The task of the Department during the post-Independence era has been obtaining the support and participation of the people in ensuring the successful implementation of all government programmes. In the context of a plural society, the Department has helped in carrying out various campaigns to instil harmony and unity between the races or ethnic groups. The Department had organised Civic Courses, Civic Gatherings and Civic Day in every state. The focus had been on areas such as educating the people on nationhood and on current issues appropriate to the locations where the activities were held. The Department worked hard to provide publicity to the roles and functions of the government departments and agencies that were established. The Department also provided its services on such occasions as and when the public disorder occurred in Penang in 1957.
Mobile units had helped the police placed a situation under control. Department staff worked round-the-clock to broadcast reports through Radio Malaya and Rediffusion. These reports were principally aimed at countering rumour-mongering and maintaining public calm.
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. Major campaigns launched by the Department were consistent with current developments going on in the country. Various activities were carried out to provide the public with information regarding the New Economic Policy, the Constitution, Rukun Negara, National Education Policy, the history of the struggle for Independence of the nation, Amanah Saham Nasional, the threats and dangers of drug abuse, national security and various government policies.
The principal roles of the Department in the Independence era may be summarised as:
- 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 communications medium available to the Department of Information.
- Striving towards transforming government aspirations to be identifies as the people’s aspirations regardless of race, and thus ensuring that these are accepted, adopted and assimilated by the whole society.
- Creating two-way communications between the people and the government.
In 1961, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting was established under the Prime Minister’s Department and was placed under the purview of the then Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Raj with Syed Jaafar Albar as his Junior Minister. At the same time, the Department of Information was placed under the purview of the Ministry of Information.