicity and Printing Kuala Lumpur]. The objective of this department is to restore the image of British Government which had been adversely affected by the Japanese. As we know, British Military Administration began on September 5, 1945 until March 31,1 1946. The BMA was confronted by a state of turmoil after the Japanese occupation in Malaya. A lot of people had lost confidence in British and that time, several nationalist organizations had arisen with the objective of liberating Malaya from the colonization of any foreign power. Activity that had been carried out: 1. Mobile Units and Film Show The Department became famous for its mobile units that were conspicuous throughout the country. The functions of the mobile units were outlined in an official letter directive to the Department dated May 20, 1946 (Department Instruction No. 2). The duties and responsibilities of the Mobile Units were as follows: I. II. III. IV. V. To provide accurate information and proper advice to the public. To nurture good relationship between the people and the government as well as to cooperate with local officers. To establish good relationship between the people and the Mobile Units of the Department. To obtain feedback from the people for submission to the government. To submit reports on the relationships between the units and the people.

Film shows were provided in every state where every mobile unit will be equipped with 16mm projectors. State Public Relations Officer and staffs of the Department were very popular in their respective states because they often give lectures and movie screening. Usually, the Units would travel and explore every nook and cranny of the state to show films at locations that would attract large gatherings, especially in the fields of school.

They were responsible for carrying out news coverage and issuing press releases especially on official events related to government administration. health. The department also provide its services on such occasions as when public disorder occurred. Information Centres Information Centres were established in the major cities throughout the country since 1945 to carry out such activities which previously performed by Information Bureaus. 3. Civic Gathering and Civic Day. The Department also published books that could be used as reference materials. Information Centres became places where members of the public came to read books. Publication The Department had published various campaign materials such as posters and pamphlets ever since its inception. they will look for the location and prepare an appropriate campaign where the activities were held. 4. 1945. On current issues. They focus is in the areas such as educating the people on nationhood. such as food production. Example of campaigns that relate to society that had been organised by this department is Civic Courses. education. the Department has helped in carrying out various campaigns to instil harmony and unity between the races or ethnic group. Important topics included the plans and campaigns undertaken by government departments. The earliest Information Centres was the Information Centre at Java Street Kuala Lumpur which was opened on October 20. . In 1946. In the context of a plural society. the Department published 14 book titles besides the departmental newsletter called Malayan Observer which contained news about government activities and current events in Malaya. money saving and others. These centres served as important channels for the purpose of disseminating information in urban areas. A Tamil edition of this newsletter was also published for distribution in the estates. PUBLIC RELATION AT MALAYSIA AFTER INDEPENDENCE a) During Post Independence Era The task of the department during the post independence era has been obtaining the support and participation of the people in order to ensure the successful implementation of all government programmes. This division also conducted press co nferences and ensured accurate reporting by the media. The function of press relation was performed at headquarters level by the Press Relations Officers who were assisted by reporters. Press Relation Press Relation are an important element ever since 1945.2. They worked hard to give publicity to the roles and functions of the government departments and agencies that were established. listen to the radio and look at pictures of the events that being held within and outside the country.

the activities to explain the situation to the external were also intensified to win international support. National Education Policy. Various activities were carried out to provide the public with information regarding the New Economic Policy. Rukun Negara. b) DURING CONFRONTATION When the country was facing the confrontation in 1962-1963. the biggest responsibility of the Department was to combat the propaganda campaign launched by Indonesia and the opponents of the formation of Malaysia which comprised leftist political organizations in Brunei and Sarawak. Mobile units had spread the information to the public especially those at rural area to not to and fight against any accusations and propaganda made by Indonesia.Mobile Units had helped the police to put a situation under control. These report principally aimed at countering rumour mongering and maintaining public calm. Creating two way communications between the people and the government. Major campaigns launched by the Department were consistent with current developments going on in the country. adopted and absorbed by the whole society. the history of the struggle for independence of the nation. Department staff worked 24 hours to broadcast report through Radio Malaya and Reinfusion. and various government policies. At that time. Striving towards transforming government aspirations be identified as the people s aspirations regardless of race. the threats and dangers of drug abuse. The Department also helped to organise mass gatherings to explain to the people the real situation about the confrontation and regarding anti-Sukarno gatherings. Public were always reminded about landings made by enemy and were asked to report to the police if they detect any strangers in their villages. and thus ensure that these are accepted. 3. . until the end of the confrontation. The Department of Information ceaselessly played the role of fostering the mindset and psychological attitude of the people towards achieving the objective of national development. 2. the Constitution. national security. They focus more on country's coastal areas. Datuk Mohd Sopee Ibrahim which is the Director General of the Department at that time travelled all over Malaysia to give briefings and explanations to department officers during the early stage of the confrontation. The principal roles of the Department in the Independence era may be summarized as: 1. Amanah Saham Nasional. Striving to prepare and accustom the mind of the people to a desired motivation through various activities such as face-to-face communications assisted by the other media available to the Department of Information.

for the purpose of achieving political. The main activities after May 13 are to get people's support for the success of the New Economic Policy and instil the ideals of the Rukun Negara (National Charter) in every citizen especially the youths. well-informed and with self-respect. PUBLIC RELATION AT MODERN ERA a) ERA OF VISION 2020 Department step into the era of Vision 2020 with the realization that there is an efforts to intensify the development of the country in planned and well structured in keeping with the national objectives. using telegram. aspiration and philosophy aimed to make Malaysia a developed nation by the year of 2020. via cell phone etc. the department has faced lots of challenges from the development of technology which currently grow rapidly. the Government launched various strategies and campaigns to promote unity and build national resilience. After the May 13 incident. by sending a letter. Social media are media for social interaction. using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. the department had modify its strategy to be in line with the current situation where public have higher level of education and exposure and more critical on all government policies and actions. Since then the New Economic Policy and the Rukun Negara have been the main focus of the Departmen s t activities during 70s until 80s. In 1969. the Information Division of Foreign Affairs has been transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. economic and social stability consistent with the aspiration of Vision 2020 towards becoming a developed country. Therefore. the role and objective of the department also has been to foster the emergence of a Malaysian nation. Before the invention of internet people connected to each other by face -to-face. Nowadays in modern era we can see that all people around the world use social media as their main medium to stay connected to each other. .c) DURING MAY 13 INCIDENT With the outbreak of the tragedy of May 13. Department officials worked hard to restore confidence and national unity in order to save the country from the destruction. the department once again was given the responsibility of maintaining harmonies between the public and to ensure the public stay calm. At the same time. The role of the Department is to inculcate into the minds of the people the thinking as well as the philosophy behind the Vision 2020. With this development. Social media use web-based technologies to transform and broadcast media monologues into social media dialogues.

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