DURING THE 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. During the early stages of the confrontation, the Director-General of the Department at that time, Datuk Mohd Sopee Ibrahim travelled all over Malaysia to give briefings and explanations to Officers of the Department. The focus of activities was along the country’s coastal areas. Members of the public were always reminded about landings made by the enemy and were asked to report to the police should they detect any strangers in their villages.
Mobile Units kept the public informed especially to the rural people not to believe and instead counter accusations and propaganda by Indonesia. The Department also helped to organise mass gathering to explain to the people the real situation about the confrontation and on anti-Sukarno gatherings. The activities of explaining the situation outside the country were also intensified to obtain international support, until the end of the confrontation.
POST 13 MAY INCIDENT
Following the occurrence of the May 13 tragedy, the Department once again was given the responsibility of maintaining harmony between the general public and restoring public calm. Officers of the Department worked very hard to restore the confidence and unity of the people so as to save the country from destruction. In 1969, the Foreign Information Division was transferred to the Foreign Ministry. After the May 13 incident, the Government launched various strategies and campaigns to promote unity and build national resilience. The main post May 13 activity of the department was to secure the support of the people to make a success of the New Economic Policy and instil the ideals of the Rukun Negara (National Charter) in every citizen especially among the youths. Since then, the New Economic Policy and the Rukun Negara have been the main focus of the Department’s activities.
ERA OF VISION 2020
The roles and functions of the Department of Information were being intensified, planned and structured in keeping with the national objective, aspiration and philosophy aimed at making Malaysia a developed nation by the year 2020. The role of the Department is to inculcate into the minds of the people the thinking as well as the philosophy behind Vision 2020. Besides, the roles and objectives of the Department also has been to foster the emergence of a Malaysian nation, well-informed and with self-respect, for the purpose of achieving political, economic and social stability consistent with the aspirations of Vision 2020 towards becoming a developed country.
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