Strange but true: SBY edges out Abhisit for Communicator of the Year title

Any communicator who have had the chance to see both Indonesia’s Susilo Bambang Yudhono and Thailand’s Abhisit Vejjajiva speak in public would probably have put their money on Abhisit winning any Communicator of the Year Award.

Apart from his good looks, the Thai Premier is suave and articulate with a English public school accent. In contrast, SBY comes across as stilted, confusing and sometimes downright clumsy.Some of his harsher critics have been known to use the word bovine.

Yet the Public Affairs professionals seem to have thought differently and they voted SBY over Abhisit. “Through his election victories, and his work both domestically and internationallyC, SBY has shown himself to be a formidable communicator and a highly effective modern politician,” Mark O’Brien, the vice president of Public Affairs Asia said about SBY’s victory.

That statement is so general that it could mean anything. Unspun is absolutely curious whether Public Affairs Asia would care to elaborate on what they mean by “his work both domestically and internationally.” While the mystery still stands, however, one thing is certain: Hans Vriens, the former head of APCO in Jakarta (which is still functioning in spite of more-or less closing down) and who now heads his own consultancy is certainly not in a bad position to be for a public affairs consultant to be where Indonesia is concerned.

Unspun also wonders what others who are not steeped in the arcane arts of the PA professionals might think so here’s a small survey to see if perceptions line up:

Yudhoyono scoops Asia political communicator award

Edhie Yudhoyono (R) Accepts PublicAffairsAsia award

Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) has topped the list in the The Gold Standard Award in Political Communications.

The president saw off eight other nominees to secure award, which forms part of the PublicAffairsAsia Gold Standard Awards programme.

The president’s son, Edhie Yudhoyono, collected the award at a gala reception for senior PA professionals organised by PublicAffairsAsia at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club in Hong Kong on February 4.

Yudhoyono was nominated by Hans Vriens, the founding managing director of Vriens & Partners, the Singapore based PA firm which is linked with Jakarta-based Kiroyan Partners.

Yudhoyono saw off Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who was nominated by Sebastian Beaumont, the managing director of the Marque Consulting Group, a specialist public affairs and consulting firm in Thailand.

The third finalist was Ryan Gawn, a British charity campaigner who mounted a highly effective programme to mobilise British government support for Save the Children’s work in Afghanistan.

Yudhoyono topped the contest after securing a historic second term victory in last year’s presidential election.

Commenting on the award, PublicAffairsAsia’s vice president, Mark O’Brien, said: “This award allows professional political communicators and lobbying professionals to identify achievement by the politicians and campaigners with whom they work.

“Through his election victories, and his work both domestically and internationally, SBY has shown himself to be a formidable communicator and a highly effective modern politician.”

via PublicAffairsAsia: The news, analysis, recruitment, events and intelligence network for public affairs and communications professionals in Asia.

How to help Little Zy help others

Unspun‘s cousin who lives in Bangkok, Walter, had a baby recently whom he called Zy. Zy has one complete left arm, half a right arm,  no right leg,  a malformed left leg with three toes and dislocated hip joints, but otherwise he’s a normal baby.

It is a source of pride that this cousin, whom Unspun has not seen enough over the years, has not only managed to handle this circumstance, that many people would consider a misfortune, with determination and fortitude but also to turn it around so that as he seeks to treat Zy, he can also help other children with with similar disabilities as Zy.Little Zy

He is now looking for some help, not in the form of money, but in documenting Zy’s treatment so that the technology can be used in Asia. Here’s his moving story and what sort of help he is looking for:

If you are a parent and/or
if you are a leader of a group and/or
if you are living in Thailand (and I am all of the above)….this would be something of interest to you.

My name is Walter Lee and I have been living in Thailand since 1989. I am the CEO of Venturetec Marketing Company Limited (Thailand), I am married to Nok. We have 3 great kids, V, Mij and Zy and we all live in Bangkok.

Little Zy is now 15 months old (I call him my little Professor) and is an absolute ball of fun. He was born with one complete left arm,

half a right arm,
no right leg,
a malformed left leg with three toes and
dislocated hip joints. He is otherwise just like any other baby.

He took our whole family and hospital (rated one of the top ones in this part of the world) by surprise the day he was born, the morning of September 30, 2006. (Yes, we had gone through the ultra-sound on the 18th week of Nok’s pregnancy and it wasn’t detected.)

The first 3 months after his birth was holding the family together, V was 3, Mij was 1 and Nok just couldn’t believe how she could have carried little Zy for 9 months, followed all the doctors advice and not know all of this was coming?? She was crying most of the time while still taking care of the 3 children.

All I had wanted was for my family to be happy.

I had no time to waste being sad or shocked anymore.

I knew this was only the beginning and I have psyched myself up to embark on this journey of discovery, to a dimension that I would have otherwise very likely overlooked in this lifetime. Little Zy had come with a message for his old man.

I needed to accomplish 3 things in the following order, Continue reading “How to help Little Zy help others”