25 May 2009

Civil servants also unclear about 1Malaysia

Malaysia Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 25- The government is stepping up its efforts to sell 1Malaysia to a sceptical nation.

Senior officers from the ministry of information, communication, culture and arts were told today they were the “sellers’’ of the concept.

Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim said it was up to them to drive home the message especially in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) states.

Like in advertising, he said the ministry needed to create a “desire” for 1Malaysia among the people.

This desire can be created if the quality of the product was good, he said.

However, he urged his officers to first understand the concept of 1Malaysia before attempting to explain it.

The briefing at Angkasapuri this afternoon is an acknowledgement that government servants themselves are in the dark over what 1Malaysia means.

1Malaysia was unveiled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak after he took office last month.

The slogan is meant to portray a more inclusive Barisan Nasional (BN) and to win back the support of non-Malays in the wake of the March 8 political Tsunami last year.

“We should be the first as members of the ministry to understand.” said Rais, adding what they would present to the people would depend on what they understood.

He stressed the underlining message of 1Malaysia is a nation united would stand while divided it would fall.

Aware that the concept was also under fire from the opposition, Rais told his officers to leave the task of defending 1Malaysia to the politicians.

He urged them not to get caught up in the criticisms but to move forward.

“Ask what I can do for my department and for the rest of the country.” he told them.

Meanwhile a full scale campaign to promote 1Malaysia is already underway.

He said there would be a song to promote 1Malaysia and the government was looking for a brand sign to promote the concept.

Rais also urged the ministry to produce short documentaries along with easy-to-understand pamphlets which will be distributed to the public.

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