Malaysian government brings in PR firm, will need all the help it can get

(It’s no secret that APCO Worldwide had been appointed by the Najib Administration to upgrade its image and lobby for international acceptance – particularly by the US. But is PR enough to solve Malaysia’s problems?

This is an interesting take by an independent observer.

Ben Bland is a freelance journalist based in Singapore, reporting for publications such as The Daily Telegraph, The Economist, the FT weekend magazine, Monocle, Asia Sentinel and the British Medical Journal. He was a stock market reporter at The Daily Telegraph and Dow Jones Newswires in London, before leaving the City to Southeast Asia.)

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The Malaysian government has appointed APCO, a global PR firm, to advise it on how to engage with the public and the media.

When I covered the stock market in London, the appointment of a new PR firm by a troubled company was usually the equivalent of the band on the Titanic striking up a new cheerful tune: they may be hoping to lighten the mood but ultimately the ship’s still going down.

Amusingly, the men and women in suits who are being shipped out to Kuala Lumpur reckon they can help strengthen “the government’s online and other strategic communication capabilities” by deploying “seasoned professionals…who are on the cutting edge of new media”.

(Continue reading the original article by Ben Bland – here)

Hat-tip to Unspun.

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The Malaysian Insider also has this story.

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Comments
12 Responses to “Malaysian government brings in PR firm, will need all the help it can get”
  1. chrisyong says:

    Sigh, it has nothing to do with PR……..it has something to do with Najib and Rosmah’s brains, personality, attitude, character, desperation, condition of their hearts……….

    Malaysians are not easily decieved by PR anymore………..Haha

  2. moo la la says:

    We Malaysians are expert in smelling out PR and Spins. After we have lived decades with govt spins.

    APCO may give good advise but the people implementing the advise may not accept the recommendations and do a good job. After all, what do foreign experts know about politics in Malaysia. Like all hired experts, the solutions may be theirs, but the execution is still govt, and we know what they can do.

    I predict APCO will exit Malaysia with damaged reputation.

  3. What..????

    Here we are, your OWN rakyat already “screaming” at these goons what’s wrong & where it went wrong……!

    “Not listening…. is it????????

    Suggestion given over & over again on how they can “buck up”
    and yet need a “mat salleh” to tell them that…..???????????????

    Well…, I guess our local PR firms are damn bloody useless PR firms lah…!!!

    What’s the cost?????
    Where’s the money comming from??????????
    For how many goverment servants???????????

    I suggest the goverment deduct their “OWN” salary for these so called “make over image”……!!!

    “STOP” using the tax payers money….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We are not your ATM machine…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. unspun says:

    Thanks for the hat-tip.Agree with Ben Bland.

    One thing to learn from all of this is that God and PR people can only help those who help themselves. On this score the Malaysian Government cannot help save themselves from their own foibles, so they are trying to outsource their salvation.

    The money must be good but you wonder how APCO can justify the long-term reputation damage that must come with this engagement.

  5. amoker says:

    Well, they should be the one who come out with 1Malaysia, which is now rubbished. what a waste of money

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  1. […] remarks on APCO’s appointment in Malaysia to make Najib and pals look good by Ben Bland in theHartal MSMblog. Hartal says Bland is a freelance journalist based in Singapore, reporting for publications […]

  2. […] remarks on APCO’s appointment in Malaysia to make Najib and pals look good by Ben Bland in theHartal MSMblog. Hartal says Bland is a freelance journalist based in Singapore, reporting for publications […]

  3. […] remarks on APCO’s appointment in Malaysia to make Najib and pals look good by Ben Bland in theHartal MSMblog. Hartal says Bland is a freelance journalist based in Singapore, reporting for publications […]

  4. […] remarks on APCO’s appointment in Malaysia to make Najib and pals look good by Ben Bland in theHartal MSMblog. Hartal says Bland is a freelance journalist based in Singapore, reporting for publications […]

  5. […] remarks on APCO’s appointment in Malaysia to make Najib and pals look good by Ben Bland in theHartal MSMblog. Hartal says Bland is a freelance journalist based in Singapore, reporting for publications […]

  6. […] remarks on APCO’s appointment in Malaysia to make Najib and pals look good by Ben Bland in theHartal MSMblog. Hartal says Bland is a freelance journalist based in Singapore, reporting for publications […]



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