PETALING JAYA,. Last week, the Information Department of Malaysia (JaPen) celebrated the department’s achievements and recognised the efforts of some of their officers at their Innovation and Excellence Day.
Nine awards were given out to individuals and groups that have excelled in the line of duty. Innovations ranged from a better filing and search system, better financial management to the best social media campaign.
The JaPen Innovation and Excellence Day also saw the PMR (People’s Information Centre) awards being handed out to information centres that have achieved excellent results.
These included the Wow Factor Award, Transformation Award, Best PMR Award and Best PMR Co-ordinator Award.
Led by information officer Jusman Hedoh, the Tawau branch bagged the Best PMR Award. For Jusman, who also won the Best PMR Co-ordinator Award, the win only hardened his resolve to work harder in ensuring that people received the right information on government policies and programmes.
“With a population of some 500,000 spread across the two parliamentary seats of Tawau and Kalabakan and having a staff of only 14 people, propagating information remains an immense challenge. Travelling to remote villages can take hours and some can only be reached by boats.
“Of the innovations, some include information material that is creative in nature that suits our intended audience such as colouring books for children and pertinent pamphlets for the others,’’ he said, citing further that they are always looking for innovative ways to propagate verified information.
Another winner was the PMR Limbang, Sarawak team who bagged the Wow Factor Award, which celebrates local branches who have the most effective reach among local communities.
Led by Information officer Linda Padan, the team has been working closely with local communities.
“We also jointly conduct community outreach programmes with other government agencies even in longhouses and rural communities to ensure that they are well aware of improvements and initiatives conducted by the government,’’ she said.
Their close proximity to neighbouring Brunei also puts the branch in a unique position, said Linda.
“We often collaborate with our counterparts there to show local villages in the state (Brunei) what has been done by the (Malaysian) government,’’ she said.
Another prestigious award was the Best Malaysia Aktif Portal Award which was won by the Sabah Information Department Team led by Malaysia Aktif editor Fauzrina Bulka.
The award which celebrates the best articles on the portal shows that their people-centric stories have been a huge hit, said Fauzrina
“We try to find out what people think of government policies and how it affects them. We do not cover hard news per se but mostly colour stories and getting the stories that matter to the people,’’ she said.
In his opening remarks, JaPen director-general Datuk Ibrahim Abdul Rahman called on information officers to be more innovative in their efforts to propagate information to the people.
“We need to think outside the box, better yet think without the box. You must come up with ways that are more innovative and even bolder to have a high impact or reach in your efforts to inform people about government policies and initiatives,’’ he said.