Monday, February 25, 2019

They don't make press aides like they used to

Dear press aides, stop being entitled jerks - courtesy The Mole

“Knowing now that RTM was merely following its SOP (standard operating procedure) in showing only the Prime Minister’s speech during the live telecast of the CNY (Chinese New Year) celebration in Seremban, I wish to apologise for my Facebook post dated Feb 17, 2019. I support media independence and media freedom and would love that one day RTM can be truly transformed into high quality, professional public broadcaster." Lim Swee Kuan, press officer to the Transport Minister, on Facebook

Puchong, 25 Feb: Yeah, right. And I would love that one day, knowing that day will not come, that YB Anthony Loke's press officer can be truly transformed into a high quality, professional officer ...


That Lim Swee Kuan had the cheek to take a high-and-mighty position on media "professionalism" after his faux pas is a joke that won't make anyone's Monday better. We know now that Anthony Loke's press aide did not know the first thing about how the Press works. In other words, Lim didn't know his job! If he expects others to be high-quality, professional, and so on, he should try to be professional himself. 
Not need to be so high, lah.

I was going to kick Lim's butt, but Zaidi Azmi beat me to it. And just as well. I couldn't have done it better; it is Zaidi and his current crop of fellow journalists who have to deal with inept press officers like Lim. Read his Dear press aides, stop being entitled jerks!

Yes, they don't make press secretaries like they used to, for sure.

Zaidi mentioned my ex-boss A. Kadir Jasin in his commentary. I can only imagine how AKJ might really feel deep down inside. As the numero uno of NSTP and the unofficial chief of all chief editors back in the Eighties and Nineties, AKJ was the person Cabinet ministers, if they were smart, would go to when they needed high quality, professional press aides. 

The current Prime Minister, the former Prime Minister, the waiting Prime Minister as well as all the former Finance Ministers since Daim Zaiuddin and several other ministers during the 80s and 90s, had top grade press aides who came personally recommended and meticulously chosen by AKJ. 

I kid you not.

Some press secs went very far. Liow Tiong Lai, the former MCA president, was press aide to Lim Ah Lek when Lim was the Labour Minister. Former Bernama journalist G. Palanivel was brought in by S. Samy Vellu as press secretary when he was Works Minister and MIC boss. Palani went on to become MIC president himself. 

All of them had one thing in common: they understood perfectly how the media worked. 

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