History

HISTORY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT THE DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION MALAYSIA

The history of the establishment of the Department of Information began from the date of the establishment of the Department of Publicity and Printing in September 1945. However, prior to that, there had already existed governmental agencies that performed the functions of public relations, namely the Malay States Information Agency which was established in 1926. This agency was restructured to adapt to the civil administration beginning April 1, 1946 and was given the new name, The Department of Public Relations. In 1950, the new name was changed to the Department of Information with organised and expanded duties and responsibilities. This Department was placed under the Ministry of Information which was established in 1961.

The earliest report of the Department available in the National Archives was a monthly report for September 1945 which mentioned that the Department was established on September 24, 1945. The minutes of the D.C.C.A.O. Conference dated September 22, 1945 recorded that the Department of Publicity and Printing was represented by Colonel Dumeresque (Director Department of Publicity and Printing, British Military Administration, Singapore) and Major Walker (representing the Department of Publicity and Printing, Kuala Lumpur). This Department was established with the objective of restoring the image of the British Government which had been adversely affected by the Japanese occupation. The British Military Administration began on September 5, 1945 and ended on March 31, 1946. The British Military Administration was confronted by a state of turmoil after the Japanese occupation in Malaya. A section of the people had lost confidence in the British. At that time, several nationalist organisations had existed with the objective of liberating Malaya from the colonisation of any foreign power.

THE ROLE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION MALAYSIA 1940s to 1990s

Since its establishment, the Department has been entrusted with the responsibility of providing information to calm and control situations. Information was delivered through face-to-face communications, printed materials and radio broadcasts. At that time, the department of Publicity and Printing was also responsible for radio broadcasting. Besides that, the Department was also responsible for printing as well as overseeing the printing of all forms and other materials required by all government departments. On April 1, 1946, the Department of Publicity and Printing was dissolved and given the new name of the Department of Public Relations which took over all the functions of the Department of Publicity and Printing. Since then, this newly-named Department was no longer responsible for printing and broadcasting. Only in 1950 was the name of the Department of Information adopted in keeping with its functions and responsibilities.

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