The Department also played a major role in efforts to save the nation from communists’ threats during the Emergency. The whole machinery of the Department was activated towards this end. A great deal of material for public announcements was provided by the Department entreating the people to unite and fight against the communists. Members of the public were urged to give their support to the government and prohibited from helping the communists, and pamphlets or appeal letters were printed specifically addresses to remaining communists still hiding in the jungles. The appeal letters were often air-dropped on the eve of Chinese New Year. The Department’s staff also went into the jungles and were in the front line trying to appeal to the remaining communists to give up. In 1957, the Department launched a counter-subversion campaign that explained to the people the dangers posed by subversive elements.
THE ADVENT OF INDEPENDENCE
The responsibilities of the Department became even more purposeful at the approach of the much-awaited auspicious moment, the Independence of the country. Department staff worked hard delivering speeches and making announcements. Members of the public were enlightened on the meaning of democracy and being self-dependent. No less important were efforts to shape public thinking and nurture loyalty to the Federation of Malaya. On Independence Day, Mobile Units were stationed at places of public gatherings throughout the country to put in place the public announcement tools to be used for the declaration of Independence. Through radio sets made available by the Department at every Information Centre, members of the public could follow the live broadcast from the Merdeka Stadium. Thus, the people throughout the whole nation could experience the feeling of simultaneously celebrating the historical occasion. This was something so meaningful to the department in its efforts to instil the spirit of loving the nation.