Covid-19 communication initiatives effective, says Saifuddin

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during a press conference at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur August 26, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during a press conference at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur August 26, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — Communication initiatives undertaken so far by the government to disseminate information on the Covid-19 pandemic have proven to be effective, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said this assessment was based on the people’s high level of awareness and understanding of the pandemic as well as compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and instructions issued by the National Security Council (MKN) and Ministry of Health (MOH).

Nevertheless, these communication initiatives need to be intensified to ensure that the people’s awareness and understanding of the pandemic is at the highest level possible, he said.

“In the context of this virus being invisible and having spread in the community, even a small percentage of non-compliance with the SOPs and instructions should be seen as a major issue.

“Apart from this, due to several factors, especially politics and the effects of the Sabah state election, there is now a trust deficit, with various areas having to be addressed prudently,” he told Bernama today.

Saifuddin said that since Perikatan Nasional (PN) took over the administration, the government had implemented many communication initiatives through the Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) and various other stakeholders.

Quoting a write-up from the Merentas Ruang column (Bil 8, November 4, 2020) entitled “Prihatin Menangani Covid-19” (Caring Approach in Covid-19 Fight), he said the overall impression gained was that the government had struck a balance between lives and livelihood in curbing the pandemic.

Besides, health and non-health (including financial and economic) activities implemented to combat the pandemic have shown success, while economic planning was rolled out in an organised manner, he added.

As such, Saifuddin said, the communication initiatives would be continued and intensified through more systematic planning and implementation.

“It (planning) is divided into three components — Analysis, Solutions and Implementation. The emphasis now is on quality and effectiveness of communication, not just quantity,” he said. — Bernama

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