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1.0 Introduction
Malaysia, a well-known country with its diversify races, religions and cultures, is located
between 2º and 7º to the North of the Equator line. Malaysia consist 13 states and three
Federal Territories which is divided into 11 states and two Federal Territories in
Penisular Malaysia (West Malaysia) while the rest in East Malaysia. One of the main
attractions is the multiculturalism in Malaysia. The majority population (57%) is form
byMalays;Chinese has the second largest population in Malaysia(25%), while the
smallest population group is the Indians that bring about 10% of the 28.3million total
population.


Other religious such as Buddhism and Taoism majorly practiced by Chinese, Hinduism
by Indians and other religious are allowed although Islam is the dominant religion in
Malaysia. People with different religious, races and cultures are living together with
peace and harmony has caused Malaysia to become a gastronomical paradise and a place
that full of colorful heritage.


On the other hand, Public Relations (PR) as skilled publicists is able to present a
company or individual to the world in the best light (Paul, 2010). As a result, PR in
Malaysia has become essential yet a challenge due to having a good reputation or image
is essential to gain support for a country (Adnan, 2009). This paper is going to discuss
about history of PR in Malaysia and issues on PR practices in different areas.


2.0 Public Relations Definitions
An earlier PR definition by the first World Assembly of Public Relations Associations,
held in Mexico City in August 1978, defined the practice of public relations as "the art
and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling
organizational leaders, and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve
both the organization and the public interest" (Zhao, 1999).


Cutlip, Center and Broom (1994), on the other hand, claimed that PR is “the management
function that establish and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an



TONG TIONG VEE                                                                    MAY 2012
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organization and the public on whom its success and failure depends.”Both of these
definitions had been supported by the latest PR definition by Public Relations Society of
America (PRSA).


PRSA has recently redefine PR as“a strategic communication process that builds
mutually beneficial relationships between organization and their publics” after reviewing
more than 1000 submission from PR practitioners. This definition has explained
everything about PR. A strategic communication process is related to management
functions that require skills of planning, implementing, evaluating as well as the power of
control, which are able to bring the organizations and its public together in order to
achieve both parties interest.


3.0 Public RelationsStages of Development in Malaysia
The development of PR in Malaysia had been divided into three stages which are PR
before independence, PR after independence and PR in new era. PR used to be an
approach used by the Malaysian government to send the information to the public. It
slowly transform from one way communication to two-way communication, then being
widely use in private sectors.


3.1 Public Relations before Independence of Malaysia
The Information Agency of the Malay States was formed in 1926 to carry out PR
functions for the government. 19 years later, the Department of Publicity and Printing
was established to take responsible for radio broadcasting and any printing materials
needed by the government. Beginning 1 April 1946, both departments had been mergedin
order to adapt to the civil administration with a new name, Department Public Relations.
The government re-names the department again as Department of Information after
organized and expanded its duties and responsibilities in 1950 (Department of
Information, n.d.).


The objective of the Department of Informationwas to restore British Government image
after the Japanese occupation in Malaya due to the people starting to lose their trust and



TONG TIONG VEE                                                                   MAY 2012
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confidence in the British government.At that time, there are some nationalist
organizationstried to seek for the independence of the country as well. As a result, the
department is given the responsibilities to provide information in order to calm and
control the negative situation. Furthermore, the department acts as a cornerstone to
remove communication barriers in term of languages and cultural with the people.
Various activities had been carried out (See Appendix A). The British government also
requested the department to collect and evaluate public opinion of the government
(Department of Information, n.d.).


During the emergency threats from the communist, the Information Department played a
major role in communicating with the communists as well as the public. The department
had put a lot of effort in pleading people supportiveness to the government and stand
together to fight against the communists. Public announcements sent also spreading the
info to persuade people not to help or join the communists.Negotiators were sent to the
jungles to persuade the communists give up what they want to do. At the same time,
pamphlets and appeal letters were address to the communists. Counter-subversion
campaign was launched to enhance people understanding of dangers posed by subversive
elements in 1957 (Department of Information, n.d.).


The Department obligations had become more crucial before and on the Independence
Day. The practitioners had worked hard in shaping public perceptions and fostering the
mutual loyalty to the Federation of Malaya through delivering speeches and
announcements to the public. On the Independence Day, the Department set up mobile
units and radio sets at places of public gatherings throughout the country so that everyone
can follow the live broadcast from the Merdeka Stadium and experience the excitement
of celebrating the historical occasion – the independent declaration. This is to spread the
spirit of loving the nation too (Department of Information, n.d.).


3.2 Public Relations after Independence of Malaysia
After the Independence Day, the PR functions had been changed from „inform‟, one way
communication to „obtain‟, two-way communication. The new role for PR practitioners



TONG TIONG VEE                                                                   MAY 2012
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of the Department of Information is to obtain the people support and participation in
order   to   implement    government     programs     successfully.   Furthermore,   in   a
multiculturalism country, the Department needs to implant people with the concept of
harmony and unity between different races and ethnic through various campaigns. Civic
Courses, Civic Gatherings and Civic Day in every state had been held to educate the
citizens on state as well as nation issues (Department of Information, n.d.).


When the public is facing some disordered occasion, the PR practitioners also provided
different services so that the people is able to comprehend the government departments‟
roles and functions. Additionally, the Department had plant some Mobile Units to help
the police control and maintain public calm by broadcasting reports and countering
rumors via Radio Malaya and Redifusion (Department of Information, n.d.).


The Department of Information continued to play its rolesto instill people mindsets and
ensure that they accepted, adopted and assimilated towards achieving national
development objective through various activities, interpersonal communications and PR
campaigns. These campaigns and activities include New Economic Policy, the
Constitution, Rukun Negara (Principles of Nationhood), National Education Policy, the
history of the struggle for independence of the nation, AmanahSahamNasional, the
threats and dangers of drug abuse, national security, and various government policies
(Department of Information, n.d.).


In 1961, the Department of Information was placed under Ministry of Information and
Broadcasting, which was new established under the Prime Minister‟s Department and
was placed under the purview of the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj
with Syed JaafarAlbar as his Junior Minister (Department of Information, n.d.).


There was a confrontation faced by the country in 1962-1963 when there was a
propaganda campaign launched by Indonesia in collaboration with the opposition of
Malaysia which had successfully makes up leftist political organizations in Brunei and
Sarawak. This had become a challenge to the Department. DatukMohsSopee Ibrahim



TONG TIONG VEE                                                                    MAY 2012
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who was the Department Director-General travelled all over Malaysia to give briefings
and explanations to Department officers so that they are able to remind the public about
landings made by the enemy and convince the public to inform the police if they detected
ant strangers in their villages. Along with that, the Department also engaged in requesting
people not to believe or join the propaganda by Indonesia through Media Units. Mass
gatherings were held to keep the public informed with the real situation and seek for
international support until the end of the confrontation (Department of Information, n.d.).


The tragedy of May 13 1969 had once again increase the issue of harmony among
different ethnic groups. PR practitioners of the Department were given the
responsibilities to restore the harmony and unity of the society. Various PR programs had
been implemented to promote unity and build national resilience. Rukun Negara and New
Economic Policy used to be the major post of May 13 activity to secure the support of the
people and since then, these had become the main activities of the Department
(Department of Information, n.d.).


3.3 Public Relations in New Era of Malaysia
PR had been widely practice in the private sectors since Malaysia former Prime Minister,
Tun Mahathir introduced Wawasan2020 (Vision 2020) in 1991. The government wants to
become a well-development country in year 2020. Besides from the traditional media
used to communicate the Vision 2020 philosophy to the public, the Department of
Information had also utilized the new media, internet. PR had been exercise fully in
achieving the Vision 2020 (Baharum, 2011).


Through promoting the importance of the PR, many big private organization such as
Telekom Malaysia, Pos Office Malaysia, Tenaga National and etc started to use PR as a
tool to build and maintain mutual relationships with their public (Idid, 2004).Nowadays,
more and more universities had offered Public Relations courses and PR agencies are
increasing from year to year. The larger the organization is, the greater the need for the
organization to employ PR or set up its own PR department (Idid, 2004).




TONG TIONG VEE                                                                   MAY 2012
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4.0 Public Relations issues
In this part, we are going to discuss on PR issues in the political, mass media, education
and private sectors. This is to increase the understanding of how PR involve in different
environment. PR code of ethics is discussed in the end of this section.


4.1 Political
Malaysia executes parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarch. His Majesty the
Yang di-PertuanAgong, as the supreme head of the country is granted the powerto assign
senators on the advice of the Prime Minister, the head of the government. Malaysia has a
multiparty political system which guided by the current government, BarisanNasional
(formed by five main parties - UMNO,MCA,MIC,Gerakan,PPBB,and SUPP). Meanwhile,
the main opposition parties include Parti Islam Semalaysia (PAS), the Democratic Action
Party (DAP) and the PartiKeadilan Rakyat (PKR).


Public relations as a formally recognized practice in Malaysia have its roots in the
government sector (Kaur&Shaari, 2006). Political PR encourages a rich interaction at a
range of different levels between those active, interested or even uninterested in the
political process and political discourse (Jackson, 2010). The president of Institute of
Public Relations Malaysia (IPRM), YBhg Prof. Dato‟ HjMohdHamdanHj Adnan (2009)
had pointed out that:
       The main role of government public relations is to enhance an interactive, ethical
       and sustainable communication to win the understanding and support of the
       publics or their targeted groups. They must gauge public opinion, analyzed and
       determine its impact on the government and advising them accordingly so as
       enjoy the people continuous support.


Furthermore, the existence of the permanent PR campaigns appear to have influenced the
growth of political spin as a means of winning short-term policy, personality and election
campaigns (Jackson, 2010). During election, candidate put forward by political parties




TONG TIONG VEE                                                                  MAY 2012
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seeks to persuade voters that he or she is the best qualified person for the job and
possesses the best ideas and plans for moving forward (Culbertson, 2009).
DrDzulkeflyAhmad who is a member of Kuala Selangor parliament, claimed that current
Prime Minister NajibTunRazak, his predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Sime
Darby chairman Musa Hitam. Taib has spent millions to hire FBC Media, a media and
public relations company based in London, for image building-advice (Dzulkefly,
2011).The government implemented various public relations campaigns such as
“Malaysia Boleh” campaign, aimed to tell Malaysians that they are capable to achieve
what they want, and the 1-Malaysia campaign to promote “one-nation movement” as a
PR strategy to build its image and gain people trust.


The Malaysian government‟s agenda to establish cultural acceptance amongst its various
ethnic groups has been achieving considerable success via its various public relations
campaigns (Hashim, 2011).However, Wong (2012) critics that PR in Malaysia, with its
political enthusiasm fails to understand that everything is not racist or some affiance. PR
turns everything into a racist agenda if it does not fit his or her own agenda (Wong,
2012).This racist agenda have provoked extremism and intolerance, factors that can
undermine the stability of society during period of political, which have been soundly
contained in Malaysian society (Lee, 2000).


4.2 Mass Media
The Malaysian conventional print, audio, and visual media play a crucial role in
developing the transmission of data and information to the Malaysian public (Hamzah,
2009). Since the past decades, Malaysia government had mainly relied on the printed
media to help to inform or convey message to the public. These printed media include
Bernama owned by the government, New Straits Times and Utusan Malaysia owned by
UMNO alliance, The Star which is mainly acquire by MCA, Sin Chew Daily, China
Press and etc. Other electronic media (Radio and Television) is mainly owned by the
government.




TONG TIONG VEE                                                                   MAY 2012
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With the fast growing of the technology,Nielsen's Mobile Insights Malaysia 2010 survey
revealed that the internet usage in Malaysia has increase to 41% and social networking
stands the highest rate of usage (Nielsen, 2011). Among the five popular online social
networks usage in Malaysia, Facebook has the highest usage (80.68%) in Malaysia (Alam,
Yeow& Loo, 2011). This has indicated that in order to reach the public easier, using social
networking sites as PR tools is significant.Yet, Grunig (2009) argued that digital media
have the potential to truly revolutionize public relations only if a paradigm shift in the
thinking of many practitioners and scholars takes place.


In response, the Malaysian politicians, even the current Prime Minister of Malaysia
NajibTunRazak, had adapted to the changes and set up their own Facebook account and
page. The purpose for them to do so is to tell the people that they are listening to people
voices and to interact with the people.


4.3 Education
In the past, Malaysian PR professionals typically were former journalists but the crossing
over from journalism to PR seems to be declining (Idid, 2004). Today, PR in Malaysia
has matured to meet a number of conditions to support professionalism but the passage of
time alone will not ensure the attainment of professional status for PR practitioners in
Malaysia (Rahman, 2010).


This has been supported by a study done by Zulhamri and Terry (2002), which disclosed
that forming an independent professional association for public relations is vital, provided
that it follows global standards in terms of several key elements (strategic plans, universal
accreditation, global benchmarking standards, international relations, continuous
professional development, a code of ethics, membership benefits, and training and
qualification) of the professional project. Therefore, it‟s an urge for PR professionals and
institute to educate and guide the art to professionalism.


The Institute of Public Relations Malaysia (IPRM), set up in 1962, is an independent
organization that hopes to enhance local PR practitioners‟ professionalism. With 50years



TONG TIONG VEE                                                                     MAY 2012
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of history, IPRM has played a significant role in the training and development of more
than 5,000 Malaysian in preparing and qualifying them for a career in public relations
(IPRM, 2010). IPRM also provides internships to various universities‟ students. In
addition to that, a new public relations training company, intelectasia™Consultancy was
established in January 2009 to provide high quality learning and development programs
to PR practitioners of Malaysia (Intelectasia, n.d.). Besidea, the Public Relations
Consultants‟ Association (PRCA) of Malaysia was founded in 1999 to serve as a
platform for the exchange of information and views, while striving to set industry
standards, develop young consultants and provide a unified voice for practitioners (PRCA,
n.d.).


There are 16 universities and colleges that offer PR course in Malaysia. These consist of
SEGi University College, LimKokWing University of Creative Technology (LUCT),
University Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Help University College (HUC), Taylor‟s
University, University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Tunku Abdul Rahman College
(TARC), University Sains Malaysia (USM), University Putra Malaysia (UPM), KDU
University College, INTI International University, Stamford College, Management and
Science University (MSU), Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University College (KLMUC),
Brickfields Asia College, and Curtin University Sarawak Malaysia. Nevertheless, among
these universities, only three universities (USM, UPM, and LUCT)provide master course
in PR and USM is the only university that offer PhD in PR.


4.4 Private Sector
A research done by Ling (1993) indicated that the management of organizations still feel
that anyone can do PR with the assumption that requires little formal education and
common skills. It might be true because an organization may survive without PR but a
well-established PR plan can produce better results and enhance organization‟s reputation
and image (Solehin, 2009).


Solehin (2009) further stated that with the changing trends of the industry towards
globalization, the role of Malaysian PR professionals has changed from handling



TONG TIONG VEE                                                                 MAY 2012
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publicity in the production line to being involved in policy making in the dominant
coalition within an organization due to cultural diversity is seen as a universal concept as
every country has different religious and tribal groups (Zulhamri, 2007). Hence, PR
practitioners in Malaysia should be more sensitive and professional in handling
multicultural issues than other country PR practitioners because in a developing multi-
ethnic country like Malaysia, it is essential to understand the cultural diversity and
multiculturalism to clearly identify sensitive and multi-aspect approach to PR (Solehin,
2009).


This changing has also increase the number of PR firm and consultancy in Malaysia such
as Asia PR Consultants, Epic Communications, Eric Pringle Associates PR, Essence
Communications, Oglivy PR (Malaysia), Rantau PR, JP & Associates PR, and etc. To
recognize the achievements of public relations professionals and the best PR campaigns
over the year, PRCA Malaysia has organized an annual Malaysia Public Relations
Awards (MPRA). The fourth MPRA ceremony was held on 3 November 2010 and the
winners list is presented in Appendix C.


4.5 Code of Ethics
Many critics argue that there can be no ethical public relations because the practice itself
is akin to manipulation and propaganda (Bowen, 2007). However, Lieber (2003) claimed
that to be successful, public relations practitioners are required to make intelligent, split-
second decisions on situations laden with ethical dilemmas.Harrison (n.d.) had introduced
eight practical guidelines that can help resolve ethical dilemmas:
   1.    Define in writing the specific issue or conflict.
   2.    Identify the relevant internal or external factors that may influence the decision.
   3.    Identify and rank the key values and principles involved.
   4.    Identify the parties who will be affected by the decision and define your
         obligation to each.
   5.    Select ethical principles to guide your decision-making process.
   6.    Make a decision.
   7.    Develop and implement an action plan that is consistent with the ethical priorities
         you have determined as central to the dilemma.
   8.    Reflect on the outcome of this ethical decision-making process.




TONG TIONG VEE                                                                     MAY 2012
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International professional public relations bodies have also established ethics codes in an
attempt to regulate members‟ ethical behavior (Harrison & Chris, 2005).In Malaysia,
IPRM used international code of ethics for PR as their code of Athens (See Appendix D)
for members. PRCA Malaysia, on the contrary, announcedits own five key areas of the
association code of ethics, which need to be followed by its members. These areas
include professional service to clients, honesty, fees of services, business code of conduct
and respect for member firms and employees.


5.0 Conclusion
It‟s no doubt that PR in Malaysia is moving towards the professionalism no matter it‟s in
political, education, industry or the media fields. However, the development of PR should
not depend on the government alone. Professionals from private sectors should also
contribute to the PR development. This might be achieving through various professional
training programs for the practitioners and professional education for the youths in
Malaysia. Only by the collaboration betweengovernment and private sectors, PR is able
to become a real profession in the country.


6.0 References
Adnan, HjMohdHamdan. (2009). Government Public Relations and Government
Relations Synergizing for Business Success. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from
http://www.iprm.org.my/resources/articles/24-government-public-relations-and-
government-relations-synergising-for-business-success


Alam, S.S., Yeow, P.H.P., & Loo, H.S. (2011).An Empirical Study on Online Social
Networks Sites Usage: Online Dating Sites Perspective. International Journal of Business
and Management, 6(10), 155-161.

Baharum, Fatin (2011). Public Relations in Malaysia. Retrieved 2012, May 6, from
http://www.scribd.com/doc/52935327/PUBLIC-RELATION-IN-MALAYSIA




TONG TIONG VEE                                                                    MAY 2012
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Bowen, S.A. (2007). Ethics and Public Relations. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from
http://www.instituteforpr.org/topics/ethics-and-public-relations/


Culbertson, Hugh. (2009). Role-Taking: An Important Public Relations Process.
Malaysian Journal of Media Studies, 11(1), 1-8.


Cutlip, S., Center, A., and Broom, G. (1994). Effective Public Relations. Englewood
Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.


Department of Information Official Website.(n.d.).History. Retrieved 2012, May 6, from
http://www.penerangan.gov.my/index.php/en/organisation-profile/history.html


Dzulkefly Ahmad. (2011). Najib and Co spent millions for PR. Retrieved 2012, May 5,
from http://blog.drdzul.com/2011/08/02/najib-and-co-spent-millions-for-pr/


Grunig, J. E. (2009). Paradigms of global public relations in an age of
digitalisation.Prism, 6(2).


Hamzah, Azizah. (2009). Malaysia’s Role in National Development: Media Policy and
National Stability. Malaysian Journal of Media Studies, 11(1), 49-58.


Harrison Karey and Chris Galloway.(2005). Public Relations Ethics: A Simpler (but not
simplistic) Approach to the Complexities. Prism 3, 1-17.


Harrison Kim. (n.d.). PR Ethics: Ensure you bring ethics into your PR activities.
Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://www.cuttingedgepr.com/articles/bring-ethics-into-pr-
activities.asp


Hashim, Mohd. Adnan. (2011). Tackling Multiculturalism via Human Communication: A
Public Relations Campaign of 1Malaysia. International Journal of Business and Social
Science, 2(4), 114-127.



TONG TIONG VEE                                                                  MAY 2012
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Idid, S.A. (2004). Public Relations in Malaysia from its Colonial Past to Current
Practice. In Sriramesh, K. Public relations in Asia: An Anthology. Singapore: Thomson.


Institute of Public Relations Malaysia. (2010). About IPRM. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from
http://www.iprm.org.my/about-us/about-iprm


Intelectasia   Consultancy.   (n.d.).    About     Us.   Retrieved   2012,   May      5,   from
http://www.intelectasia.com/about-us


Jackson, Nigel. (2010). Political Public Relations: spin, persuasion or relationships
building?.           Retrieved             2012,               May           5,            from
http://www.psa.ac.uk/journals/pdf/5/2010/1192_1076.pdf


Kaur, K. (2005). Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management in
Malaysia:      An    Exploratory        Study.     Retrieved     2012,   May        5,     from
http://eprints.ptar.uitm.edu.my/3616/1/LP_KIRANJIT_KAUR_05_24.pdf


Kaur, K., and Shaari, H. (2006). Perceptions on the relationship between public relations
practitioners and journalists. Kajian Malaysia, XXIV (1&2), 9-32.


Lee, Hock Guan. (2000). Ethnic Relations in Peninsular Malaysia: The Cultural and
Economic Dimensions. Social and Cultural Issues, 1.


Lieber, P. S. (2003). Ethics in public relations: Gauging ethical decision-making patterns
of public relations practitioners. Unpublishedmaster‟s thesis, Louisiana State
University,Baton         Rouge.           Retrieved            January       27,           2005,
fromhttp://etd02.lnx390.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-0707103-
111615/unrestricted/Paul_Lieber_Thesis.pdf




TONG TIONG VEE                                                                        MAY 2012
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Ling, LiongIng. (1993). Correlates of Public Relations’ Role Types in Malaysia.
Unpublished master‟s thesis, University Putra Malaysia Institutional Repository.
Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://psasir.upm.edu.my/11107/1/FPP_L_1993_10_A.pdf


Nielson Company. (2011). Malaysian Internet Usage Take off in 2010. Retrieved 2012,
May 6, from http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/global/malaysian-internet-usage-takes-
off-in-2010/


Paul Hannah. (2010). Public Relations. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://www.mba-
tutorials.com/marketing/425-public-relations.html


Public Relations Consultants‟ Association of Malaysia. (n.d.). Code of Ethics. Retrieved
2012, May 5, from http://www.prcamalaysia.org/index.asp?menuid=249&pageid=186


Public Relations Society of America. (2012). Public Relations Definition: PRSA Official
Statement.          Retrieved           2012,           May            5           from
http://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/PublicRelationsDefined


Rahman, Poziah A. (2010). The Great Need for a PR Act. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from
http://thestar.com.my/columnists/story.asp?col=atyourservice&file=/2010/3/6/columnists
/atyourservice/5796264&sec=At+Your+Service


Solehin. (2009). Analyse Issue of PR in Malaysia: A Study on Communication
Management.            Retrieved          2012,          May           6,          from
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/10992504/Issue-On-Public-Relations-in-Malaysia


The Economist. (2009). Malaysia: Political Structure. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from
http://www.economist.com/node/14117008




TONG TIONG VEE                                                                 MAY 2012
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The Malaysia Government‟s Official Portal (n.d.). About Malaysian Government.
Retrieved                2012,                 May                 5,                from
http://www.malaysia.gov.my/EN/Main/MsianGov/Pages/AboutMsianGov.aspx


Tourism     Malaysia.   (2012). About     Malaysia. Retrieved 2012,      May 5       from
http://www.tourism.gov.my/about_malaysia/index.php


Wong, MunChee. (2012). PR is more politically racist than UMNO. Retrieved 2012,
May    5,   from    http://malaysiansmustknowthetruth.blogspot.com/2012/02/pr-is-more-
politically-racist-than-umno.html


Zhao    Jensen.    (1999).   Public    Relations.   Retrieved   2012,   May     5,   from
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_gx5209/is_1999/ai_n19125848/


Zulhamri Abdullah. (2007). Towards International Cultural Diversity Management of
Public Relations: Viewpoints of Chairmen/CEOs. International Journal of Economics and
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Zulhamri Abdullah and Terry Threadgold. (2002).Towards the Professionalisation of
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Relations Quarterly, 66(3), 298-320.




TONG TIONG VEE                                                                   MAY 2012
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APPENDIX A: Activities carried by the Department of Information in
1940s


Mobile Units and Film Shows
The Department was well known for its mobile units that were conspicuous throughout
the country. The functions of the mobile units were outlined in an official directive to the
Department dated May 20, 1946 (Department Instruction No. 2). The duties and
responsibilities of the Mobile Units were as follows:
       • To provide accurate information and proper advice to the public.
       •   To nurture good relationship between the people and the government as well
       as to cooperate with local officers.
       •    To establish good relationships between the people and the Mobile Units of
       the Department.
       •   To obtain feedback from the people for submission to the government.
       •   To submit reports on the relationships between the units and the people.


Film shows were the most popular activities of the Department in those days. In every
state there were Mobile Units equipped with 16 mm projectors. State Public Relations
Officer and staffs of the Department were very popular in their respective states due to
their duty in delivering speeches and screening films. Usually, the Units would travel to
every nook and cranny of the state to show films at locations that would attract large
gatherings, especially the school playing fields.


Information Centres




TONG TIONG VEE                                                                    MAY 2012
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Information Centres were established in the major towns throughout the country since
1945 to carry out such activities as are at present performed by Information Bureaus.
Among the earliest Information Centres was the Information Centre at Java Street Kuala
Lumpur which was opened on October 20, 1945. Information Centres became places
where members of the public came to read books, listen to the radio and look at pictures
of events within and outside the country that were on display These Centres served as
important channels for the purpose of disseminating information in urban areas.
Press Communications
Press Communications had been an important element ever since 1945. The function of
Press Communications was performed at the headquarters by the Press Relations Officers
who were assisted by Reporters. They were responsible for carrying out news coverage
and issuing Press Releases especially on official events related to government
administration. Important topics included government programs such as food production,
health, education and others. This division also conducted Press Conferences and ensured
accurate reporting by the Media.


Until 1947 this division was divided into five sections:
1.   Press Releases Section
2.   Essential News Section
3.   Newspaper Cuttings Library
4.   Production of articles for publications in foreign magazines, especially in England,
for the purpose of making Malaya known.
5.   Translation Section.


Publications
The Department had published various campaign materials such as posters and pamphlets
ever since its inception. In 1946, the Department published 14 book titles besides the
departmental newsletter knwon as the Malayan Observer. Malayan Observer contained
news about government activities and current events in Malaya. A Tamil edition of this
newsletter was also published for distribution in the estates. The Department also
published books that could be used as reference materials. In 1946, the Department



TONG TIONG VEE                                                                    MAY 2012
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translated and published „The History of the Second World War‟ which was used in
schools. Besides that, the Department published pamphlets especially on hygiene and
cleanliness, food production, and aspects of the constitution and nationhood. Posters also
featured as a channel for the dissemination of important information on hygiene and
cleanliness, thrift and savings, welfare and dieting.




Exhibitions
Activities on exhibitions were managed by a division called Artist and Caption Writers
Division. This division produced the pictures and captions for display at all Information
Centres and on the display boards provided.             Exhibitions served as very useful
information channels for conveying vital information to members of the public,
especially to those with lower reading ability.         The Department participated in this
activity and also provided its expertise to exhibitions sponsored by other agencies. At the
end of 1946, for instance, the Department participated in the Royal Australian Exhibition
in Sydney and the exhibition British Industries Fair.


Stage Performances
In October 1946, the Department established a theatrical group comprising amateur
artistes.   They performed in Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.                 Their stage
performances consisted of plays and singing and dancing themed on the virtue of saving
money and the importance of education. In 1947, Tamil Drama Party was set up and
performed in estates especially in Kedah and Perak. This entertainment media had
succeeded to attract the interest of the public.




TONG TIONG VEE                                                                    MAY 2012
Page 19 of 24




APPENDIX B: Malaysia as a Fully Developed Country - One Definition:
Nine Challenges of Vision 2020)


By the year 2020, Malaysia can be a united nation, with a confident Malaysian society,
infused by strong moral and ethical values, living in a society that is democratic, liberal
and tolerant, caring, economically just and equitable, progressive and prosperous, and in
full possession of an economy that is competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.There
can be no fully developed Malaysia until we have finally overcome the nine central
strategic challenges that have confronted us from the moment of our birth as an
independent nation.
       The first of these is the challenges of establishing a united Malaysian nation with
       a sense of common and shared destiny. This must be a nation at peace with itself,
       territorially and ethnically integrated, living in harmony and full and fair
       partnership, made up of one 'Bangsa Malaysia' with political loyalty and
       dedication to the nation.
       The second is the challenge of creating a psychologically liberated, secure, and
       developed Malaysian Society with faith and confidence in itself, justifiably proud
       of what it is, of what it has accomplished, robust enough to face all manner of
       adversity. This Malaysian Society must be distinguished by the pursuit of
       excellence, fully aware of all its potentials, psychologically subservient to none,
       and respected by the peoples of other nations.
       The third challenge we have always faced is that of fostering and developing a
       mature democratic society, practicing a form of mature consensual, community-
       oriented Malaysian democracy that can be a model for many developing countries.


TONG TIONG VEE                                                                   MAY 2012
Page 20 of 24


      The fourth is the challenge of establishing a fully moral and ethical society, whose
      citizens are strong in religious and spiritual values and imbued with the highest of
      ethical standards.
      The fifth challenge that we have always faced is the challenge of establishing a
      matured,liberal and tolerant society in which Malaysians of all colors and creeds
      are free to practice and profess their customs,cultures and religious beliefs and yet
      feeling that they belong to one nation.
      The sixth is the challenge of establishing a scientific and progressive society, a
      society that is innovative and forward-looking, one that is not only a consumer of
      technology but also a contributor to the scientific and technological civilization of
      the future.
      The seventh challenge is the challenge of establishing a fully caring society and a
      caring culture, a social system in which society will come before self, in which
      the welfare of the people will revolve not around the state or the individual but
      around a strong and resilient family system.
      The eighth is the challenge of ensuring an economically just society. This is a
      society in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the
      nation, in which there is full partnership in economic progress. Such a society
      cannot be in place so long as there is the identification of race with economic
      function, and the identification of economic backwardness with race.
      The ninth challenge is the challenge of establishing a prosperous society, with an
      economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.




TONG TIONG VEE                                                                   MAY 2012
Page 21 of 24




APPENDIX C: Winners of the Malaysia Public Relations Awards 2010


Product Brand Development Campaign of the Year
Certificate of Excellence – Best Use of Digital: Fleishman-Hillard
For Detik-Detik MH: Rediscovering the Essence of Malaysian Hospitality for Malaysian
Airlines System Bhd

Certificate of Excellence – Best Use of Digital: Text 100
For Spread the Smile Movement - The Journey for Cleft campaign for ING Insurance
Berhad

Honourable Mention -Technology Campaign of the Year: Text 100
For Avoid Being a Cybercrime Statistic With Norton 360 for Norton from Symantec
(Malaysia)

Finalist: Text 100
For Lenovo Breakthrough campaign for Lenovo


Consumer Launch Campaign of the Year
Award Winner: Essence Communications
for Delta Strike campaign for Lifebuoy (Unilever) Malaysia

Certificate of Excellence: Kim Chew Communications
For Nippon Odour-less Aircare campaign for Nippon Paint (Malaysia) SdnBhd

Finalist – Technology Campaign of the Year: Astro
For AstroB.yond campaign for Astro


Healthcare: Ethical Campaign of the Year
Certificate of Excellence: Fleishman-Hillard
For Power Over Cervical Cancer (POCC) campaign for GlaxoSmithKline
Pharmaceuticals Malaysia



TONG TIONG VEE                                                              MAY 2012
Page 22 of 24


Certificate of Excellence: Golin Harris
For Breathe: World Asthma Day campaign for GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals
Malaysia

Finalist: Edelman
For Say Goodbye to Premature Ejaculation campaign for Janssen-Cilag



Public Affairs Campaign of the Year
Certificate of Excellence: Weber Shandwick
ForCorporate Positioning Framework for EkuitiNasionalBerhad (EKUINAS) for
EkuitiNasionalBerhad (EKUINAS)


Financial Communication Campaign of the Year
Finalist: Ogilvy PR
ForMalaysia’s International Headlining Act of 2009 for Maxis Berhad


Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign of the Year
Award Winner: Text 100
For Spread the Smile Movement - The Journey for Cleft campaign for ING Insurance
Berhad


Environmental Campaign of the Year
Certificate of Excellence: Text 100
For Spread the Smile Movement - The Journey for Cleft campaign for ING Insurance
Berhad

Certificate of Excellence – Best Use of Digital: Fleishman-Hillard
For Detik-Detik MH: Rediscovering the Essence of Malaysian Hospitality for Malaysian
Airlines System Bhd

Honourable Mention: Weber Shandwick
For Green Fingers Eco-project for Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad


Promotional Activity of the Year
Award Winner: Weber Shandwick
For Youth ‘10: Malaysia’s Largest Youth Festival for Youth Asia

Certificate of Excellence: Ogilvy PR
ForShell Fuelsave 1 Litre Challenge for Shell Malaysia Trading SdnBhd




TONG TIONG VEE                                                              MAY 2012
Page 23 of 24



Campaign of the Year
Gold Award: Essence Communications
For Delta Strike campaign for Lifebuoy (Unilever) Malaysia




APPENDIX D: IPRM – Code of Athens
                   International Code of Ethics for Public Relations
CONSIDERING that all Member countries of the United Nations Organisation have
agreed to abide by its Charters which reaffirms “its faith in fundamental human rights, in
the dignity and worth of the human person” and that having regard to the very nature of
their profession, Public Relations practitioners in these countries should undertake to
ascertain and observe the principles set out in this Charter.

CONSEDERING that, apart from “rights”, human beings have not only physical or
material needs but also intellectual, moral and social needs, and that their rights are of
real benefit to them only insofar as these needs are essentially met,
CONSIDERING that, in the course of their professional duties and depending on how
these duties are performed, Public Relations practitioners can substantially help to meet
these intellectual, moral and social needs.

And lastly, CONSIDERING that the use of techniques enabling them to come
simultaneously into contact with millions of people gives Public Relations practitioners a
power that has to be restrained by the observance of a strict moral code.

On all these grounds, the Public Relations Associations which have recognized the
present document declare that they accept as their moral charter the principles of the
following Code of Ethics, and that if, in the light of evidence submitted to the Council, a
member of these associations should be found to have infringed this Code in the course
of his professional duties, he will be deemed to be guilty of serious misconduct calling
for an appropriate penalty.

Accordingly, each Member of these Associations:

SHALL ENDEAVOUR
1.    To contribute to the achievement of the moral and cultural conditions enabling
   human beings to reach their full stature and enjoy the indefeasible rights to which
   they are entitled under the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”;
2.    To establish communication patterns and channel which, by fostering the free flow
   of essential information will make each member of the society in which he lives feel



TONG TIONG VEE                                                                   MAY 2012
Page 24 of 24


     that he is being kept informed, and also give him an awareness of his own personal
     involvement and responsibility, and of his solidarity with other members;
3.       To bear in mind that, because of the relationship between his profession and the
     public, his conduct – even in private – will have an impact on the way in which the
     profession as a whole is appraised;
4.      To respect, in the course of his professional duties, the moral principles and rules
     of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”;
5.      To pay due regard to, and uphold, human dignity and to recognize the right of each
     individual to judge for himself;
6.      To encourage the moral, psychological and intellectual conditions for dialogue in
     its true sense, and to recognize the right of the parties involved to state their case and
     express their views;

SHALL UNDERTAKE
7.    To conduct himself always and in all circumstances in such a manner as to deserve
   and secure the confidence of those with whom he comes into contact;
8.    To act, in all circumstances, in such a manner as to take account of the respective
   interests of the parties involved: both the interests of the organization which he
   serves and the interest of the public concerned;
9.     To carry out his duties with integrity, avoiding language likely to lead to
   ambiguity or misunderstanding, and to maintain loyalty to his clients or employers,
   whether past or present;

SHALL REFRAIN FROM
10. Subordinating the truth to other requirements;
11. Circulating information which is not based on established and ascertainable facts;
12. Taking part in any venture or undertaking which is unethical or dishonest or
   capable of impairing human dignity and integrity;
13. Using any “manipulative” methods or techniques designed to create subconscious
   motivations which the individual cannot control of his own free will and so cannot be
   held accountable for the action taken on them.



The Code of Athens was adopted by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA)
at its General Assembly held in Athens, Greece, in May 1965, and was modified as above
at the annual meeting of the IPRA Council held in Teheran, Iran, on 17th April 1968.




TONG TIONG VEE                                                                      MAY 2012

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Pr in malaysia

  • 1. Page 1 of 24 1.0 Introduction Malaysia, a well-known country with its diversify races, religions and cultures, is located between 2º and 7º to the North of the Equator line. Malaysia consist 13 states and three Federal Territories which is divided into 11 states and two Federal Territories in Penisular Malaysia (West Malaysia) while the rest in East Malaysia. One of the main attractions is the multiculturalism in Malaysia. The majority population (57%) is form byMalays;Chinese has the second largest population in Malaysia(25%), while the smallest population group is the Indians that bring about 10% of the 28.3million total population. Other religious such as Buddhism and Taoism majorly practiced by Chinese, Hinduism by Indians and other religious are allowed although Islam is the dominant religion in Malaysia. People with different religious, races and cultures are living together with peace and harmony has caused Malaysia to become a gastronomical paradise and a place that full of colorful heritage. On the other hand, Public Relations (PR) as skilled publicists is able to present a company or individual to the world in the best light (Paul, 2010). As a result, PR in Malaysia has become essential yet a challenge due to having a good reputation or image is essential to gain support for a country (Adnan, 2009). This paper is going to discuss about history of PR in Malaysia and issues on PR practices in different areas. 2.0 Public Relations Definitions An earlier PR definition by the first World Assembly of Public Relations Associations, held in Mexico City in August 1978, defined the practice of public relations as "the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizational leaders, and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve both the organization and the public interest" (Zhao, 1999). Cutlip, Center and Broom (1994), on the other hand, claimed that PR is “the management function that establish and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 2. Page 2 of 24 organization and the public on whom its success and failure depends.”Both of these definitions had been supported by the latest PR definition by Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). PRSA has recently redefine PR as“a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organization and their publics” after reviewing more than 1000 submission from PR practitioners. This definition has explained everything about PR. A strategic communication process is related to management functions that require skills of planning, implementing, evaluating as well as the power of control, which are able to bring the organizations and its public together in order to achieve both parties interest. 3.0 Public RelationsStages of Development in Malaysia The development of PR in Malaysia had been divided into three stages which are PR before independence, PR after independence and PR in new era. PR used to be an approach used by the Malaysian government to send the information to the public. It slowly transform from one way communication to two-way communication, then being widely use in private sectors. 3.1 Public Relations before Independence of Malaysia The Information Agency of the Malay States was formed in 1926 to carry out PR functions for the government. 19 years later, the Department of Publicity and Printing was established to take responsible for radio broadcasting and any printing materials needed by the government. Beginning 1 April 1946, both departments had been mergedin order to adapt to the civil administration with a new name, Department Public Relations. The government re-names the department again as Department of Information after organized and expanded its duties and responsibilities in 1950 (Department of Information, n.d.). The objective of the Department of Informationwas to restore British Government image after the Japanese occupation in Malaya due to the people starting to lose their trust and TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 3. Page 3 of 24 confidence in the British government.At that time, there are some nationalist organizationstried to seek for the independence of the country as well. As a result, the department is given the responsibilities to provide information in order to calm and control the negative situation. Furthermore, the department acts as a cornerstone to remove communication barriers in term of languages and cultural with the people. Various activities had been carried out (See Appendix A). The British government also requested the department to collect and evaluate public opinion of the government (Department of Information, n.d.). During the emergency threats from the communist, the Information Department played a major role in communicating with the communists as well as the public. The department had put a lot of effort in pleading people supportiveness to the government and stand together to fight against the communists. Public announcements sent also spreading the info to persuade people not to help or join the communists.Negotiators were sent to the jungles to persuade the communists give up what they want to do. At the same time, pamphlets and appeal letters were address to the communists. Counter-subversion campaign was launched to enhance people understanding of dangers posed by subversive elements in 1957 (Department of Information, n.d.). The Department obligations had become more crucial before and on the Independence Day. The practitioners had worked hard in shaping public perceptions and fostering the mutual loyalty to the Federation of Malaya through delivering speeches and announcements to the public. On the Independence Day, the Department set up mobile units and radio sets at places of public gatherings throughout the country so that everyone can follow the live broadcast from the Merdeka Stadium and experience the excitement of celebrating the historical occasion – the independent declaration. This is to spread the spirit of loving the nation too (Department of Information, n.d.). 3.2 Public Relations after Independence of Malaysia After the Independence Day, the PR functions had been changed from „inform‟, one way communication to „obtain‟, two-way communication. The new role for PR practitioners TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 4. Page 4 of 24 of the Department of Information is to obtain the people support and participation in order to implement government programs successfully. Furthermore, in a multiculturalism country, the Department needs to implant people with the concept of harmony and unity between different races and ethnic through various campaigns. Civic Courses, Civic Gatherings and Civic Day in every state had been held to educate the citizens on state as well as nation issues (Department of Information, n.d.). When the public is facing some disordered occasion, the PR practitioners also provided different services so that the people is able to comprehend the government departments‟ roles and functions. Additionally, the Department had plant some Mobile Units to help the police control and maintain public calm by broadcasting reports and countering rumors via Radio Malaya and Redifusion (Department of Information, n.d.). The Department of Information continued to play its rolesto instill people mindsets and ensure that they accepted, adopted and assimilated towards achieving national development objective through various activities, interpersonal communications and PR campaigns. These campaigns and activities include New Economic Policy, the Constitution, Rukun Negara (Principles of Nationhood), National Education Policy, the history of the struggle for independence of the nation, AmanahSahamNasional, the threats and dangers of drug abuse, national security, and various government policies (Department of Information, n.d.). In 1961, the Department of Information was placed under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which was new established under the Prime Minister‟s Department and was placed under the purview of the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj with Syed JaafarAlbar as his Junior Minister (Department of Information, n.d.). There was a confrontation faced by the country in 1962-1963 when there was a propaganda campaign launched by Indonesia in collaboration with the opposition of Malaysia which had successfully makes up leftist political organizations in Brunei and Sarawak. This had become a challenge to the Department. DatukMohsSopee Ibrahim TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 5. Page 5 of 24 who was the Department Director-General travelled all over Malaysia to give briefings and explanations to Department officers so that they are able to remind the public about landings made by the enemy and convince the public to inform the police if they detected ant strangers in their villages. Along with that, the Department also engaged in requesting people not to believe or join the propaganda by Indonesia through Media Units. Mass gatherings were held to keep the public informed with the real situation and seek for international support until the end of the confrontation (Department of Information, n.d.). The tragedy of May 13 1969 had once again increase the issue of harmony among different ethnic groups. PR practitioners of the Department were given the responsibilities to restore the harmony and unity of the society. Various PR programs had been implemented to promote unity and build national resilience. Rukun Negara and New Economic Policy used to be the major post of May 13 activity to secure the support of the people and since then, these had become the main activities of the Department (Department of Information, n.d.). 3.3 Public Relations in New Era of Malaysia PR had been widely practice in the private sectors since Malaysia former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir introduced Wawasan2020 (Vision 2020) in 1991. The government wants to become a well-development country in year 2020. Besides from the traditional media used to communicate the Vision 2020 philosophy to the public, the Department of Information had also utilized the new media, internet. PR had been exercise fully in achieving the Vision 2020 (Baharum, 2011). Through promoting the importance of the PR, many big private organization such as Telekom Malaysia, Pos Office Malaysia, Tenaga National and etc started to use PR as a tool to build and maintain mutual relationships with their public (Idid, 2004).Nowadays, more and more universities had offered Public Relations courses and PR agencies are increasing from year to year. The larger the organization is, the greater the need for the organization to employ PR or set up its own PR department (Idid, 2004). TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 6. Page 6 of 24 4.0 Public Relations issues In this part, we are going to discuss on PR issues in the political, mass media, education and private sectors. This is to increase the understanding of how PR involve in different environment. PR code of ethics is discussed in the end of this section. 4.1 Political Malaysia executes parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarch. His Majesty the Yang di-PertuanAgong, as the supreme head of the country is granted the powerto assign senators on the advice of the Prime Minister, the head of the government. Malaysia has a multiparty political system which guided by the current government, BarisanNasional (formed by five main parties - UMNO,MCA,MIC,Gerakan,PPBB,and SUPP). Meanwhile, the main opposition parties include Parti Islam Semalaysia (PAS), the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and the PartiKeadilan Rakyat (PKR). Public relations as a formally recognized practice in Malaysia have its roots in the government sector (Kaur&Shaari, 2006). Political PR encourages a rich interaction at a range of different levels between those active, interested or even uninterested in the political process and political discourse (Jackson, 2010). The president of Institute of Public Relations Malaysia (IPRM), YBhg Prof. Dato‟ HjMohdHamdanHj Adnan (2009) had pointed out that: The main role of government public relations is to enhance an interactive, ethical and sustainable communication to win the understanding and support of the publics or their targeted groups. They must gauge public opinion, analyzed and determine its impact on the government and advising them accordingly so as enjoy the people continuous support. Furthermore, the existence of the permanent PR campaigns appear to have influenced the growth of political spin as a means of winning short-term policy, personality and election campaigns (Jackson, 2010). During election, candidate put forward by political parties TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 7. Page 7 of 24 seeks to persuade voters that he or she is the best qualified person for the job and possesses the best ideas and plans for moving forward (Culbertson, 2009). DrDzulkeflyAhmad who is a member of Kuala Selangor parliament, claimed that current Prime Minister NajibTunRazak, his predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Sime Darby chairman Musa Hitam. Taib has spent millions to hire FBC Media, a media and public relations company based in London, for image building-advice (Dzulkefly, 2011).The government implemented various public relations campaigns such as “Malaysia Boleh” campaign, aimed to tell Malaysians that they are capable to achieve what they want, and the 1-Malaysia campaign to promote “one-nation movement” as a PR strategy to build its image and gain people trust. The Malaysian government‟s agenda to establish cultural acceptance amongst its various ethnic groups has been achieving considerable success via its various public relations campaigns (Hashim, 2011).However, Wong (2012) critics that PR in Malaysia, with its political enthusiasm fails to understand that everything is not racist or some affiance. PR turns everything into a racist agenda if it does not fit his or her own agenda (Wong, 2012).This racist agenda have provoked extremism and intolerance, factors that can undermine the stability of society during period of political, which have been soundly contained in Malaysian society (Lee, 2000). 4.2 Mass Media The Malaysian conventional print, audio, and visual media play a crucial role in developing the transmission of data and information to the Malaysian public (Hamzah, 2009). Since the past decades, Malaysia government had mainly relied on the printed media to help to inform or convey message to the public. These printed media include Bernama owned by the government, New Straits Times and Utusan Malaysia owned by UMNO alliance, The Star which is mainly acquire by MCA, Sin Chew Daily, China Press and etc. Other electronic media (Radio and Television) is mainly owned by the government. TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 8. Page 8 of 24 With the fast growing of the technology,Nielsen's Mobile Insights Malaysia 2010 survey revealed that the internet usage in Malaysia has increase to 41% and social networking stands the highest rate of usage (Nielsen, 2011). Among the five popular online social networks usage in Malaysia, Facebook has the highest usage (80.68%) in Malaysia (Alam, Yeow& Loo, 2011). This has indicated that in order to reach the public easier, using social networking sites as PR tools is significant.Yet, Grunig (2009) argued that digital media have the potential to truly revolutionize public relations only if a paradigm shift in the thinking of many practitioners and scholars takes place. In response, the Malaysian politicians, even the current Prime Minister of Malaysia NajibTunRazak, had adapted to the changes and set up their own Facebook account and page. The purpose for them to do so is to tell the people that they are listening to people voices and to interact with the people. 4.3 Education In the past, Malaysian PR professionals typically were former journalists but the crossing over from journalism to PR seems to be declining (Idid, 2004). Today, PR in Malaysia has matured to meet a number of conditions to support professionalism but the passage of time alone will not ensure the attainment of professional status for PR practitioners in Malaysia (Rahman, 2010). This has been supported by a study done by Zulhamri and Terry (2002), which disclosed that forming an independent professional association for public relations is vital, provided that it follows global standards in terms of several key elements (strategic plans, universal accreditation, global benchmarking standards, international relations, continuous professional development, a code of ethics, membership benefits, and training and qualification) of the professional project. Therefore, it‟s an urge for PR professionals and institute to educate and guide the art to professionalism. The Institute of Public Relations Malaysia (IPRM), set up in 1962, is an independent organization that hopes to enhance local PR practitioners‟ professionalism. With 50years TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 9. Page 9 of 24 of history, IPRM has played a significant role in the training and development of more than 5,000 Malaysian in preparing and qualifying them for a career in public relations (IPRM, 2010). IPRM also provides internships to various universities‟ students. In addition to that, a new public relations training company, intelectasia™Consultancy was established in January 2009 to provide high quality learning and development programs to PR practitioners of Malaysia (Intelectasia, n.d.). Besidea, the Public Relations Consultants‟ Association (PRCA) of Malaysia was founded in 1999 to serve as a platform for the exchange of information and views, while striving to set industry standards, develop young consultants and provide a unified voice for practitioners (PRCA, n.d.). There are 16 universities and colleges that offer PR course in Malaysia. These consist of SEGi University College, LimKokWing University of Creative Technology (LUCT), University Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Help University College (HUC), Taylor‟s University, University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Tunku Abdul Rahman College (TARC), University Sains Malaysia (USM), University Putra Malaysia (UPM), KDU University College, INTI International University, Stamford College, Management and Science University (MSU), Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University College (KLMUC), Brickfields Asia College, and Curtin University Sarawak Malaysia. Nevertheless, among these universities, only three universities (USM, UPM, and LUCT)provide master course in PR and USM is the only university that offer PhD in PR. 4.4 Private Sector A research done by Ling (1993) indicated that the management of organizations still feel that anyone can do PR with the assumption that requires little formal education and common skills. It might be true because an organization may survive without PR but a well-established PR plan can produce better results and enhance organization‟s reputation and image (Solehin, 2009). Solehin (2009) further stated that with the changing trends of the industry towards globalization, the role of Malaysian PR professionals has changed from handling TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 10. Page 10 of 24 publicity in the production line to being involved in policy making in the dominant coalition within an organization due to cultural diversity is seen as a universal concept as every country has different religious and tribal groups (Zulhamri, 2007). Hence, PR practitioners in Malaysia should be more sensitive and professional in handling multicultural issues than other country PR practitioners because in a developing multi- ethnic country like Malaysia, it is essential to understand the cultural diversity and multiculturalism to clearly identify sensitive and multi-aspect approach to PR (Solehin, 2009). This changing has also increase the number of PR firm and consultancy in Malaysia such as Asia PR Consultants, Epic Communications, Eric Pringle Associates PR, Essence Communications, Oglivy PR (Malaysia), Rantau PR, JP & Associates PR, and etc. To recognize the achievements of public relations professionals and the best PR campaigns over the year, PRCA Malaysia has organized an annual Malaysia Public Relations Awards (MPRA). The fourth MPRA ceremony was held on 3 November 2010 and the winners list is presented in Appendix C. 4.5 Code of Ethics Many critics argue that there can be no ethical public relations because the practice itself is akin to manipulation and propaganda (Bowen, 2007). However, Lieber (2003) claimed that to be successful, public relations practitioners are required to make intelligent, split- second decisions on situations laden with ethical dilemmas.Harrison (n.d.) had introduced eight practical guidelines that can help resolve ethical dilemmas: 1. Define in writing the specific issue or conflict. 2. Identify the relevant internal or external factors that may influence the decision. 3. Identify and rank the key values and principles involved. 4. Identify the parties who will be affected by the decision and define your obligation to each. 5. Select ethical principles to guide your decision-making process. 6. Make a decision. 7. Develop and implement an action plan that is consistent with the ethical priorities you have determined as central to the dilemma. 8. Reflect on the outcome of this ethical decision-making process. TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 11. Page 11 of 24 International professional public relations bodies have also established ethics codes in an attempt to regulate members‟ ethical behavior (Harrison & Chris, 2005).In Malaysia, IPRM used international code of ethics for PR as their code of Athens (See Appendix D) for members. PRCA Malaysia, on the contrary, announcedits own five key areas of the association code of ethics, which need to be followed by its members. These areas include professional service to clients, honesty, fees of services, business code of conduct and respect for member firms and employees. 5.0 Conclusion It‟s no doubt that PR in Malaysia is moving towards the professionalism no matter it‟s in political, education, industry or the media fields. However, the development of PR should not depend on the government alone. Professionals from private sectors should also contribute to the PR development. This might be achieving through various professional training programs for the practitioners and professional education for the youths in Malaysia. Only by the collaboration betweengovernment and private sectors, PR is able to become a real profession in the country. 6.0 References Adnan, HjMohdHamdan. (2009). Government Public Relations and Government Relations Synergizing for Business Success. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://www.iprm.org.my/resources/articles/24-government-public-relations-and- government-relations-synergising-for-business-success Alam, S.S., Yeow, P.H.P., & Loo, H.S. (2011).An Empirical Study on Online Social Networks Sites Usage: Online Dating Sites Perspective. International Journal of Business and Management, 6(10), 155-161. Baharum, Fatin (2011). Public Relations in Malaysia. Retrieved 2012, May 6, from http://www.scribd.com/doc/52935327/PUBLIC-RELATION-IN-MALAYSIA TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 12. Page 12 of 24 Bowen, S.A. (2007). Ethics and Public Relations. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://www.instituteforpr.org/topics/ethics-and-public-relations/ Culbertson, Hugh. (2009). Role-Taking: An Important Public Relations Process. Malaysian Journal of Media Studies, 11(1), 1-8. Cutlip, S., Center, A., and Broom, G. (1994). Effective Public Relations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Department of Information Official Website.(n.d.).History. Retrieved 2012, May 6, from http://www.penerangan.gov.my/index.php/en/organisation-profile/history.html Dzulkefly Ahmad. (2011). Najib and Co spent millions for PR. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://blog.drdzul.com/2011/08/02/najib-and-co-spent-millions-for-pr/ Grunig, J. E. (2009). Paradigms of global public relations in an age of digitalisation.Prism, 6(2). Hamzah, Azizah. (2009). Malaysia’s Role in National Development: Media Policy and National Stability. Malaysian Journal of Media Studies, 11(1), 49-58. Harrison Karey and Chris Galloway.(2005). Public Relations Ethics: A Simpler (but not simplistic) Approach to the Complexities. Prism 3, 1-17. Harrison Kim. (n.d.). PR Ethics: Ensure you bring ethics into your PR activities. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://www.cuttingedgepr.com/articles/bring-ethics-into-pr- activities.asp Hashim, Mohd. Adnan. (2011). Tackling Multiculturalism via Human Communication: A Public Relations Campaign of 1Malaysia. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(4), 114-127. TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 13. Page 13 of 24 Idid, S.A. (2004). Public Relations in Malaysia from its Colonial Past to Current Practice. In Sriramesh, K. Public relations in Asia: An Anthology. Singapore: Thomson. Institute of Public Relations Malaysia. (2010). About IPRM. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://www.iprm.org.my/about-us/about-iprm Intelectasia Consultancy. (n.d.). About Us. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://www.intelectasia.com/about-us Jackson, Nigel. (2010). Political Public Relations: spin, persuasion or relationships building?. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://www.psa.ac.uk/journals/pdf/5/2010/1192_1076.pdf Kaur, K. (2005). Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management in Malaysia: An Exploratory Study. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://eprints.ptar.uitm.edu.my/3616/1/LP_KIRANJIT_KAUR_05_24.pdf Kaur, K., and Shaari, H. (2006). Perceptions on the relationship between public relations practitioners and journalists. Kajian Malaysia, XXIV (1&2), 9-32. Lee, Hock Guan. (2000). Ethnic Relations in Peninsular Malaysia: The Cultural and Economic Dimensions. Social and Cultural Issues, 1. Lieber, P. S. (2003). Ethics in public relations: Gauging ethical decision-making patterns of public relations practitioners. Unpublishedmaster‟s thesis, Louisiana State University,Baton Rouge. Retrieved January 27, 2005, fromhttp://etd02.lnx390.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-0707103- 111615/unrestricted/Paul_Lieber_Thesis.pdf TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 14. Page 14 of 24 Ling, LiongIng. (1993). Correlates of Public Relations’ Role Types in Malaysia. Unpublished master‟s thesis, University Putra Malaysia Institutional Repository. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://psasir.upm.edu.my/11107/1/FPP_L_1993_10_A.pdf Nielson Company. (2011). Malaysian Internet Usage Take off in 2010. Retrieved 2012, May 6, from http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/global/malaysian-internet-usage-takes- off-in-2010/ Paul Hannah. (2010). Public Relations. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://www.mba- tutorials.com/marketing/425-public-relations.html Public Relations Consultants‟ Association of Malaysia. (n.d.). Code of Ethics. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://www.prcamalaysia.org/index.asp?menuid=249&pageid=186 Public Relations Society of America. (2012). Public Relations Definition: PRSA Official Statement. Retrieved 2012, May 5 from http://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/PublicRelationsDefined Rahman, Poziah A. (2010). The Great Need for a PR Act. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://thestar.com.my/columnists/story.asp?col=atyourservice&file=/2010/3/6/columnists /atyourservice/5796264&sec=At+Your+Service Solehin. (2009). Analyse Issue of PR in Malaysia: A Study on Communication Management. Retrieved 2012, May 6, from http://www.docstoc.com/docs/10992504/Issue-On-Public-Relations-in-Malaysia The Economist. (2009). Malaysia: Political Structure. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://www.economist.com/node/14117008 TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 15. Page 15 of 24 The Malaysia Government‟s Official Portal (n.d.). About Malaysian Government. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://www.malaysia.gov.my/EN/Main/MsianGov/Pages/AboutMsianGov.aspx Tourism Malaysia. (2012). About Malaysia. Retrieved 2012, May 5 from http://www.tourism.gov.my/about_malaysia/index.php Wong, MunChee. (2012). PR is more politically racist than UMNO. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://malaysiansmustknowthetruth.blogspot.com/2012/02/pr-is-more- politically-racist-than-umno.html Zhao Jensen. (1999). Public Relations. Retrieved 2012, May 5, from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_gx5209/is_1999/ai_n19125848/ Zulhamri Abdullah. (2007). Towards International Cultural Diversity Management of Public Relations: Viewpoints of Chairmen/CEOs. International Journal of Economics and Management, 1(2), 285-299. Zulhamri Abdullah and Terry Threadgold. (2002).Towards the Professionalisation of Public Relations in Malaysia: Perception Management and Strategy Development. Public Relations Quarterly, 66(3), 298-320. TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 16. Page 16 of 24 APPENDIX A: Activities carried by the Department of Information in 1940s Mobile Units and Film Shows The Department was well known for its mobile units that were conspicuous throughout the country. The functions of the mobile units were outlined in an official directive to the Department dated May 20, 1946 (Department Instruction No. 2). The duties and responsibilities of the Mobile Units were as follows: • To provide accurate information and proper advice to the public. • To nurture good relationship between the people and the government as well as to cooperate with local officers. • To establish good relationships between the people and the Mobile Units of the Department. • To obtain feedback from the people for submission to the government. • To submit reports on the relationships between the units and the people. Film shows were the most popular activities of the Department in those days. In every state there were Mobile Units equipped with 16 mm projectors. State Public Relations Officer and staffs of the Department were very popular in their respective states due to their duty in delivering speeches and screening films. Usually, the Units would travel to every nook and cranny of the state to show films at locations that would attract large gatherings, especially the school playing fields. Information Centres TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 17. Page 17 of 24 Information Centres were established in the major towns throughout the country since 1945 to carry out such activities as are at present performed by Information Bureaus. Among the earliest Information Centres was the Information Centre at Java Street Kuala Lumpur which was opened on October 20, 1945. Information Centres became places where members of the public came to read books, listen to the radio and look at pictures of events within and outside the country that were on display These Centres served as important channels for the purpose of disseminating information in urban areas. Press Communications Press Communications had been an important element ever since 1945. The function of Press Communications was performed at the headquarters by the Press Relations Officers who were assisted by Reporters. They were responsible for carrying out news coverage and issuing Press Releases especially on official events related to government administration. Important topics included government programs such as food production, health, education and others. This division also conducted Press Conferences and ensured accurate reporting by the Media. Until 1947 this division was divided into five sections: 1. Press Releases Section 2. Essential News Section 3. Newspaper Cuttings Library 4. Production of articles for publications in foreign magazines, especially in England, for the purpose of making Malaya known. 5. Translation Section. Publications The Department had published various campaign materials such as posters and pamphlets ever since its inception. In 1946, the Department published 14 book titles besides the departmental newsletter knwon as the Malayan Observer. Malayan Observer contained news about government activities and current events in Malaya. A Tamil edition of this newsletter was also published for distribution in the estates. The Department also published books that could be used as reference materials. In 1946, the Department TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 18. Page 18 of 24 translated and published „The History of the Second World War‟ which was used in schools. Besides that, the Department published pamphlets especially on hygiene and cleanliness, food production, and aspects of the constitution and nationhood. Posters also featured as a channel for the dissemination of important information on hygiene and cleanliness, thrift and savings, welfare and dieting. Exhibitions Activities on exhibitions were managed by a division called Artist and Caption Writers Division. This division produced the pictures and captions for display at all Information Centres and on the display boards provided. Exhibitions served as very useful information channels for conveying vital information to members of the public, especially to those with lower reading ability. The Department participated in this activity and also provided its expertise to exhibitions sponsored by other agencies. At the end of 1946, for instance, the Department participated in the Royal Australian Exhibition in Sydney and the exhibition British Industries Fair. Stage Performances In October 1946, the Department established a theatrical group comprising amateur artistes. They performed in Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan. Their stage performances consisted of plays and singing and dancing themed on the virtue of saving money and the importance of education. In 1947, Tamil Drama Party was set up and performed in estates especially in Kedah and Perak. This entertainment media had succeeded to attract the interest of the public. TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 19. Page 19 of 24 APPENDIX B: Malaysia as a Fully Developed Country - One Definition: Nine Challenges of Vision 2020) By the year 2020, Malaysia can be a united nation, with a confident Malaysian society, infused by strong moral and ethical values, living in a society that is democratic, liberal and tolerant, caring, economically just and equitable, progressive and prosperous, and in full possession of an economy that is competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.There can be no fully developed Malaysia until we have finally overcome the nine central strategic challenges that have confronted us from the moment of our birth as an independent nation. The first of these is the challenges of establishing a united Malaysian nation with a sense of common and shared destiny. This must be a nation at peace with itself, territorially and ethnically integrated, living in harmony and full and fair partnership, made up of one 'Bangsa Malaysia' with political loyalty and dedication to the nation. The second is the challenge of creating a psychologically liberated, secure, and developed Malaysian Society with faith and confidence in itself, justifiably proud of what it is, of what it has accomplished, robust enough to face all manner of adversity. This Malaysian Society must be distinguished by the pursuit of excellence, fully aware of all its potentials, psychologically subservient to none, and respected by the peoples of other nations. The third challenge we have always faced is that of fostering and developing a mature democratic society, practicing a form of mature consensual, community- oriented Malaysian democracy that can be a model for many developing countries. TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 20. Page 20 of 24 The fourth is the challenge of establishing a fully moral and ethical society, whose citizens are strong in religious and spiritual values and imbued with the highest of ethical standards. The fifth challenge that we have always faced is the challenge of establishing a matured,liberal and tolerant society in which Malaysians of all colors and creeds are free to practice and profess their customs,cultures and religious beliefs and yet feeling that they belong to one nation. The sixth is the challenge of establishing a scientific and progressive society, a society that is innovative and forward-looking, one that is not only a consumer of technology but also a contributor to the scientific and technological civilization of the future. The seventh challenge is the challenge of establishing a fully caring society and a caring culture, a social system in which society will come before self, in which the welfare of the people will revolve not around the state or the individual but around a strong and resilient family system. The eighth is the challenge of ensuring an economically just society. This is a society in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation, in which there is full partnership in economic progress. Such a society cannot be in place so long as there is the identification of race with economic function, and the identification of economic backwardness with race. The ninth challenge is the challenge of establishing a prosperous society, with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient. TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 21. Page 21 of 24 APPENDIX C: Winners of the Malaysia Public Relations Awards 2010 Product Brand Development Campaign of the Year Certificate of Excellence – Best Use of Digital: Fleishman-Hillard For Detik-Detik MH: Rediscovering the Essence of Malaysian Hospitality for Malaysian Airlines System Bhd Certificate of Excellence – Best Use of Digital: Text 100 For Spread the Smile Movement - The Journey for Cleft campaign for ING Insurance Berhad Honourable Mention -Technology Campaign of the Year: Text 100 For Avoid Being a Cybercrime Statistic With Norton 360 for Norton from Symantec (Malaysia) Finalist: Text 100 For Lenovo Breakthrough campaign for Lenovo Consumer Launch Campaign of the Year Award Winner: Essence Communications for Delta Strike campaign for Lifebuoy (Unilever) Malaysia Certificate of Excellence: Kim Chew Communications For Nippon Odour-less Aircare campaign for Nippon Paint (Malaysia) SdnBhd Finalist – Technology Campaign of the Year: Astro For AstroB.yond campaign for Astro Healthcare: Ethical Campaign of the Year Certificate of Excellence: Fleishman-Hillard For Power Over Cervical Cancer (POCC) campaign for GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Malaysia TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 22. Page 22 of 24 Certificate of Excellence: Golin Harris For Breathe: World Asthma Day campaign for GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Malaysia Finalist: Edelman For Say Goodbye to Premature Ejaculation campaign for Janssen-Cilag Public Affairs Campaign of the Year Certificate of Excellence: Weber Shandwick ForCorporate Positioning Framework for EkuitiNasionalBerhad (EKUINAS) for EkuitiNasionalBerhad (EKUINAS) Financial Communication Campaign of the Year Finalist: Ogilvy PR ForMalaysia’s International Headlining Act of 2009 for Maxis Berhad Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign of the Year Award Winner: Text 100 For Spread the Smile Movement - The Journey for Cleft campaign for ING Insurance Berhad Environmental Campaign of the Year Certificate of Excellence: Text 100 For Spread the Smile Movement - The Journey for Cleft campaign for ING Insurance Berhad Certificate of Excellence – Best Use of Digital: Fleishman-Hillard For Detik-Detik MH: Rediscovering the Essence of Malaysian Hospitality for Malaysian Airlines System Bhd Honourable Mention: Weber Shandwick For Green Fingers Eco-project for Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad Promotional Activity of the Year Award Winner: Weber Shandwick For Youth ‘10: Malaysia’s Largest Youth Festival for Youth Asia Certificate of Excellence: Ogilvy PR ForShell Fuelsave 1 Litre Challenge for Shell Malaysia Trading SdnBhd TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 23. Page 23 of 24 Campaign of the Year Gold Award: Essence Communications For Delta Strike campaign for Lifebuoy (Unilever) Malaysia APPENDIX D: IPRM – Code of Athens International Code of Ethics for Public Relations CONSIDERING that all Member countries of the United Nations Organisation have agreed to abide by its Charters which reaffirms “its faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person” and that having regard to the very nature of their profession, Public Relations practitioners in these countries should undertake to ascertain and observe the principles set out in this Charter. CONSEDERING that, apart from “rights”, human beings have not only physical or material needs but also intellectual, moral and social needs, and that their rights are of real benefit to them only insofar as these needs are essentially met, CONSIDERING that, in the course of their professional duties and depending on how these duties are performed, Public Relations practitioners can substantially help to meet these intellectual, moral and social needs. And lastly, CONSIDERING that the use of techniques enabling them to come simultaneously into contact with millions of people gives Public Relations practitioners a power that has to be restrained by the observance of a strict moral code. On all these grounds, the Public Relations Associations which have recognized the present document declare that they accept as their moral charter the principles of the following Code of Ethics, and that if, in the light of evidence submitted to the Council, a member of these associations should be found to have infringed this Code in the course of his professional duties, he will be deemed to be guilty of serious misconduct calling for an appropriate penalty. Accordingly, each Member of these Associations: SHALL ENDEAVOUR 1. To contribute to the achievement of the moral and cultural conditions enabling human beings to reach their full stature and enjoy the indefeasible rights to which they are entitled under the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”; 2. To establish communication patterns and channel which, by fostering the free flow of essential information will make each member of the society in which he lives feel TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012
  • 24. Page 24 of 24 that he is being kept informed, and also give him an awareness of his own personal involvement and responsibility, and of his solidarity with other members; 3. To bear in mind that, because of the relationship between his profession and the public, his conduct – even in private – will have an impact on the way in which the profession as a whole is appraised; 4. To respect, in the course of his professional duties, the moral principles and rules of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”; 5. To pay due regard to, and uphold, human dignity and to recognize the right of each individual to judge for himself; 6. To encourage the moral, psychological and intellectual conditions for dialogue in its true sense, and to recognize the right of the parties involved to state their case and express their views; SHALL UNDERTAKE 7. To conduct himself always and in all circumstances in such a manner as to deserve and secure the confidence of those with whom he comes into contact; 8. To act, in all circumstances, in such a manner as to take account of the respective interests of the parties involved: both the interests of the organization which he serves and the interest of the public concerned; 9. To carry out his duties with integrity, avoiding language likely to lead to ambiguity or misunderstanding, and to maintain loyalty to his clients or employers, whether past or present; SHALL REFRAIN FROM 10. Subordinating the truth to other requirements; 11. Circulating information which is not based on established and ascertainable facts; 12. Taking part in any venture or undertaking which is unethical or dishonest or capable of impairing human dignity and integrity; 13. Using any “manipulative” methods or techniques designed to create subconscious motivations which the individual cannot control of his own free will and so cannot be held accountable for the action taken on them. The Code of Athens was adopted by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) at its General Assembly held in Athens, Greece, in May 1965, and was modified as above at the annual meeting of the IPRA Council held in Teheran, Iran, on 17th April 1968. TONG TIONG VEE MAY 2012