The wonders of PR: more deaths=less failure

by Eyes Wide Open

Fox Communications Sdn Bhd is a local PR outfit that has been retained by the PDRM at a cost to taxpayers to the tune of about RM34,000 per month. Well, I guess they must be giving themselves a hearty pat on the back for getting this plum contract. I mean, why would the police need a PR firm for since they have their own PR officers?

But I guess with the latest Ops Sikap debacle, the cops need all the help they can get to salvage their image after yet another failure.

After all, who would have been clever enough to spin the increased death toll recorded during Ops Sikap 20 as something POSITIVE? Who better than the people who are so experienced in spinning stories for the government for a living – the ex-MSM journos who own Fox Communications!

The Star reports that:


Death Toll Increase Doesn’t Mean Ops Sikap Failed

(Bernama) — The increase in death toll in the 20th Ops Sikap which ended last Sunday does not reflect the failure of the operation. Rather, it is seen as a wake-up call to road users in the country.

Traffic Police Chief Datuk Abdul Aziz Yusof said that although the death toll was more than that during the same period last year, the average of fatalities was slightly lower at 17.7 per cent compared with 17.8 per cent in 2008.

He said this was despite the registration of 800,000 new vehicles and 500,000 more vehicles using the North-South Expressway (PLUS), bringing the total to two million vehicles, compared with 1.5 million last year.

(Read the rest here)


“Does not reflect the failure of the operation”?

Well, success or failure would depend on whether the objectives have been met wouldn’t it? If they were met, then it’s a success. if not, then it’s a failure.

It’s really very simple, even small children can understand:

“If you finish your homework by 5pm, you can have an ice cream.”

If that child successfully finishes at 5pm – he knows he’s met his objective and he gets the ice cream. If he fails to meet the deadline – no ice cream.

So what were the objectives of Ops Sikap 20? The Rakan Cop website spells it out pretty clearly:


Bertemakan ‘Selamat Sampai Ke Destinasi’, Ops Sikap Ke-20, 2009 berlangsung selama 15 hari, bermula dari 13 September 2009 sehingga 27 September 2009.

Objektif Ops Sikap tahun ini adalah :-
– Memastikan aliran trafik berjalan dengan lancar dan selamat
– Mengurangkan kadar kemalangan maut sebanyak 5% (lima peratus)
– Melaksanakan penguatkuasaan undang-undang jalanraya secara terancang
– Melaksanakan operasi secara ‘Integrated With Crime Prevention’

Disamping itu, Cawangan Trafik akan meneruskan strategi ‘Creative Enforcement’ dengan menggunakan konsep 4A iaitu di mana semua anggota Cawangan Trafik perlu meningkatkan daya saingan dalaman untuk melaksanakan Ops Sikap dengan nilai-nilai berikut:-


– Sikap positif dan komitmen


– Keupayaan untuk menganalisis sumber / maklumat, merancang sektor penugasan, memenuhi KPI kemalangan jalan raya


– Persistent enforcement with high visibility


– Penilaian keberkesanan pelan tindakan


In terms of the death toll, Abdul Aziz tries to justify that Ops Sikap was not a failure as the number was simply a reflection of the higher number of vehicles on the road compared to last year.

But Ops Sikap 20’s objectives was not a reduction in the death toll, but death RATE. And they stated it clearly – reduce the death RATE by 5%.

By his own statistics, the death rate has remained almost exactly the same. Thus, the objectives have NOT BEEN MET. So what’s all this nonsense about Ops Sikap 20 not being a failure?

Not only have Ops Sikap failed by its own defined parameters, the police have also failed to perform according to their “Creative Enforcement” parameters.

Under ABILTY, the police were supposed to be able to analyse information effectively and under ACHIEVEMENT they were to assess the effectiveness of their plan of action.

So…after detailed analysis of how Ops Sikap’s plan of action that failed to achieve their stated objectives, all they can conclude is:

“We didn’t fail”?

Of course, that’s not the end of the analysis – that would have been too simplistic a conclusion. So the police’s assessment of their action plan have unearthed even more reasons for their “un-failure”:

It was the road users’ attitude who caused the accidents.”

“It was the auto industry who sold more cars this year.”

It is shocking that even the IGP lays the blame for the high death rate squarely on the road users’ shoulders, going so far to say that even if the death penalty were imposed, people would still break the law.

Shocking, absolutely shocking!

Somehow the IGP seems to be surprised that lawbreakers exist in the world. He also seems to be surprised that people didn’t self-regulate their road behaviour upon hearing the words “Ops Sikap”.

Hello!! If people are expected to self-regulate themselves upon hearing a kitschy million-ringgit PR campaign message, what the hell do we need to pay your salaries for? Just to sit around and grant million-ringgit contracts for PR people to do your job for you?

Isn’t it the cops’ job to catch the lawbreakers? And to strike the fear of the law into every Malaysian heart to ensure that they at least think twice before doing anything illegal? It’s an absolute disgrace that the IGP doesn’t seem to be able to grasp the very basic conept of law enforcement!

This Ops Sikap is the latest PR disaster for the police of this country. But the greater tragedy than the cops’ very public failure is perhaps the mistaken belief than some sloppy PR spins would be enough to justify themselves in the eyes of the citizens they are supposed to serve and protect.

Whoever is behind this lame “we didn’t fail, blame it on the road users” nonsense should be taken out back and shot. Because instead of repairing and strengthening the PDRM’s image, these denials and blame-shifting only show up the police’s lack of ability, integrity, honesty and responsibility.

How are the people going to respect the law when law enforcers are encouraged to behave like this?

3 Responses to “The wonders of PR: more deaths=less failure”
  1. Sonny Tneoh says:

    In Malaysia today we have all kinds of abominations heaped on a long suffering populace. We have all types of public servants spin tragic unacceptable situations like Kugan and Teoh Beng Huat to sanitise blatantly corrupt and incompetent government. Ops Sikap is just one more in the long list of puke inducing spins.

    If we all stay united we will get rid of this corrupt and incompetent government and start reforming the civil service.

  2. Tony Teh says:

    I fully agreed with you well written analysis. What a pityful bunch of people. All because of our education system and vetting process in public service dept. So sad….

  3. dbctan says:

    the truth is, i don’t quite understand what the ‘Ops” mean – you air some juvenile promo song, put out announcements, station policemen along highways – is that it? it’s like warning a child to study for his exams or else, but you do nothing to understand what makes a child learn or fail, or do anything to improve teaching, learning, or schooling in general

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