BANGI: Information officers working for the Government should present statements based on facts and not manipulate information, said Information Minister Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob.
He said officials had on many occasions deviated from their role as professionals serving in the interest of the Government and the nation, resulting in their being used by certain parties for propaganda purposes.
They must deliver the message to the people as it is and not otherwise, said Khalil, who is also Umno secretary-general, at the launch of National Information Day 2003 at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia yesterday.
Information director-general Mohamad Salleh Rafie said the departments officers should also constantly update themselves with knowledge and information that was relevant to current times.
With the proliferation of information technology, he said, their scope of work had moved from a local spectrum to a global environment.
They should not be contented with the knowledge acquired through previous formal or informal education, or else they will lose their relevance to society, the Government and stakeholders, he said.
The new generation of forward-thinking officers were knowledgeable in areas like current events, crisis management, conflict management and psychology, he said.
As such, the recent organisational restructuring of the department saw the creation of two new divisions Strategic Planning and Research, and Human Resource Management.
The new breed of information officers that we want to create are those who are capable of defending the credibility of the Government and the information they disseminate to the public will not create doubt and controversy, said Mohamad Salleh.