Malysians are so unfair. Even when the PM is doing the right thing they criticise him. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has certainly taken a step in the right direction by directing his Ministers to undergo media training (see Malaysian Insider story below).
Media Training, to those who are not familiar with it, is essentially media handling skills training. Participants learn how to handle the media through messaging, bridging, turning negatives into positives, staying on message, repetition and a whole lot of other skills.
Most PR agencies provide this training, but few do it well. That is, I think, is because they do not emphasise enough the need for the trainees to be genuine in what they say and to be likeable by attuning themselves to the needs and wants of their audience. The public today is not gullible enough any more and they can smell bullshit from a mile away.
As a result, they often turn out a highly skilled, but morally and empathically empty practitioner. Something like a kung fu exponent without the wisdom and integrity to guide them.
To see an example of how little knowledge can be a dangerous thing when not accompanied by sincerity and integrity you need not go further than the example set by the UK’s opposition leader Ed Milliband
As you can see, a highly trained monkey is still a monkey that convinces no one, even though he can end up very entertaining.
How well the Malaysian Ministers turn out will depend on who they are at heart. To a certain extent it will depend on who their trainers are and how brave they are at pointing out the weaknesses of the ministers they train (such as the over-the-top defensiveness of most of them).
Still, credit where credit is due, and Najib deserves praise for issuing the directive. If he included a lobotomy for the Ministers, it would have increased the chances of success. like public speaking and other skills, you can learn many tricks but ultimately your performance hinges on one thing – your character.
In the meantime, Keep Calm and Eat Kangkung.
Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor had come under fire for his remarks on the hike in assessment rates. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 26, 2014.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak has directed mandatory media training for his ministers to prevent more missteps that have made his administration a laughing stock among Malaysians, sources said.
The prime minister\’s second term has been marked by “foolish” remarks from several ministers that spawned Internet memes and jokes detrimental to Putrajaya’s image, the sources told The Malaysian Insider.
“The prime minister wants ministers to undergo media training to avoid repeatedly delivering foolish remarks,” said a source on the condition of anonymity.
“We do not want Putrajaya’s image spoilt because of statements given by ministers like Ku Nan and Hasan Malek,” the source added.
The source was referring to Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek’s reminder that people should be thankful for having “sincere” leaders who “prioritise people’s needs” above all else, as quoted by Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia.